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Coral Reef Ecosystem Goods and Services Valuation


Snorkelers in Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary.Snorkelers in Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. Photo credit: Matt McIntosh

Coral reefs provide a variety of important services and benefits such as food, coastal protection, recreation opportunities, habitat for a variety of species, tourism, cultural heritage, and social connectedness through a sense of place. However, increasing population growth rates along with economic and industrial development, unsustainable fishing, land-based pollution, global forces from climate change, coral bleaching, coral disease, among others, have resulted in unprecedented pressure on coral reefs.

These competing uses of the coastal-marine environment and issues at local and global scales merit asking how to ensure the longevity of these special ecosystems that provide incredible value to society, such as: How much are coral reefs worth to society? How much do people care about coral ecosystems? Can we demonstrate the value of these unique ecosystems and account for what we stand to lose if they are irreparably damaged? The answers to these questions have the potential to inform the optimal level of protection, the need for funding for interventions that combat coral disease and other threats to reef health, and even levels of insurance under new models that tie local development to the sustained longevity of corals for their coastal protection services.

Boats on the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary.Boats on Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary.

NOAA's Coral Reef Conservation Program is leading a comprehensive Coral Reef Ecosystem Goods and Services Valuation project to provide updated, defensible monetary values of U.S. coral reef ecosystem services in Florida, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, American Samoa, Guam, Hawai'i, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Pacific Remote Island Areas, and Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary.

Map of U.S. coral reef jurisdictions where valuation studies will be conducted.Map of U.S. coral reef jurisdictions where valuation studies will be conducted.

Project Timeline:

Year 1 (April 2021 - March 2022): Year 2 (April 2022 - March 2023, planned):

2001-2011 Valuation Studies:

Outreach Products:

Related Links:

For more information contact:

Mary Allen or Lauren Knapp