Site Information

The Coral Reef Information System Web site (CoRIS) is designed to provide the public with a single point of access for coral reef data and information derived from many NOAA programs and projects, especially those that are part of NOAA's activities on the National Coral Reef Task Force and NOAA's implementation of the National Action Plan to Conserve Coral Reefs. This page provides basic editorial and technical information on the CoRIS Web site.

Purpose and Principles
Editorial Policy
Technical Information

Purpose and Organization

The site is organized into four sections. The central section is Data & Publications. Here, coral reef data and publications can be accessed by a textual search through metadata records, and a spatial search using an application of the ESRI Geoportal Server. The Data & Publications presents a series of collections, publications, Web sites and organizations that focus on NOAA materials and activities. In addition, it provides selected materials external to NOAA. The Regional Data Portal section provides access to region-specific data in a clear, concise, and integrated way. The CRCP Activities section briefly describes NOAA's efforts thus far to fulfill the goals of the National Action Plan to Conserve Coral Reefs, which was issued by the U.S. Coral Reef Task Force in March 2000. Finally, the Glossary of Acronyms and Terminology provides definitions for thousands of terms associated with coral reef science and conservation.


Every attempt has been made to make this site compliant with Section 508 of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Additionally, we have provided a link to a detailed Site Index on every page. This index provides a direct link to every page in the site for simple text navigation

Please notify us of any specific accessibility problems that you encounter, or any suggestions you might have on how we could improve the site's access. Please email these comments and suggestions to: CoRIS Webmaster

Editorial Policy

This site is managed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce. As a federal government site, all federal editorial policies apply, such as those on privacy, copyright, commercial promotion, etc.

Materials posted on this site are reviewed by professional staff prior to publishing. Final decisions are made by the site's editorial board. All material on the site, including the multimedia gallery, resides in the public domain and can be freely distributed.

The CoRIS team is responsible for all text, images, and search engines on this site. Data providers are responsible for the quality of the data and information in the Discover NOAA’s Data section. Data providers are identified in the metadata records.

Technical Information

Browsers. This site is designed to be completely compatible with Netscape Navigator (v4.0 and above, recommended) or Microsoft Internet Explorer (v5.0 and above, recommended). However, other browsers can be used. The ArcIMS spatial search engine requires Netscape Navigator 4.79 and above for Apple Macintosh computers.

Access Time. Some pages on this site contain numerous images. The images provide necessary visual supplements for the text (e.g., images of coral reef diseases) and enhance the visual appeal of the page. All images have been provided with captions to allow those users who cannot load images immediately to select specific images for viewing. Pages have been developed to load text first.

Some pages in the site are quite long, such as the essays in About Coral Reefs. These pages are long to provide easy printing for off-line reading.

Contributors for Descriptive Sections

Organization of Pages and Exhibits. Pages are organized in a simple linear manner for easy reading and printing. Supplemental material or exhibits (tables, figures, and supplementary text) are titled to allow reference to them from different pages.

Links. Some links are provided to other Web sites as reference or supplemental material. External sites accessed by such links will appear in a separate window.

From time to time, external links may no longer be operable, i.e. the links are “broken”. When discovered, CoRIS staff will attempt to fix these links. However, if that is not possible, the URL address of some broken links may still contain useful information.

Fonts and Type Sizes. Verdana is the default font for this site; 10 point is the default size. All browsers allow users to select specific fonts and type sizes for display. Some users select large type sizes for ease of reading, or specific fonts for personal tastes. The text and layout should not be adversely affected by a user's selection of alternative fonts and type sizes.

Printing Pages. This site has been designed to ensure simple printing. We recommend printing in portrait format at a scale of 85 to 100 percent.

Downloadable Documents. A number of documents are available on this site as downloadable files in Portable Document Format (pdf). These files can be viewed on microcomputers equipped with recent versions of Adobe Acrobat Reader. Adobe Acrobat Reader can be downloaded for free from the site.

Navigation. Navigation through the site is straightforward. There are three levels of hierarchy, most of which are always visible to the user. The first level is on the top of the page under the banner. The second level is on the right side. The third level of navigation is within the page and is provided at the top of the page.

Index and Search This Site. These two pages appear on every page and provide additional access assistance. The Table of Contents is a complete listing of every page on the site. Search This Site is a standard word/phrase search through all text and documents (pdf) on the site's pages.

Advanced Features (Audio, Video, and Animations). The site includes two advanced features—the ArcIMS spatial search engine, and the textual search engine. The interfaces for both of these engines use standard html and javascript.

For Further Technical Information. For questions or comments about the technical aspects of this site, e-mail: