National Coral Reef Monitoring Program:
Tracking Biological Trends

Palmyra Atoll Reef Scene Divers begin by laying out transect lines at predetermined locations to guide the coral reef surveys.

Fishing pressures, climate change, and pollution are just some of the many stressors on marine life within coral reef ecosystems. Researchers identified the following biological indicators to assess the condition of coral reefs and associated reef fish communities.

  • Coral reefs – coral diversity, distribution, abundance, colony size, and condition
  • Reef fish – reef-related fish diversity, distribution, abundance, and size
  • Habitats – composition, complexity, and key species

Data are collected through diving surveys of shallow-water (0-30 meters) areas. Scientists and coastal managers then use these data to evaluate coral reef and fish population management strategies, document endangered or invasive marine species, and assist with local monitoring efforts.

Outreach Products

Atlantic Biological Sampling Protocols

Technical and Peer Reviewed Publications

Complete list of publications produced by the NCRMP Biological Monitoring Team.


Data Collections

Supporting Documentation (Please note this encompasses only a subset of documentation for the submitted data. Contact the data providers with further questions.)

Flower Garden Banks
Puerto Rico
U.S. Virgin Islands
American Samoa
Guam and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands
Hawaii and the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands
Pacific Remote Island Areas

For more information, contact: