These are a few key documents that relay CRCP program and policy information, descriptions of the state of corals, and strategies for preserving coral ecosystems. They are listed here for easy access. All documents are also accessible through the CoRIS Data & Publications search function.
Each entry includes a title, a link to the document, and a brief description of the publication. The listed urls either link directly to a download of the document (indicated by parentheses with 'pdf' and the file's size immediately following the url), or to a web page with background information on the document and access to the full document and/or chapters of the document for download.
Abstract : The U.S. Coral Reef Task Force (USCRTF) was established in 1998 by Presidential Executive Order #13089 to lead U.S. efforts to preserve and protect coral reef ecosystems. Co-chaired by the Department of Commerce and the Department of the Interior, the USCRTF includes leaders of 12 federal agencies, seven U.S. states and territories, and three freely associated states.
Abstract : In March of 2000, the USCRTF adopted The National Action Plan to Conserve Coral Reefs (NAP), the first U.S. plan to comprehensively address the most pressing threats to coral reefs.
Abstract : In December of 2000, the Coral Reef Conservation Act (CRCA) formally established NOAA's Coral Reef Conservation Program and laid out a number of mandates for NOAA aimed at the preservation, sustainability and restoration of U.S. coral reef ecosystems.
Abstract : The Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act is the primary law governing marine fisheries management in U.S. federal waters. The Act was first enacted in 1976 and amended in 1996 and 2006. Section 408 of the Magnuson-Stevens Reauthorization Act of 2006 establishes the Deep-sea Coral Research and Technology Program.
Abstract: This document provides NOAA’s revised Grant Program Implementation Guidelines for the Coral Reef Conservation Program (CRCP) under the Coral Reef Conservation Act of 2000.
Abstract : On September 20, 2004, the U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy completed a thorough and expansive report, An Ocean Blueprint for the 21st Century. On December 17, 2004, President Bush submitted to Congress his formal response, the U.S. Ocean Action Plan. Pages 20-21 of the report focus specifically on the promotion of coral reef and deep sea coral conservation and education.
Abstract : The new NOAA Coral Reef Conservation Program Strategic Plan will guide the agency's future coral reef research and conservation efforts. It outlines refined strategies to increase resilience to climate change, improve fisheries' sustainability and reduce land-based sources of pollution, while adding a new focus of work—restore viable coral populations. Addressing the top three recognized threats to coral reefs and supporting coral reef restoration are now the four "pillars" of the NOAA Coral Reef Conservation Program.
Abstract : The Coral Reef Conservation Program (CRCP) 2016 — 2021 Social Science Strategy builds on the previous (2010-2015) strategy. The new strategy document reviews recent outcomes from the previous social science work plan and then provides recommendations to CRCP in order to address emerging trends, social science and human dimensions needs.
Abstract : The Climate Change Strategy and Implementation Plan refines and builds upon the Coral Reef Conservation Program Goals and Objectives 2010-2015 to direct Program investments in reducing the impacts of climate change and ocean acidification to coral reef ecosystems. The focus of the Coral Program is to support effective ecosystem-based management and adaptation with a foundation of sound science to understand the impacts of climate change and ocean acidification to coral reef ecosystems.
Abstract : The purpose of the CRCP Fishing Impacts Implementation Plan is to refine the Coral Reef Conservation Program’s (CRCP’s) approach to achieving its National Goals and Objectives related to fishing impacts and direct future CRCP investments towards reducing this threat in U.S. coral reef ecosystems over the next five years.
Abstract : The CRCP Land-Based Sources of Pollution Implementation Plan outlines a plan for implementing the Coral Program’s National Objectives for addressing land based sources of pollution (LBSP) and supporting identified local priorities related to this threat.The implementation plan identifies the particular expertise, tools, and support the Coral Program can provide to assure our partner jurisdictions have the capacity to successfully achieve management goals to reduce the impacts of LBSP to coral reef ecosystems and to effectively manage watersheds.
Abstract : NOAA' Coral Reef Conservation Program is supporting a National Coral Reef Monitoring Plan (NCRMP) for biological, physical, and socioeconomic monitoring throughout the U.S. Pacific, Atlantic, and Caribbean coral reef areas. This publication defines the national monitoring effort, which will provide a consistent flow of information about the status and trends of environmental conditions, living reef resources, and the people and processes that interact with coral reef ecosystems. Results will be reported through a periodic national‐level status and trends report.
