This work builds on prior assessment and monitoring surveys of the benthic reef communities conducted in Faga’alu and Vatia bays to address national and jurisdictional goals to reduce the impacts of land-based sources of pollution in coral reef ecosystems, After the Erosion and Sediment Control Plan was implemented at Samoa Maritime quarry to reduce sedimentation into the Faga’alu reef, the first post-mitigation surveys for coral demographic monitoring in Faga’alu Bay (U.S. Task Force watershed priority site) were conducted in 2015. Additional surveys conducted that same year in Vatia Bay (Territorial and CRCP priority watershed) provided the first comprehensive assessment of reef status to address mounting Jurisdictional concerns about eutrophication and sediment runoff impacts. To quantify the effectiveness of management interventions, periodic long-term monitoring of coral community structure and demographics are needed for comparison with established baselines. The overall effort required to evaluate the effectiveness of management strategies is significant and requires close coordination between local and federal efforts. The objectives of this project are to: 1) Conduct surveys for coral reef community structure and demographics at Faga’alu and Vatia Bay; 2) Build capacity to conduct coral reef monitoring surveys within local monitoring agencies and train in current reef sampling methods; 3) Conduct post-survey data management, collation, and QC; and 4) Report of status and trends from 2012 baselines through 2015 and 2019 surveys; include discussion on considerations for future management.
The results of this project will help evaluate the efficacy of management interventions to reduce land-based sources of pollution in Faga’alu Bay and Vatia Bay, American Samoa. There will also be several opportunities to build local capacity in the use of benthic monitoring protocols.
Land-based Sources of Pollution (LBSP)