Featured Coral Publications
Below is a sampling of publications generated by NOAA's coral ecosystem activities. Visit the Featured Archive to see a past list of highlighted publications. To access a complete list of NOAA coral ecosystem related publications, use the CoRIS Geoportal (http://coris.noaa.gov/geoportal/) search tool.
The NOAA Coral Reef Conservation Program (CRCP) Ocean Acidification Science Plan is intended to guide NOAA funded coral reef ecosystem OA research for 2012-2016, including research conducted through extramural partners, grants and contracts. The plan covers all shallow coral reef ecosystems under the jurisdiction of the United States (U.S.) and Pacific Freely Associated States (PFAS), and outlines national research needed to address the many management challenges for reducing threats, reversing declines and promoting the resilience of coral reef ecosystems. The priority areas detailed in the plan are responsive to numerous legislative requirements including the Federal Ocean Acidification Research and Monitoring Act of 2009 (Public Law 111-11) and the National Ocean Policy Executive Order (July 2010), and align with broader NOAA strategic documents including the NOAA Ocean and Great Lakes Acidification Research Plan and the NOAA Next Generation Strategic Plan.
This report contains a chemical and biological characterization of sediments from the St. Thomas East End Reserves (STEER) in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI). The STEER Management Plan (published in 2011) identified chemical contaminants and habitat loss as high or very high threats and called for a characterization of chemical contaminants as well as an assessment of their effects on natural resources. The baseline information contained in this report on chemical contaminants, toxicity and benthic infaunal community composition can be used to assess current conditions, as well as the efficacy of future restoration activities.
This report is the second in a series from a project to assess land-based sources of pollution (LBSP) and effects in the St. Thomas East End Reserves (STEER) in St. Thomas, USVI, and is the result of a collaborative effort between NOAA's National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science, the USVI Department of Planning and Natural Resources, the University of the Virgin Islands, and The Nature Conservancy. Passive water samplers (POCIS), developed by by the US Geological Survey (USGS) as a tool to detect the presence of water soluble contaminants in the environment, were deployed at five locations in the STEER in February 2012. In addition to the February 2012 deployment, the results from an earlier POCIS deployment in May 2010 in Turpentine Gut, a perennial freshwater stream which drains to the STEER, are also reported.
The Southeast Florida Coral Reef Initiative (SEFCRI) Local Action Strategy identified threats to the coral reef system in Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach and Martin Counties, and targets four key focus areas: Land Based Sources of Pollution (LBSP), Fishing Diving and Other Uses, Awareness and Appreciation, and Maritime Industry Coastal Construction Impacts. This report addresses the LBSP Local Action Strategy Project 21 – Evaluate the outcomes of LBSP Project 3 and 19 to identify gaps in best management practices. Specifically, it provides a preliminary overview of the programs already in place to reduce LBSP, and makes initial recommendations for improving both state and local programs that affect coral reef habitat.
The report highlights product development areas using NOAA satellite remote sensing and analyzes their applicability to the Coral Program National and International Goals & Objectives for coral reef management and the U.S. jurisdictional coral reef management priorities. It also highlights remote sensing product development areas that best correlate with needs identified in these documents and that can best inform coral reef resource management in the next few years. The report concludes with a set of recommendations for product development areas the Coral Program should pursue.
In the following technical memorandum, techniques and procedures are presented to assist
researchers in developing small experimental systems for coral and attempts to identify
possible confounding factors to consider when setting up laboratory experiments with coral.
The system features presented here are intended for relatively simple experiments when funding, space, and time (i.e., experimental duration from days to one or two months) are
limiting. While focused on scleractinian coral, often referred to as stony or hard coral, the
following information can be applicable to studies involving other cnidarian model organisms,
such as anemones (Order Actiniaria) or soft coral (Order Alcyonacea).
This report provides an overview of CRW's operational twice-weekly 0.5 degree (approximately 50 km spatial resolution) satellite coral bleaching thermal stress monitoring product suite, representing CRW's heritage product suite and the core of CRW's current DSS for much of the last decade, along with some experimental products and a major enhancement associated with the operational product suite. CRW's products are disseminated and delivered through various mechanisms and formats to satisfy different user needs and backgrounds.
This report covers coral reef-related activities conducted by
the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Coral Reef Conservation Program during Fiscal Years 2010
and 2011. It fulfills the requirement under the Coral Reef
Conservation Act of 2000 of periodic reporting on the activities
undertaken to advance coral reef conservation as outlined in
the National Coral Reef Action Strategy.
During a series of Pacific Reef Assessment and Monitoring Program (Pacific RAMP) expeditions to the islands and reefs of American Samoa in 2002, 2004, 2006, 2008 and 2010, scientists in the PIFSC Coral Reef Ecosystem Division and partner organizations collected extensive information on coral reef biological communities and habitats and the oceanographic and water-quality parameters influencing them. The survey methods and results are described in this overview report, available for download in PDF format.
This report, prepared in consultation with the Regional Fishery Management Councils, highlights the discovery of deep-sea coral habitats and other progress made in the nationwide research by NOAA’s Deep Sea Coral Research and Technology Program in 2010 and 2011.
The Coral Reef Watch program of NOAA develops and provides remote sensing tools for the conservation of coral reef ecosystems. Reef managers and other stakeholders have expressed a desire for higher resolution monitoring tools than those currently available. In moving to higher resolution global products, Coral Reef Watch faces the challenge of orders of magnitude increase in the size of datasets. Traditionally this would mean simply upgrading to faster x86 Intel-based systems however Intel performance per processor has peaked due to frequency scaling issues. Newer Central Processing Unit (CPU) development has adopted a path of multiple cores rather than increasing an individual CPU's performance. To take advantage of newer hardware, a change to parallel programming methods is required and fortunately satellite datasets are relatively well suited to parallel algorithms. However, a newer form of commodity parallel hardware, the Graphic Processing Unit (GPU) is significantly advancing in both speed and performance, pushed hard by the demand of consumer gaming enthusiasts.
This report documents results of a study commissioned by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to improve methods for measuring the economic values that the U.S. public places on the protection and restoration of coral reef ecosystems. The work focused on the coral reefs of Hawaii. These reefs are obviously of economic importance to both the state and the nation, yet there has been less economic research focused on the reefs of Hawaii compared to other parts of the United States, particularly Florida, in the past. Several human activities impinge on Hawaii's coral reefs. In order to gain insights into the public's values for coral reef protection and restoration, the study focused on impacts from fishing and damage to reefs from ship accidents.
The NOAA Coral Reef Conservation Program (CRCP) MPA Management Assessment Checklist was developed as a simple too to assess the management of MPAs in priority coral reef sites in US jurisdictions and international areas important to the CRCP and jurisdictional partners. It will allow CRCP managers to better understand the needs of its partners in the MPA management community and help managers build and/or maintain the management capacity necessary for successful implementation of the MPA management goals and objectives.
This user's guide was developed as a reference to be used with the NOAA Coral Reef Conservation Program MPA Checklist to provide further clarification on the fourteen assessment areas addressed in the checklist, and to assist assessment participants in the selection of a specific tier for each assessment area. The guide includes instructions on how to conduct assessment interviews and how to complete the checklist document.