Abstract : This series of documents were developed to articulate a set of strategic coral reef management priorities developed in consensus by the coral reef managers in the seven US coral reef jurisdictions. NOAA will use these documents in conjunction with its 2010.2015 Coral Reef Conservation Program National Goals and Objectives to direct its investment in each jurisdiction through grants, cooperative agreements and internal funding.
Abstract : This project is a follow-up to the Coral Reef Conservation Program's Management Priority Setting process finished in 2010. Using the management priorities identified by each jurisdiction as a framework, the capacity assessments are designed to identify capacity gaps in light of that jurisdiction's priority goals and objectives, and provide recommendations to fill those gaps. The assessment is geared toward understanding capacity gaps in local agencies with the responsibility to manage coral reefs, but the recommendations are meant to engage the larger conservation communities in the jurisdictions, other federal partners in the Coral Reef Task Force, and NGOs.
Abstract : An important component of NOAA's Coral Program efforts to protect coral reef ecosystems from land based sources of pollution (LBSP) has been the development of watershed management plans (WMPs) and conservation action plans. WMPs and CAPs outline a comprehensive set of actions and an overall management strategy for improving and protecting each jurisdiction's priority watershed sites from nonpoint and point sources of pollution.
Abstract : The CRCP Roadmap for the Future called for the development of a suite of performance measures and evaluation criteria to track progress toward addressing three key threats to coral reef ecosystems . impacts of climate change, fishing, and land-base sources of pollution. Based on the NOAA Coral Reef Conservation Program Goals and Objectives 2010-2015, specific performance measures were developed to track on-the-ground outcomes. In May 2010, the new CRCP Performance Measures were approved by the Senior Management Council and in May 2011 this manual was completed to assist CRCP Project Managers ensure the results of their work contribute to the new measures and that they understand the process to report the results of their work.
The following documents are part of NOAA's Coral Reef Conservation Program Technical Memorandum (Tech Memo) Series. This series was begun in 2007. They are scientific gray literature.
Abstract : This report outlines human dimensions information relevant to coral reef resources in the state of Hawai'i. The study findings were derived from a combination of data gathered through household surveys conducted in November of 2014 and additional secondary sources of socioeconomic information for the region. Survey results show that Hawai'i residents participate in swimming and beach recreation most frequently. The study also revealed that the majority of Hawai'i residents support a range of potential marine management policies and regulations, and are for the most part familiar with the various threats faced by coral reefs (such as hurricanes, pollution, and coastal development).
Abstract : Coral reef resilience is the capacity of a reef to resist or recover from degradation and maintain provision of ecosystem goods and services. Resilience assessments involve measuring or assessing resilience indicators (e.g., coral disease, coral recruitment and herbivorous fish biomass) and producing an aggregate score that expresses resilience potential for all sites as relative to the site with the highest (assessed) resilience potential. Across the shallow reef sites of Guam, higher resilience potential correlated most strongly with high coral cover and high coral recruitment and low resilience potential sites were negatively correlated with these same two indicators. Across the deep reef sites of Guam, higher resilience potential correlated most strongly with high coral recruitment, low macroalgae, high herbivore biomass and high coral cover.
Abstract : This report outlines human dimensions information relevant to coral reef resources in Puerto Rico. In 2014, the Puerto Rican government designated nine socioeconomic regions: Aguadilla, Arecibo, Bayamon, Caguas, Carolina, Humacao, Mayaguez, Ponce, and San Juan (Nieves 2014). The survey results contained within this document are representative of each of the regions. The findings were derived from a combination of data gathered through household surveys conducted from December 2014 to February 2015, and additional secondary sources of socioeconomic information for the region.
Abstract : The Adaptation Design Tool can be used to incorporate climate change adaptation into management plans using existing planned actions as a starting point, and also to guide development of additional climate-smart strategies as needed. The Adaptation Design Tool includes worksheets, instructions, and examples as well as information on expanded considerations, resources and lessons learned to support managers in using the tool. Fillable versions of the worksheets are available for download.
