National Coral Reef Monitoring Program: Puerto Rico Infographic

The Socioeconomic Component of the National Coral Reef Monitoring Plan (NCRMP) gathers and monitors a collection of socioeconomic variables with the overall goal of tracking relevant information regarding each jurisdiction's population, social and economic structure, the impacts of society on coral reefs, and the impacts of coral management on communities.

Why Care about Coral Reefs?

Coral reef habitat off the coast of Puerto RicoCoral reef habitat off the coast of Puerto Rico [Photo Credit: NOAA]

Coral reefs provide many benefits to communities, regions, nations, and the world at large. They protect many marine species, and provide a significant source of protein to people all over the world, in addition to producing natural compounds that scientists have used to develop treatments for illness and disease. Coral reefs also act as natural barriers to coastal storms and aid in the protection of our coasts and coastal communities, as well as economically supporting local and global communities. Coral reefs and their protected beaches provide an attractive setting for travelers and locals, alike, and between the tourism industry and fisheries, coral reefs generate billions of dollars and millions of jobs in more than 100 countries around the world.

Why Care about Coral Reef Communities?

Staghorn corals off the coast of Puerto RicoStaghorn corals off the coast of Puerto Rico [Photo credit: NOAA]

People are very much a part of coral reef ecosystems, and their connections can have lasting impacts. Because of this, NCRMP gathers data from coral reef communities about:

  • Public knowledge, attitudes, and perceptions about coral reefs
  • Participation in coral reef activities, such as fishing
  • Economic and cultural value of coral reefs
  • Community well-being
  • Population changes and the distribution of people in coral reef locations

Entrance to San Juan Harbor, Puerto Rico Entrance to San Juan Harbor, Puerto Rico [Photo credit: NOAA]

Researchers collect data through periodic surveys that include standardized questions, as well as questions specific to local management needs. Data from sources such as the U.S. Census Bureau and local government agencies supplement these results. In addition to using this information for conservation and restoration efforts, scientists and communities use these data to measure social and economic conditions and document how people use and perceive coral reef resources.

Puerto Rico Survey

Connections between Coral Reefs and Coastal Communities – Puerto Rico Connections between Coral Reefs and Coastal Communities - Puerto Rico

Results of the 2014-2015 NCRMP socioeconomic monitoring of Puerto Rico are shown here in this infographic. They highlight Puerto Ricans’ perceptions, values, and level of support for Puerto Rican coral reef management alternatives

Using a stratified random sampling approach, this survey targeted individuals over the age of 18 in the following nine regions of Puerto Rico that encompass multiple municipalities: Ponce, Aguadilla, Caguas, Mayaguez, Fajardo, Guayama, Arecibo, Bayamon, and San Juan. Surveys were conducted by telephone, using the random digit dial survey method, and were available in English or Spanish. Surveying resulted in 2,496 completed interviews. Residents were sampled proportionate to the total population in each region. As a result, the results are representative of Puerto Rico.

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