National Coral Reef Monitoring Program: U.S. Virgin Islands 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?

Reef scene off the coast of St. Croix, USVIReef scene off the coast of St. Croix, USVI [Photo credit: NOAA CCMA Biogeography Branch]

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?

Nassau grouper in coral reef habitat off the coast of St. John, USVINassau grouper in coral reef habitat off the coast of St. John, USVI [Photo credit: NOAA CCMA Biogeography Branch]

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

Coral habitat off the coast of St. Croix, USVICoral habitat off the coast of St. Croix, USVI [Photo credit: NOAA CCMA Biogeography Branch]

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.

U.S. Virgin Islands Survey

Connections between Coral Reefs and Coastal Communities – United States Virgin Islands Connections between Coral Reefs and Coastal Communities - U.S. Virgin Islands

Results of the 2017 NCRMP socioeconomic monitoring of U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI) are shown here in this infographic. They highlight residents’ perceptions, values, and level of support for USVI coral reef management alternatives.

Using a stratified random sampling approach, this survey targeted USVI residents over the age of 18. Surveys were conducted through the telephone random digit dial survey method, as well as through the “face-to-face” interview method. Residents were sampled proportionate to the total population of each island: St. Thomas, St. John, and St. Croix. A total of 1,188 surveys were conducted in English and Spanish (based on respondent preference). The results are statistically representative of the population of USVI.

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