These are a few key documents that relay CRCP program and policy information, descriptions of the state of corals, and strategies for preserving coral ecosystems. They are listed here for easy access. All documents are also accessible through the CoRIS Data & Publications search function.
Each entry includes a title, a link to the document, and a brief description of the publication. The listed urls either link directly to a download of the document (indicated by parentheses with 'pdf' and the file's size immediately following the url), or to a web page with background information on the document and access to the full document and/or chapters of the document for download.
Abstract : The U.S. Coral Reef Task Force (USCRTF) was established in 1998 by Presidential Executive Order #13089 to lead U.S. efforts to preserve and protect coral reef ecosystems. Co-chaired by the Department of Commerce and the Department of the Interior, the USCRTF includes leaders of 12 federal agencies, seven U.S. states and territories, and three freely associated states.
Abstract : In March of 2000, the USCRTF adopted The National Action Plan to Conserve Coral Reefs (NAP), the first U.S. plan to comprehensively address the most pressing threats to coral reefs.
Abstract : In December of 2000, the Coral Reef Conservation Act (CRCA) formally established NOAA's Coral Reef Conservation Program and laid out a number of mandates for NOAA aimed at the preservation, sustainability and restoration of U.S. coral reef ecosystems.
Abstract : The Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act is the primary law governing marine fisheries management in U.S. federal waters. The Act was first enacted in 1976 and amended in 1996 and 2006. Section 408 of the Magnuson-Stevens Reauthorization Act of 2006 establishes the Deep-sea Coral Research and Technology Program.
Abstract : On September 20, 2004, the U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy completed a thorough and expansive report, An Ocean Blueprint for the 21st Century. On December 17, 2004, President Bush submitted to Congress his formal response, the U.S. Ocean Action Plan. Pages 20-21 of the report focus specifically on the promotion of coral reef and deep sea coral conservation and education.
Abstract : NOAA released the fourth in a series of biennial progress reports on implementation of the National Coral Reef Action Strategy in September 2012.
Abstract : NOAA released the third in a series of biennial progress reports on implementation of the National Coral Reef Action Strategy in April 2010. This series of reports is required by the CRCA.
Abstract : In June 2008, NOAA, in cooperation with the USCRTF, released the second of the biennial progress reports required by the CRCA.
Abstract : In September 2005, NOAA, in cooperation with the USCRTF, released this document, which provides a nation-wide status report on implementation of the NAP and the CRCA. It is the first in a series of biennial progress reports required by the CRCA.
Abstract : In September 2005, NOAA, in cooperation with the USCRTF, released this document, which provides a nation-wide status report on implementation of the NAP and the CRCA. It is the first in a series of biennial progress reports required by the CRCA.
Abstract : In 2014, NOAA released the fourth biennial Deep Sea Coral Research and Technology Program 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.
Abstract : In 2012, NOAA released the third biennial Deep Sea Coral Research and Technology Program 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 2010 and 2011.
Abstract :In 2010, NOAA released the second biennial Report to Congress and the public on the Implementation of the Deep Sea Coral Research and Technology Program 2008-2009. The report, prepared in consultation with the Regional Fishery Management Councils, summarizes activities initiated with fiscal year 2009 Deep Sea Coral Research and Technology Program funding. It also presents a brief synopsis of additional conservation actions that have taken place since the first Report to Congress was submitted in 2008.
Abstract :In March 2008, NOAA released the first report to Congress on the Implementation of the Deep Sea Coral Research and Technology Program, called for in the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Reauthorization Act of 2006. Prepared under the auspices of NOAA's Coral Reef Conservation Program and in consultation with the Nation's eight Regional Fishery Management Councils, the report provides information on steps taken by NOAA and its partners to identify, monitor, and protect deep sea coral areas.
Abstract : The Climate Change Strategy and Implementation Plan refines and builds upon the Coral Reef Conservation Program Goals and Objectives 2010-2015 to direct Program investments in reducing the impacts of climate change and ocean acidification to coral reef ecosystems. The focus of the Coral Program is to support effective ecosystem-based management and adaptation with a foundation of sound science to understand the impacts of climate change and ocean acidification to coral reef ecosystems.
Abstract : The purpose of the CRCP Fishing Impacts Implementation Plan is to refine the Coral Reef Conservation Program’s (CRCP’s) approach to achieving its National Goals and Objectives related to fishing impacts and direct future CRCP investments towards reducing this threat in U.S. coral reef ecosystems over the next five years.