Abstract : This report presents results from resilience and bleaching surveys conducted at two different depths along priority areas of South Kohala and North Kona in October of 2015. These surveys were conducted as a collaborative effort with the Hawaii Division of Aquatic Resources (DAR), The Nature Conservancy, SymbioSeas, NOAA Coral Reef Ecosystem Program, and community organizations.
Abstract : This report outlines human dimensions information relevant to coral reef resources in South Florida. The South Florida region is defined as the five counties adjacent to the Florida Coral Reef Tract: Martin, Palm Beach, Broward, Miami-Dade, and Monroe Counties. The findings here are derived from a combination of data gathered through household surveys conducted from January to July of 2014, and additional secondary sources of socioeconomic information for the region.
Abstract : This technical memorandum presents the findings from the initial 2014 American Samoa NCRMP (National Coral Reef Monitoring Program) socioeconomic data collection. The report presents preliminary social indicators and provides examples of how they can be analyzed over the long term. It should be noted that this report presents information that, in many instances, is being collected for the first time. In all instances, the information represents baseline socioeconomic data for the NCRMP. Some of the variables presented in this report identify gaps in information, and we provide suggestions on how these can be addressed in the future. The main objective is to lay the groundwork for combining and comparing socioeconomic variables with a goal of developing meaningful indicators that can be used to examine trends in human dimensions of coral reef resources and better understand human influences on effective coral reef conservation.
Abstract : The primary purpose of this document is to provide local and federal partners with baseline information, survey methods, and recommended actions to support continued monitoring efforts to evaluate the effectiveness of management actions taken at the Samoa Maritime quarry in Faga'alu, American Samoa to reduce land-based sources of pollution inputs, specifically excess sedimentation, to the coral reefs in Faga'alu Bay. This document summarizes work completed between 2012 and 2014 to gather baseline data and information before management interventions such as drainage systems, alternative ground cover, and retention ponds were installed at the quarry. To quantify effectiveness of these interventions, additional long-term monitoring of sediment loads in Faga'alu Stream and coral community structure will be needed for comparison with the baselines presented here.
Abstract : Coral reef managers face the challenge of reducing vulnerability to the effects of climate change by reducing other sources of stress to support the resilience of reef systems. Resiliencebased management (RBM) has been developed to overcome the challenges of reducing vulnerability in this era of rapid change. RBM of coral reefs can include assessing spatial variation in resilience potential and then targeting and tailoring appropriate actions, which is the focus of the project reported on here"--Project background. [doi:10.7289/V5H41PFM (http://dx.doi.org/10.7289/V5H41PFM)] (NOAA Technical Memorandum CRCP 22)
Abstract : Acropora palmata was listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act in May 2006 (71 FR 26852). In 2012, the National Marine Fisheries Service proposed the reclassification of A. palmate (77 FR 73219) as endangered, but determined in 2014, that they would remain listed as threatened under the ESA (79 FR 53852). This report contains the proceedings of the Coral Disease Health Consortium (CDHC) Workshop held at St. Matthew's University, Grand Cayman, BWI on April 16-18, 2011. The goal of this workshop was to provide methods that can assist coral reef managers, particularly those with limited resources, to assess and manage the health of their respective coral populations with a focus on A. palmata as a sentinel species. Each participant played a vital role in developing the methodology supporting this guidance document; their collective expertise included epidemiology, veterinary medicine, coral physiology, watershed characterization and resource management. The workshop was not a forum for presentations or discussion of policy issues. (NOAA Technical Memorandum CRCP 21)
Abstract : The Coral Reef Resilience Research and Management - Past, Present and Future! Workshop was held November 4-6, 2014 in Honolulu, Hawaii and was attended by scientists and managers from management agencies, universities, and conservation organizations. Facilitated discussions focused on five themes that were collaboratively set with participants prior to the workshop to cover both existing research funded by the CRCP and new research opportunities and management needs. The themes were: Mapping Environmental Disturbance/Exposure; Field Based Resilience Assessments (includes Herbivorous Fish); Connectivity; Land-based Sources of Pollution; and Managers Use of Resilience Assessments and Reporting. A sixth crosscutting theme, Training and Capacity Building, was also discussed during each of the theme sessions and during a concluding session. Priority next steps for a ‘Social-Ecological Resilience’ theme were identified for a future workshop. (NOAA Technical Memorandum CRCP 20)
