Background Materials

Please note that some content included in this collection is no longer maintained and that some links may no longer work.

The resources listed provide an introduction and background on a variety of issues that relate to coral reefs and other marine resources.

Each resource is available as a pdf download in the table below. Supplemental materials are also identified and linked for select resources.

Name Summary Group/Org.
The State of Coral Reef Ecosystems of the United States and Pacific Freely Associated States: 2008 A comprehensive assessment of all coral reef ecosystems under US jurisdiction in the Caribbean, Keys, Gulf, and Pacific regions. This report to Congress contains maps, a National Summary, threats and conservation efforts (578 pgs.) Note: use bookmarks in PDF to access individual chapters. NOAA
Corals Roadmap A listing of online resources aimed to guide students and educators to various coral topics to explore more in-depth: includes coral biology, deep water coral, images, and maps. NOAA
Coral Tutorial* A tutorial with over 50 pages that presents an introduction to corals, their life cycle, symbiotic relationship to zooxanthellae, the importance of coral reefs and threats. * Selected by NSTA science educators NOAA
CoRIS Coral Glossary An illustrated list of over 3,000 scientific/ technical terms relating to the marine environment. Note: Use 'control+F' when searching within PDF. For the most up-to-date glossary listings, click here. NOAA
Deep Sea Corals An introduction to deep sea corals, their distribution worldwide and also within the U.S.; highlights species, related communities and the many threats they face. Oceana
Deep Sea Life: On the Edge of the Abyss Presents deep sea ecosystems, including hydrothermal vents, sea mounts. This booklet covers the threats presented by trawling, pollution and oil extraction. Oceana
Deep Sea Floor Ecosystems of New England & the Mid-Atlantic Presents the deep sea floor ecosystem of New England and the mid-Atlantic, including the New England seamount chain, canyons, threats and conservation. Oceana
Deep Sea Trawl Fisheries of the Southeast & Gulf U.S. Regions Overview of the trawl fisheries in the southeast and gulf regions of the U.S., with emphasis on rock shrimp, royal red shrimp and Calico scallops. Oceana
Get Involved A guide to beach and underwater clean ups. Project AWARE
Implementation of the National Coral Reef Action Strategy: 2008 This Report to Congress provides background on the U.S. Coral Reef Task Force and progress of Federal agencies and jurisdictions between 2004-2006 in the study and protection of U.S. coral reefs. Note: Executive Summary only - click here to access resources of the full report or individual chapters. NOAA
Marine Aquarium Trade Presents the collecting of tropical fish for aquaria and the certification process of the Marine Aquarium Council (MAC). Marine Aquarium Council
Protecting Hawai`i's Ocean Treasures This 24-page insert offers information on humpback whales and the diverse coral reef ecosystems found in Hawai'i. Includes a humpback whale migration game and more. NOAA
State of the Science: Ocean Acidification A two-page document that summarizes what we now know (as of May 2008) on the emerging topic of ocean acidification. NOAA