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National Coral Reef Monitoring Program Socioeconomic Monitoring Component: Summary Findings for Hawai'i, 2020

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The Socioeconomic Component of the National Coral Reef Monitoring Program (NCRMP) gathers and monitors a collection of socioeconomic data in seven U.S. coral jurisdictions. The team continued its second monitoring cycle with data collection in Hawai'i in 2020, and recently released their report of summary findings along with two new infographics. The report outlines current human dimensions information relevant to coral reef resources in Hawai'i, as well as trends between the first (2015) and second monitoring cycles, while one infographic focuses solely on the 2020 findings and the second focuses on trends. Survey results are representative of Hawai'i (further stratified by East and West), Kaua'i, Maui, and O'ahu Islands.

Household surveys conducted in March to June of 2020 revealed that Hawai'i residents generally supported a range of potential marine management policies and regulations (such as coral restoration efforts and stricter control of sources of pollution to preserve water quality) and supported a measure to manage 30% of Hawai'is nearshore waters by 2030, despite low familiarity with Hawai'is 30x30 Initiative. Residents were familiar with all included threats to coral reefs, recognized that Hawai'i's coral reefs provide a variety of ecosystem services to the islands (such as cultural importance, storm protection, and economic and tourism benefits), and generally agreed that Marine Managed Areas help protect coral reefs and increase the number of fish. Residents believed the quality of marine resources had become worse over the past ten years and felt that conditions are likely to worsen in the future. Surveys also revealed that Hawaiians top three activities continued to be beach recreation, swimming/wading, and snorkeling. Additionally, the majority of resident households consumed seafood at least once a week in both 2015 and 2020, and in 2020 nearly one-fourth of all residents in Hawai'i consumed locally caught seafood from coral reefs at least once a month. Most residents used reef-safe sunscreen at some frequency, and residents of West Hawai'i (island), Kaua'i, and Maui were more likely to participate in conservation activities.

These and other findings offer early glimpses into NCRMP socioeconomic monitoring of Hawai'is coral reefs, and they will be used to update composite indicators that detail the status of Hawai'is coral reef adjacent communities in relation to the other U.S. coral reef jurisdictions. As each monitoring cycle takes between five and seven years to complete, Hawai'i residents are targeted for surveying again in 2027.

Citation: M.E. Allen, C.S. Fleming, B.M. Zito, S.B. Gonyo, S.D. Regan, and E.K. Towle. 2022. National Coral Reef Monitoring Program Socioeconomic Monitoring Component: Summary Findings for Hawai'i, 2020. U.S. Dep. Commerce, NOAA Tech. Memo., NOAA-TM-NOS-CRCP-43, 51p. + Appendices

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For more information contact:

Mary.Allen@noaa.gov

Chloe.Fleming@noaa.gov