Abstract : Techniques and procedures are presented to assist researchers in developing small experimental systems for coral and attempts to identify possible confounding factors to consider when setting up laboratory experiments with coral. The system features presented here are intended for relatively simple experiments when funding, space, and time (i.e., experimental duration from days to one or two months) are limiting. While focused on scleractinian coral, often referred to as stony or hard coral, the following information can be applicable to studies involving other cnidarian model organisms, such as anemones (Order Actiniaria) or soft coral (Order Alcyonacea). (NOAA Technical Memorandum CRCP 18)
Abstract :The NOAA Coral Reef Conservation Program (CRCP) Ocean Acidification Science Plan is intended to guide NOAA funded coral reef ecosystem OA research for 2012-2016, including research conducted through extramural partners, grants and contracts. The plan covers all shallow coral reef ecosystems under the jurisdiction of the United States (U.S.) and Pacific Freely Associated States (PFAS), and outlines national research needed to address the many management challenges for reducing threats, reversing declines and promoting the resilience of coral reef ecosystems. (NOAA Technical Memorandum CRCP 18)
Abstract :Porphyrin metabolic disruption from exposure to xenobiotic contaminants such as heavy metals, dioxins, and aromatic hydrocarbons can elicit overproduction of porphyrins. Measurement of porphyrin levels, when used in conjunction with other diagnostic assays, can help elucidate an organism.s physiological condition and provide evidence for exposure to certain toxicants. A sensitive microplate fluorometric assay has been optimized for detecting total porphyrin levels in detergent solubilized protein extracts from symbiotic, dinoflagellatecontaining cnidarian tissues. The denaturing buffer used in this modified assay contains a number of potentially interfering components (e.g., sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS), dithiothreitol (DTT), protease inhibitors, and chlorophyll from the symbiotic zooxanthellae), which required examination and validation. Examination of buffer components were validated for use in this porphyrin assay; while the use of a specific spectrofluorometric filter (excitation 400 +/- 15 nm; emission 600 +/- 20 nm) minimized chlorophyll interference. The detection limit for this assay is 10 fmol of total porphyrin per ug of total soluble protein and linearity is maintained up to 5000 fmol. The ability to measure total porphyrins in a SDS protein extract now allows a single extract to be used in multiple assays. This is an advantage over classical methods, particularly when tissue samples are limiting, as is often the case with coral due to availability and collection permit restrictions. (NOAA Technical Memorandum CRCP 17)
Abstract :This report documents results of a study commissioned by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to improve methods for measuring the economic values that the U.S. public places on the protection and restoration of coral reef ecosystems. The work focused on the coral reefs of Hawaii. These reefs are obviously of economic importance to both the state and the nation, yet there has been less economic research focused on the reefs of Hawaii compared to other parts of the United States, particularly Florida, in the past. Several human activities impinge on Hawaii.s coral reefs. In order to gain insights into the public's values for coral reef protection and restoration, the study focused on impacts from fishing and damage to reefs from ship accidents. (NOAA Technical Memorandum CRCP 16)
Abstract :Culture-independent methods for studying the microbial community of the coral surface mucopolysaccaride layer (SML) increasingly have been used to evaluate the health of the animal host. After the initial collection and preservation of the sample, the duration of the sample voyage to a recipient laboratory is often another critical part of the sampling process, as unanticipated delays may exceed the length of time a dry shipper can remain cold, or mishandling of the shipper can cause it to exhaust prematurely. In remote areas, service by international shipping companies may be non-existent, which requires the use of an alternative preservation medium. Other methods for preserving environmental samples for microbial DNA analysis include drying on various matrices (DNA cards, swabs), or placing samples in liquid preservatives (e.g., chloroform/phenol/isoamyl alcohol, TRIzol reagent, ethanol). These methodologies eliminate the need for cold storage, however, they add expense and permitting requirements for hazardous liquid components, and the retrieval of intact microbial DNA often can be inconsistent. An evaluation of saline-saturated DMSO-EDTA (SSDE) as an ambient temperature storage medium for coral mucus samples are presented here. (NOAA Technical Memorandum CRCP 15)
