Below is a sampling of publications generated by NOAA's coral ecosystem activities in 2018. To access a complete list of NOAA coral ecosystem related publications, use the CoRIS Geoportal
(http://www.coris.noaa.gov/search/) search tool.
This project was sponsored and funded by the U.S. EPA, Office of Research and Development. The EPA developed a decision-support tool to evaluate restoration alternatives in the Restoration Management Plan for the Guanica Bay Watershed in southwest Puerto Rico. Several teams were in charge of different ecosystem services (benefits humans receive from coral reef ecosystems). Ecosystem services for coral reefs included recreation-tourism, food supply (commercial fishing and consumptive motive of recreational fishing), ornamentals (aquarium trade), pharmaceuticals, and property values from storm protection. The EPA decision-support tool was limited to the coral reefs of southwest Puerto Rico but because public scoping determined that recreation-tourism information was needed for the entire island's coral reef ecosystems this study covers all of Puerto Rico. However, due to costs, this study was limited to visitor use of Puerto Rico's coral reef ecosystems.
In 2014, an economic survey of commercial fishermen in the U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI) was conducted in tandem with the Marine Outreach and Education - Virgin Islands Style (MOES) fishermen workshops to expand data collection. Fishing is traditionally a profound aspect of life and culture in the USVI. This study discusses 1) fishermen background, 2) fixed costs, including vessels, dive gear, and fish and lobster trap ownership, and 3) variable costs, including fuel, bait, air, food and crew costs for St. Thomas and St. John (STT/STJ) fishermen, St. Croix (STX) fishermen, and USVI fishermen as a whole.
With funding from NOAA's Coral Reef Conservation Program (CRCP), scientists from NOAA's National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science (NCCOS) sampled sediments and fish in Cocos Lagoon, Guam in May 2015, as part of a project with partners from Guam EPA, CRCP, and NOAA's National Marine Fisheries Service, to assess chemical contaminants throughout Cocos Lagoon. Between 1944 and 1963, the US Coast Guard operated a Long Range Navigation (LORAN) station on Cocos Island at the southern end of Cocos Lagoon. Disposal of materials from the LORAN station are suspected of contaminating surrounding waters with polychlorinated biphenyls or PCBs, and since 2006 there has been a Guam EPA fish consumption advisory for Cocos Lagoon. Results from the analysis of the samples collected indicated that sediments, including those collected from around Cocos Island, contained fairly low levels of chemical contaminants. Fish sampled from around Cocos Island, however, contained higher levels of PCBs and also the pesticide DDT. Some concentrations of PCBs and DDT in the fish from around Cocos Island were above USEPA subsistence and even recreational fisher guidelines, which is of concern to resource managers and the public. NOAA plans to continue work with Guam EPA, the USEPA, and the US Coast Guard in support of the assessment of chemical contaminants in Cocos Lagoon.
This report outlines human dimensions information relevant to coral reef resources in the state of Hawai'i. The study findings were derived from a combination of data gathered through household surveys conducted in November of 2014, and additional secondary sources of socioeconomic information for the region. Survey results show that Hawai'i residents participate in swimming and beach recreation most frequently. The study also revealed that the majority of Hawai'i residents support a range of potential marine management policies and regulations, and are for the most part familiar with the various threats faced by coral reefs (such as hurricanes, pollution, and coastal development).