Bernardo Vargas-Angel and Brett D. Schumacher
Baseline Surveys for Coral Reef Community Structure and Demographics in Vatia Bay and Faga'alu Bay, American Samoa
US DOC; NOAA; NOS; Office for Coastal Management
Type Period Note:
PIFSC Special Publication SP-18-002
"This report describes the results of baseline assessment surveys for coral reef benthic structure, coral community demographics, and health condition conducted in Vatia Bay and Fagaalu Bay, American Samoa, by the Coral Reef Ecosystem Program (CREP) of NOAAs Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center (PIFSC), from 23 October to 15 November 2015. The work described was funded by the NOAA Coral Reef Conservation Program (CRCP) through two internal projects entitled: Comprehensive Baseline Assessment and Pilot test of Outcome Performance Measures in Fagaalu Bay, American Samoa, awarded to Suzie Holst (NOAA National Ocean Service) and Eutrophication Impacts on Coral Ecosystem Health in Vatia, American Samoa, awarded to David Whitall (NOAA National Center for Coastal and Ocean Science). These projects were conceptualized and developed by the respective principal investigators and the authors of this report in consultation with the local marine resource management agencies; including the American Samoa Department of Marine and Wildlife Resources (DMWR) and the American Samoa Coral Reef Advisory Group (CRAG), to fulfill critical information gaps while complementing ongoing local monitoring and management programs and meeting CRCP Jurisdictional and National Objectives. One of the specific goals of both projects was the establishment of a comprehensive baseline for benthic composition and coral demographics to determine the efficacy of management actions aimed at reducing anthropogenic impacts to the adjacent coral reef communities in each of the two management priority areas in American Samoa; i.e., Faga'alu Bay, a U.S. Coral Reef Task Force (USCRTF) watershed priority site; and Vatia Bay, a Territorial and CRCP priority watershed. Finally, to quantify the effectiveness of future management interventions, additional long-term monitoring of coral community structure and demographics will be needed for comparison with the baselines presented here. The overall effort required to evaluate the effectiveness of the interventions is significant and requires close coordination between local and federal efforts."
FY 2018; CRCP Project ID: 917; Project Title: Comprehensive baseline assessment and pilot test of outcome performance measures in Faga'alu Bay, American Samoa; Principal Investigator: Susie Holst