The Socioeconomic Component of the National Coral Reef Monitoring Program (NCRMP) is currently in the process of monitoring socioeconomic indicators across all U.S. coral reef territories and jurisdictions. These indicators fall under the following broader categories: the demographics of these areas, human use of coral reef resources, and knowledge, attitudes, and perceptions of coral reefs and coral reef management. The overall goal of this endeavor is to track relevant information regarding each jurisdiction's population, social and economic structure, society's interactions with coral reef resources, and the responses of local communities to coral management. NOAA's Coral Reef Conservation Program (CRCP) will use the information for future research, to assess the socioeconomic outcomes of management activities, and to improve the results of programs designed to protect coral reef resources.
This report outlines human dimensions information relevant to coral reef resources in the United States Virgin Islands (USVI). The findings here are derived from a combination of data gathered through household surveys conducted from February to April 2017, and additional secondary sources of socioeconomic information for the region. Survey results show that USVI residents participate in beach recreation and swimming most frequently. Additionally, 40% of residents indicated that they participate in fishing or gathering of marine resources. Perceptions concerning marine resource condition tend to vary amongst USVI residents, they generally support a range of potential marine management policies and regulations, and are moderately familiar with the various threats facing coral reefs. Further, 92% of residents agree that coral reefs are important to their culture.
The findings contained within this report represent the baseline assessment for future socioeconomic monitoring of USVI's coral reefs, and they will feed into composite indicators that will detail the status of USVI's coral reef adjacent communities in relation to the other US coral reef jurisdictions. Surveys are planned to be repeated in each US coral reef jurisdiction after the completion of a full monitoring cycle, approximately once every five to seven years.
Citation: M. Gorstein, J. Loerzel, P. Edwards, and A. Levine. (2019). National Coral Reef Monitoring Program Socioeconomic Monitoring Component: Summary Findings for USVI, 2017. US Dep. Commerce, NOAA Tech. Memo., NOAA-TM-NOS-CRCP-35, 72p. + Appendices.