Department of Commerce National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Department of Commerce
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

NOAA's Efforts to Reduce Impacts of Coastal Uses on Coral Reef Ecosystems

Activities in coastal areas, such as recreational boating, coastal development, beach re-nourishment, and laying new pipelines or cables, can have negative impacts on nearby coral reef ecosystems. For example, vessel groundings can cause injury to coral reef ecosystems by destroying habitat, releasing pollutants, and entrapping wildlife.  The National Action Strategy (NAS) calls for initiation of actions to reduce the adverse impacts from vessel groundings, coastal development and other coastal uses.  NOAA supports activities that enable States and Territories to respond to and reduce habitat destruction. 

At times, active restoration is needed to help prevent further degradation or enhance the natural restoration process in injured or damaged coral reef habitats.  The NAS calls for increased capability of managers to effectively and efficiently restore injured or degraded coral reefs where appropriate.  NOAA both conducts and supports activities that assess and restore damaged coral reef areas. 

The NOAA Coral Reef Conservation Program supports a number of activities to reduce the impact of coastal uses on coral reef ecosystems.  These activities include efforts to reduce recreational overuse of coral reefs, as well as efforts to reduce the impacts of coastal development and maritime activities.  NOAA has supported efforts to restore damaged coral reef and seagrass areas and conducted research to determine which restoration techniques are the most effective.

Categories of Activities

General Coastal Uses (Address Multiple Impacts)
Restore Injured Habitats
Reduce Impacts of Recreational Overuse
Reduce Impacts of Coastal Development