Abstract : The CRCP Land-Based Sources of Pollution Implementation Plan outlines a plan for implementing the Coral Program’s National Objectives for addressing land based sources of pollution (LBSP) and supporting identified local priorities related to this threat.The implementation plan identifies the particular expertise, tools, and support the Coral Program can provide to assure our partner jurisdictions have the capacity to successfully achieve management goals to reduce the impacts of LBSP to coral reef ecosystems and to effectively manage watersheds.
Abstract : NOAA' Coral Reef Conservation Program is supporting a National Coral Reef Monitoring Plan (NCRMP) for biological, physical, and socioeconomic monitoring throughout the U.S. Pacific, Atlantic, and Caribbean coral reef areas. This publication defines the national monitoring effort, which will provide a consistent flow of information about the status and trends of environmental conditions, living reef resources, and the people and processes that interact with coral reef ecosystems. Results will be reported through a periodic national‐level status and trends report.
Abstract : The CRCP is narrowing the focus of its U.S. domestic program and shifting allocation of CRCP resources to taking on-the-ground and in-the-water action. The CRCP will emphasize efforts on understanding and addressing the top three recognized global threats to coral reef ecosystems: climate change impacts, fishing impacts, and impacts from land-based sources of pollution. This document, launched in June of 2009, provides strategic guidance on the CRCP domestic priorities for FY 2010-2015.
Abstract : The CRCP is expanding its international presence by becoming more actively involved in coral conservation efforts abroad, primarily in the Pacific, the Coral Triangle region, and the Caribbean. This document, launched in June of 2009, provides strategic guidance on the CRCP international priorities for FY 2010-2015.
Abstract : This series of documents were developed to articulate a set of strategic coral reef management priorities developed in consensus by the coral reef managers in the seven US coral reef jurisdictions. NOAA will use these documents in conjunction with its 2010.2015 Coral Reef Conservation Program National Goals and Objectives to direct its investment in each jurisdiction through grants, cooperative agreements and internal funding.
Abstract : This project is a follow-up to the Coral Reef Conservation Program's Management Priority Setting process finished in 2010. Using the management priorities identified by each jurisdiction as a framework, the capacity assessments are designed to identify capacity gaps in light of that jurisdiction's priority goals and objectives, and provide recommendations to fill those gaps. The assessment is geared toward understanding capacity gaps in local agencies with the responsibility to manage coral reefs, but the recommendations are meant to engage the larger conservation communities in the jurisdictions, other federal partners in the Coral Reef Task Force, and NGOs.
Abstract : An important component of NOAA's Coral Program efforts to protect coral reef ecosystems from land based sources of pollution (LBSP) has been the development of watershed management plans (WMPs) and conservation action plans. WMPs and CAPs outline a comprehensive set of actions and an overall management strategy for improving and protecting each jurisdiction's priority watershed sites from nonpoint and point sources of pollution.
Abstract : The CRCP Roadmap for the Future called for the development of a suite of performance measures and evaluation criteria to track progress toward addressing three key threats to coral reef ecosystems . impacts of climate change, fishing, and land-base sources of pollution. Based on the NOAA Coral Reef Conservation Program Goals and Objectives 2010-2015, specific performance measures were developed to track on-the-ground outcomes. In May 2010, the new CRCP Performance Measures were approved by the Senior Management Council and in May 2011 this manual was completed to assist CRCP Project Managers ensure the results of their work contribute to the new measures and that they understand the process to report the results of their work.
Abstract : In response to recommendations from an independent external review of the CRCP, CRCP developed this Roadmap in July of 2008, laying out new principles and priorities for the future of the CRCP. This document is the predecessor to the Goals & Objectives and International Strategy listed above.
Abstract : This is the third in the series of reports characterizing the condition of shallow water coral reef ecosystems in the United States and Pacific Freely Associated States. Like the 2005 report, this edition is based primarily on the most recent quantitative monitoring data available, rather than qualitative assessments of ecosystem conditions.
Abstract : This is the second in the series of reports characterizing the condition of shallow water coral reef ecosystems in the United States and Pacific Freely Associated States. The first report provided a broad introduction to and a preliminary look at the status of coral reef ecosystems and was based primarily on qualitative information from the contributing authors. The 2005 report differs from its predecessor in that it is based primarily on the most recent quantitative monitoring data available, rather than qualitative assessments of ecosystem conditions.