Abstract :Colonies of the scleractinian coral Acropora palmata, listed as threatened under the US Endangered Species Act in 2006, have been monitored in Hawksnest Bay, within Virgin Islands National Park, St. John, from 2004 through 2010 by scientists with the US Geological Survey, National Park Service, and the University of the Virgin Islands. The focus has been on documenting the prevalence of disease, including white band, white pox (also called patchy necrosis and white patches), and unidentified diseases. In an effort to learn more about the pathologies that might be involved with the diseases that were observed, samples were collected from apparently healthy and diseased colonies in July 2009 for analysis. This paper reports the methodologies used to evaluate the microbial community associated with coral mucus, and the changes those communities may undergo in response to disease. The methods are non-invasive, an advantage which eliminates the need to remove coral sections for study, thus preserving our coral reef sanctuaries. (NOAA Technical Memorandum CRCP 14)
Abstract :The family Coralliidae, consisting of the genera Corallium and Paracorallium, commonly known as red and pink corals, contains the most valuable and rarest taxa of precious corals in commerce. Seven species in this family have been intensively fished for use in jewelry, amulets, art objects, and homeopathic medicines. The International Workshop on Red Coral Science, Management, and Trade: Lessons from the Mediterranean was convened in September 2009 in Naples, Italy. It provided an opportunity to discuss the best available science on the natural history of Mediterranean red coral (Corallium rubrum L.) as well as how it is managed throughout the region and utilized around the world. The workshop involved presentations on the biology, taxonomy and status of populations, fisheries, existing management approaches, trade and other and threats, uses of Corallium, and major markets. This information, plus the working group tasks and reports, are included in Proceedings of the International Workshop on Red Coral Science, Management, and Trade: Lessons from the Mediterranean. (NOAA Technical Memorandum CRCP 13)
Abstract :In 2003, NOAA and the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS) joined forces with The Nature Conservancy (TNC) and the Palau Government to produce a heat stress model for use in protected areas network (PAN) planning for Palau's coral reef ecosystems and to identify factors that might confer resilience to climate change. The work described in this Technical Report represents an important new tool for Marine Protected Area (MPA) design. Physical variables to build resilience against climate change and, in particular, coral bleaching are incorporated into MPA design. This project demonstrated that a simplistic physical model can be used to improve MPA planning to incorporate resilience against future coral bleaching events. Appendix 1 presents a comprehensive overview of the data collected and allows a brief view of some of the time series collected. These time series are of sufficient length to undertake a tidal current analysis for hind-casting or prediction. Appendices 2 and 3 are publications that came out of the modelling effort in Palau. (NOAA Technical Memorandum CRCP 12)
Abstract :The Strategic Plan identifies goals, objectives, and approaches to guide NOAA.s research, management, and international cooperation activities on deep-sea coral and sponge ecosystems for fiscal years 2010 through 2019. The primary goal of this Strategic Plan is to improve the understanding, conservation, and management of deep-sea coral and sponge ecosystems. The Strategic Plan addresses the requirements of the Deep Sea Coral Research and Technology Program, but is broader in scope and addresses all NOAA.s relevant mandates and programs. (NOAA Technical Memorandum CRCP 11)
Abstract :The NOAA Coral Reef Conservation Program (CRCP) conducted two regional workshops in Hawaii (2008) and Puerto Rico (2009) to address its Coral Reef Ecosystem Integrated Observing System (CREIOS). NOAA scientists with technical expertise in mapping and monitoring coral reef ecosystems met with resource managers and local scientists from all U.S. coral reef jurisdictions, as well as representatives from Federal agencies and Fishery Management Councils. The facilitated workshops were successful in eliciting priority information needs from managers, and highlighting important issues of concern. This document presents a summary of the discussions held during both workshops, major outcomes, and next steps. (NOAA Technical Memorandum CRCP 9)
Abstract :In March of 2009, a workshop was convened in Hong Kong to discuss the state of knowledge regarding the biology, population status, trade, and management of precious corals in the family Coralliidae and to examine issues surrounding the implementation of a potential CITES Appendix-II listing. This report includes proceedings from the workshop as well as working group tasks and reports. (NOAA Technical Memorandum CRCP 8)
