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 ( search tool.

Characterization of deep-coral and sponge communities in the Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary: Rittenburg Bank, Cochrane Bank, and the Farallon Escarpment

Benthic surveys were conducted in the Gulf of Farallones National Marine Sanctuary (GFNMS) aboard R/V Fulmar, October 3-11, 2012 using the large observation-class remotely operated vehicle (ROV) Beagle. The purpose of the surveys was to groundtruth mapping data collected in 2011, and to characterize the seafloor biota, particularly corals and sponges, in order to support Essential Fish Habitat designations under Magnuson-Stevens Act (MSA) and other conservation and management goals under the National Marine Sanctuaries Act (NMSA).

Fish and benthic communities of the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary: Science to support sanctuary management

This report is the culmination of three years of fish and seafloor (benthic) invertebrate community observations on the East and West Flower Garden Banks. It provides baseline information on key biological communities, and can be utilized to address resource management priorities in Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary (FGBNMS).

Design and Parameterization of a Coral Reef Ecosystem Model for Guam

Management on an ecosystem scale has proven to be a useful strategy to conserve, manage, and restore marine systems. Implementing ecosystem-based management requires an understanding of the complex and often synergistic dynamics of coral reefs, including the role of humans in the ecosystem. The Atlantis modeling framework integrates physical, chemical, ecological, and anthropogenic processes in a three dimensional, spatially explicit domain and can serve as a useful decision-support tool for ecosystem-based coral reef management. The Atlantis ecosystem model has successfully been applied to investigate ecosystem-based fisheries management scenario evaluations and ecological questions in Australia and North America. In this report we describe the construction of the Guam Atlantis Coral Reef Ecosystem Model. Atlantis incorporates various submodels that each have their own set of parameters and variables. Here we describe the details of each model component and present the parameterizations of the spatial and ecological submodels. The ultimate goal of the fully developed model is to provide a tool to evaluate management strategy scenarios against a backdrop of climate and ocean change.

Marine Protected Areas of the US Virgin Islands: Ecological Performance Report

This report is the first time that an assessment of ecological performance has been conducted for MPAs in the USVI. A decade of underwater surveys was analyzed to detect trends on coral reefs inside MPAs and for a similar range of habitats outside of MPAs. The information, data synthesis, interpretation and recommendations are intended to help focus management actions and goal setting, inform outreach products and adjust expectations regarding ecological performance for MPAs in the region. The data presented here provide important baselines required for tracking MPA performance through future monitoring efforts.

Interrelationships between corals and fisheries

This book is the result of NOAA CRCP's sponsored workshop held by the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council in Tampa, Florida, 20-22 May 2013, where world authorities came together to discuss the current and emerging threats as well as challenges and opportunities for managing corals and associated fisheries.

Marine Outreach and Education US Virgin Islands Style (MOES-VI): Strategizing for Improved Outreach, Education and Communication Pertaining to USVI Marine and Fisheries Management and Conservation

This report provides a description of existing marine outreach and education programs and implementation gaps in the US Virgin Islands (USVI) as well as a series of action recommendations to improve communication efforts.

Stormwater management in Pacific and Caribbean Islands: A practitioner's guide to implementing LID

This guide is intended for designers, engineers, agencies, and others in the Pacific and Caribbean islands who are familiar with stormwater concepts and interested in alternatives to ponding basins and detention ponds for managing stormwater.

Deep Sea Research and Technology Program 2014 Report to Congress

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 2012 and 2013.

Coral Reef Conservation Program Ocean Acidification Science Plan Fiscal Years 2012-2016

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.

An assessment of chemical contaminants, toxicity and benthic infauna in sediments from the St. Thomas East End Reserves (STEER)

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.