Abstract : Called for by the NAP, this is the first biennial report on the condition of U.S. coral reefs. It is the scientific baseline for subsequent reports on the health of U.S. coral reef ecosystems that are to be used by NOAA and others to evaluate the efficacy of coral reef conservation and management practices.
Abstract : Called for in the President's Ocean Action Plan, this peer-reviewed report contains an up-to-date assessment of deep coral ecosystems in U.S. waters. including: the biology of deep corals and their associated species, their spatial distribution, the stressors that may threaten their survival, current management measures, and regional priorities for future research.
The following documents are part of NOAA's Coral Reef Conservation Program Technical Memorandum (Tech Memo) Series. This series was begun in 2007. They are scientific gray literature.
Abstract : The Coral Reef Resilience Research and Management - Past, Present and Future! Workshop was held November 4-6, 2014 in Honolulu, Hawaii and was attended by scientists and managers from management agencies, universities, and conservation organizations. Facilitated discussions focused on five themes that were collaboratively set with participants prior to the workshop to cover both existing research funded by the CRCP and new research opportunities and management needs. The themes were: Mapping Environmental Disturbance/Exposure; Field Based Resilience Assessments (includes Herbivorous Fish); Connectivity; Land-based Sources of Pollution; and Managers Use of Resilience Assessments and Reporting. A sixth crosscutting theme, Training and Capacity Building, was also discussed during each of the theme sessions and during a concluding session. Priority next steps for a ‘Social-Ecological Resilience’ theme were identified for a future workshop. (NOAA Technical Memorandum CRCP 20)
Abstract : 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). (NOAA Technical Memorandum CRCP 18)
Abstract :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. (NOAA Technical Memorandum CRCP 18)
Abstract :Porphyrin metabolic disruption from exposure to xenobiotic contaminants such as heavy metals, dioxins, and aromatic hydrocarbons can elicit overproduction of porphyrins. Measurement of porphyrin levels, when used in conjunction with other diagnostic assays, can help elucidate an organism.s physiological condition and provide evidence for exposure to certain toxicants. A sensitive microplate fluorometric assay has been optimized for detecting total porphyrin levels in detergent solubilized protein extracts from symbiotic, dinoflagellatecontaining cnidarian tissues. The denaturing buffer used in this modified assay contains a number of potentially interfering components (e.g., sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS), dithiothreitol (DTT), protease inhibitors, and chlorophyll from the symbiotic zooxanthellae), which required examination and validation. Examination of buffer components were validated for use in this porphyrin assay; while the use of a specific spectrofluorometric filter (excitation 400 +/- 15 nm; emission 600 +/- 20 nm) minimized chlorophyll interference. The detection limit for this assay is 10 fmol of total porphyrin per ug of total soluble protein and linearity is maintained up to 5000 fmol. The ability to measure total porphyrins in a SDS protein extract now allows a single extract to be used in multiple assays. This is an advantage over classical methods, particularly when tissue samples are limiting, as is often the case with coral due to availability and collection permit restrictions. (NOAA Technical Memorandum CRCP 17)
Abstract :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. (NOAA Technical Memorandum CRCP 16)
Abstract :Culture-independent methods for studying the microbial community of the coral surface mucopolysaccaride layer (SML) increasingly have been used to evaluate the health of the animal host. After the initial collection and preservation of the sample, the duration of the sample voyage to a recipient laboratory is often another critical part of the sampling process, as unanticipated delays may exceed the length of time a dry shipper can remain cold, or mishandling of the shipper can cause it to exhaust prematurely. In remote areas, service by international shipping companies may be non-existent, which requires the use of an alternative preservation medium. Other methods for preserving environmental samples for microbial DNA analysis include drying on various matrices (DNA cards, swabs), or placing samples in liquid preservatives (e.g., chloroform/phenol/isoamyl alcohol, TRIzol reagent, ethanol). These methodologies eliminate the need for cold storage, however, they add expense and permitting requirements for hazardous liquid components, and the retrieval of intact microbial DNA often can be inconsistent. An evaluation of saline-saturated DMSO-EDTA (SSDE) as an ambient temperature storage medium for coral mucus samples are presented here. (NOAA Technical Memorandum CRCP 15)
Abstract :Colonies of the scleractinian coral Acropora palmata, listed as threatened under the US Endangered Species Act in 2006, have been monitored in Hawksnest Bay, within Virgin Islands National Park, St. John, from 2004 through 2010 by scientists with the US Geological Survey, National Park Service, and the University of the Virgin Islands. The focus has been on documenting the prevalence of disease, including white band, white pox (also called patchy necrosis and white patches), and unidentified diseases. In an effort to learn more about the pathologies that might be involved with the diseases that were observed, samples were collected from apparently healthy and diseased colonies in July 2009 for analysis. This paper reports the methodologies used to evaluate the microbial community associated with coral mucus, and the changes those communities may undergo in response to disease. The methods are non-invasive, an advantage which eliminates the need to remove coral sections for study, thus preserving our coral reef sanctuaries. (NOAA Technical Memorandum CRCP 14)
Abstract :The family Coralliidae, consisting of the genera Corallium and Paracorallium, commonly known as red and pink corals, contains the most valuable and rarest taxa of precious corals in commerce. Seven species in this family have been intensively fished for use in jewelry, amulets, art objects, and homeopathic medicines. The International Workshop on Red Coral Science, Management, and Trade: Lessons from the Mediterranean was convened in September 2009 in Naples, Italy. It provided an opportunity to discuss the best available science on the natural history of Mediterranean red coral (Corallium rubrum L.) as well as how it is managed throughout the region and utilized around the world. The workshop involved presentations on the biology, taxonomy and status of populations, fisheries, existing management approaches, trade and other and threats, uses of Corallium, and major markets. This information, plus the working group tasks and reports, are included in Proceedings of the International Workshop on Red Coral Science, Management, and Trade: Lessons from the Mediterranean. (NOAA Technical Memorandum CRCP 13)
Abstract :In 2003, NOAA and the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS) joined forces with The Nature Conservancy (TNC) and the Palau Government to produce a heat stress model for use in protected areas network (PAN) planning for Palau's coral reef ecosystems and to identify factors that might confer resilience to climate change. The work described in this Technical Report represents an important new tool for Marine Protected Area (MPA) design. Physical variables to build resilience against climate change and, in particular, coral bleaching are incorporated into MPA design. This project demonstrated that a simplistic physical model can be used to improve MPA planning to incorporate resilience against future coral bleaching events. Appendix 1 presents a comprehensive overview of the data collected and allows a brief view of some of the time series collected. These time series are of sufficient length to undertake a tidal current analysis for hind-casting or prediction. Appendices 2 and 3 are publications that came out of the modelling effort in Palau. (NOAA Technical Memorandum CRCP 12)
Abstract :The Strategic Plan identifies goals, objectives, and approaches to guide NOAA.s research, management, and international cooperation activities on deep-sea coral and sponge ecosystems for fiscal years 2010 through 2019. The primary goal of this Strategic Plan is to improve the understanding, conservation, and management of deep-sea coral and sponge ecosystems. The Strategic Plan addresses the requirements of the Deep Sea Coral Research and Technology Program, but is broader in scope and addresses all NOAA.s relevant mandates and programs. (NOAA Technical Memorandum CRCP 11)
Abstract :The NOAA Coral Reef Conservation Program (CRCP) conducted two regional workshops in Hawaii (2008) and Puerto Rico (2009) to address its Coral Reef Ecosystem Integrated Observing System (CREIOS). NOAA scientists with technical expertise in mapping and monitoring coral reef ecosystems met with resource managers and local scientists from all U.S. coral reef jurisdictions, as well as representatives from Federal agencies and Fishery Management Councils. The facilitated workshops were successful in eliciting priority information needs from managers, and highlighting important issues of concern. This document presents a summary of the discussions held during both workshops, major outcomes, and next steps. (NOAA Technical Memorandum CRCP 9)
Abstract :In March of 2009, a workshop was convened in Hong Kong to discuss the state of knowledge regarding the biology, population status, trade, and management of precious corals in the family Coralliidae and to examine issues surrounding the implementation of a potential CITES Appendix-II listing. This report includes proceedings from the workshop as well as working group tasks and reports. (NOAA Technical Memorandum CRCP 8)
Abstract :Recognizing the need for a strategic plan of action to combat a health crisis for Pacific Reefs, the Coral Disease and Health Consortium (CDHC) convened a workshop to help organize and coordinate a scientific effort focused specifically on coral health issues in the Pacific. This report documents the proceedings of the workshop. (NOAA Technical Memorandum CRCP 7)