Abstract :Recognizing the need for a strategic plan of action to combat a health crisis for Pacific Reefs, the Coral Disease and Health Consortium (CDHC) convened a workshop to help organize and coordinate a scientific effort focused specifically on coral health issues in the Pacific. This report documents the proceedings of the workshop. (NOAA Technical Memorandum CRCP 7)
Abstract :This publication is intended to serve as an operational guide to coordinate effective, informative responses by outbreak response teams to unusual incidents of coral disease or mortality. It was developed as an aid to provide context and consistency for outbreak investigations and to help train coral disease outbreak response teams so that coordinated response operations can be executed. (NOAA Technical Memorandum CRCP 6)
Abstract :This report provides an overview of the progress that states, territories, federal agencies, and nongovernmental partners made from 2002-2006 in developing and implementing Local Action Strategies (LAS) to reduce threats to the Nation's coral reef ecosystems. (NOAA Technical Memorandum CRCP 5)
Abstract :This workshop report contains a description of a study set of histology slides used in reaching consensus histopathological descriptions for selected coral lesions representing 15 types of field diagnosis, 9 presumed disease conditions, and 8 scleractinian and 1 gorgonian species. Supportive information was developed during the group discussions and is provided in the report. (NOAA Technical Memorandum CRCP 4)
Abstract : Called for in the President's Ocean Action Plan, this peer-reviewed report contains an up-to-date assessment of deep coral ecosystems in U.S. waters. including: the biology of deep corals and their associated species, their spatial distribution, the stressors that may threaten their survival, current management measures, and regional priorities for future research. (NOAA Technical Memorandum CRCP 3)
Abstract : This report is the first-ever inventory and assessment of U.S. marine protected areas (MPAs) managed by State and Territory governments, as called for by the National Action Plan of the U.S. Coral Reef Task Force. The report utilizes data collected in the National Marine Managed Inventory as well as the expertise of NOAA and state and territory co-authors to explore the management status of 207 MPAs located across the seven U.S. jurisdictions containing coral reefs. (NOAA Technical Memorandum CRCP 2)
Abstract : The NOAA Coral Reef Ecosystem Research Plan is NOAA's first agency-wide coral reef ecosystem research plan. Covering all coral reef ecosystems under the jurisdiction of the U.S. and Pacific Freely Associated States, the plan provides a national perspective on the research needed to address the range of stresses affecting the health of coral reef ecosystems, summarizes the management and other issues that will drive research at the regional level, and focuses on the use of research to guide effective implementation of ecosystem-based management strategies. (NOAA Technical Memorandum CRCP 1)
The following documents are part of NOAA's Coral Reef: Conservation Program Technical Report (Tech Report) Series. This series was begun in 2010. They are scientific gray literature.
Abstract : Coral reefs throughout the world are subjected to a number of anthropogenic stressors. Some of the most pervasive of these are a result of climate change. Increasing sea surface temperature of the world.s oceans is resulting in unprecedented, mass coral bleaching events wherein coral polyps expel their symbiotic zooxanthellae. Research also suggests these disturbances make coral reefs more susceptible to disease. Occurrences of mass bleaching and disease outbreaks prompted the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to create Coral Reef Watch, a program that monitors many of the indicators of these events using satellites. Coral Reef Watch provides coral reef managers with near-realtime alerts of bleaching conditions as they develop. For Coral Reef Watch to adequately monitor the environmental conditions of coral reefs throughout the world, it is imperative that collaborations exist between coral reef ecosystem biologists, managers and remote sensing scientists. This technical reportdocuments a workshop held in 2010 in which experts from around the worldconvened to share information and brainstorm about threats to coral reefecosystems as a result of climate change. In addition, these experts discussedadditional risks to coral reefs and potential remote sensing tools that couldbe developed in order to monitor the threats. This technical report providessubstantive information on experts. current understandings of coral reefbiology, best management practices for coral reef ecosystem management, andtechnical considerations for using environmental remote sensing to aid inthese research and managerial pursuits. (NOAA Technical Report CRCP 1)