Abstract :This publication is intended to serve as an operational guide to coordinate effective, informative responses by outbreak response teams to unusual incidents of coral disease or mortality. It was developed as an aid to provide context and consistency for outbreak investigations and to help train coral disease outbreak response teams so that coordinated response operations can be executed. (NOAA Technical Memorandum CRCP 6)
Abstract :This report provides an overview of the progress that states, territories, federal agencies, and nongovernmental partners made from 2002-2006 in developing and implementing Local Action Strategies (LAS) to reduce threats to the Nation's coral reef ecosystems. (NOAA Technical Memorandum CRCP 5)
Abstract :This workshop report contains a description of a study set of histology slides used in reaching consensus histopathological descriptions for selected coral lesions representing 15 types of field diagnosis, 9 presumed disease conditions, and 8 scleractinian and 1 gorgonian species. Supportive information was developed during the group discussions and is provided in the report. (NOAA Technical Memorandum CRCP 4)
Abstract : Called for in the President's Ocean Action Plan, this peer-reviewed report contains an up-to-date assessment of deep coral ecosystems in U.S. waters. including: the biology of deep corals and their associated species, their spatial distribution, the stressors that may threaten their survival, current management measures, and regional priorities for future research. (NOAA Technical Memorandum CRCP 3)
Abstract : This report is the first-ever inventory and assessment of U.S. marine protected areas (MPAs) managed by State and Territory governments, as called for by the National Action Plan of the U.S. Coral Reef Task Force. The report utilizes data collected in the National Marine Managed Inventory as well as the expertise of NOAA and state and territory co-authors to explore the management status of 207 MPAs located across the seven U.S. jurisdictions containing coral reefs. (NOAA Technical Memorandum CRCP 2)
Abstract : The NOAA Coral Reef Ecosystem Research Plan is NOAA's first agency-wide coral reef ecosystem research plan. Covering all coral reef ecosystems under the jurisdiction of the U.S. and Pacific Freely Associated States, the plan provides a national perspective on the research needed to address the range of stresses affecting the health of coral reef ecosystems, summarizes the management and other issues that will drive research at the regional level, and focuses on the use of research to guide effective implementation of ecosystem-based management strategies. (NOAA Technical Memorandum CRCP 1)
The following documents are part of NOAA's Coral Reef: Conservation Program Technical Report (Tech Report) Series. This series was begun in 2010. They are scientific gray literature.
Abstract : Coral reefs throughout the world are subjected to a number of anthropogenic stressors. Some of the most pervasive of these are a result of climate change. Increasing sea surface temperature of the world.s oceans is resulting in unprecedented, mass coral bleaching events wherein coral polyps expel their symbiotic zooxanthellae. Research also suggests these disturbances make coral reefs more susceptible to disease. Occurrences of mass bleaching and disease outbreaks prompted the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to create Coral Reef Watch, a program that monitors many of the indicators of these events using satellites. Coral Reef Watch provides coral reef managers with near-realtime alerts of bleaching conditions as they develop. For Coral Reef Watch to adequately monitor the environmental conditions of coral reefs throughout the world, it is imperative that collaborations exist between coral reef ecosystem biologists, managers and remote sensing scientists. This technical reportdocuments a workshop held in 2010 in which experts from around the worldconvened to share information and brainstorm about threats to coral reefecosystems as a result of climate change. In addition, these experts discussedadditional risks to coral reefs and potential remote sensing tools that couldbe developed in order to monitor the threats. This technical report providessubstantive information on experts. current understandings of coral reefbiology, best management practices for coral reef ecosystem management, andtechnical considerations for using environmental remote sensing to aid inthese research and managerial pursuits. (NOAA Technical Report CRCP 1)
Abstract : This 2-page document summarizes the Fiscal Year 2010 activities of the CRCP.
Abstract : This 2-page document summarizes the Fiscal Year 2008 activities of the CRCP.
Abstract : This 2-page document summarizes the Fiscal Year 2007 activities of the CRCP.
Abstract : This 2-page document summarizes the Fiscal Year 2006 activities of the CRCP.
Abstract : This 3-page document summarizes the Fiscal Year 2005 activities of the CRCP.
Abstract : This 11-page document summarizes the Fiscal Year 2004 activities of the CRCP.
Abstract : This 9-page document summarizes the Fiscal Year 2003 activities of the CRCP.