Management Guide


Management GuideOct. 11, 2006 - Innovative strategies to conserve the world's coral reefs are included in a new guide released today by NOAA, the Australian Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority and The World Conservation Union. "A Reef Manager's Guide to Coral Bleaching" will provide coral reef managers with the latest scientific information on the causes of coral bleaching and new management strategies for responding to this significant threat to coral reef ecosystems.

Produced by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the Australian Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA), and the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the Reef Manager's Guide includes contributions from over 50 experts in coral bleaching and coral reef management from 30 organizations.

Featured Database


NOAA image of Blackbar Soldier fish in La Parguera, Puerto Rico, which was taken from the NOAA Coral Reef Ecosystem Database.The NOAA Center for Coastal Monitoring and Assessment provides public access to digital photographs from six years of coral reef field studies. The online Coral Reef Ecosystem Database, developed and managed by the NOAA National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science, provides access to images of coral reef species and habitats, which were taken during studies in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Coral Reefs

A Blue Starfish (Linckia sp.) resting on hard coral. Location: Lighthouse Bommie, Great Barrier Reef, Australia. Date: 15 August 2004. Photographer: Richard Ling
Copyright (c) 2004 Richard Ling

The National Biological Information Infrastructure was created to allow vast quantities of biological information housed in various databases from many agencies and departments to be linked together for quick and easy access to information. The coral reef portal integrates data sets, maps, publications, fact sheets, images, and other information from organizations like the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the U.S. Coral Reef Task Force (USCRTF), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). The NBII coral reef project makes it easy to find and integrate biological information and current coral research. Use the links to your left to navigate the variety of information available on the World Wide Web about corals and coral reef communities.

NOAA's Coral Reef Ecosystem Research Plan for Fiscal Years 2007 to 2011

NOAA Coral Reef Ecosystem Research Plan - click text link to access the full report (pdf, 6.4MB)Coral reef ecosystems are highly valued as biological, ecological, cultural, and economic resources.  In the past few decades, competing demands on coral reef ecosystems and increasing threats from both natural and anthropogenic stressors have contributed to a significant decline in coral reef health worldwide.

In an effort to provide coastal and ocean managers with the most up-to-date scientific information to address the complex nature of the threats facing coral reef ecosystems, NOAA's Coral Reef Conservation Program developed the NOAA Coral Reef Ecosystem Research Plan to identify priority research needed to help advance management action and guide priority setting for coral reef ecosystem research from FY 2007 to FY 2011.

USGS, 2007. Strategic Science for Coral Ecosystems. U.S. Geological Survey, Reston, VA, 23 pp.

USGS, 2007. Strategic Science for Coral Ecosystems. U.S. Geological Survey, Reston, VA, 23 pp. cover imageShallow and deep coral ecosystems are being imperiled by a combination of stressors. Climate change, unsustainable fishing practices, and disease are transforming coral communities at regional to global scales. At local levels, excessive amounts of sediments, nutrients, and contaminants are also impacting the many benefits that healthy coral ecosystems provide. This Plan, Strategic Science for Coral Ecosystems, describes the information needs of resource managers and summarizes current research being conducted by U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) scientists and partners. It outlines important research actions that need to be undertaken over the next five years to achieve more accurate forecasting of future conditions and develop more effective decision-support tools to adaptively manage coral ecosystems. The overarching outcome of this Plan, if fully implemented, would be in transferring relevant knowledge to decision-makers, enabling them to better protect and sustain coral ecosystem services. These services include sources of food, essential habitat for fisheries and protected species, protection of coastlines from wave damage and erosion, recreation, and cultural values for indigenous communities.  Learn More (838kb PDF)

*** Press Release ***

Establishment of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands Marine National Monument

A Proclamation by the President of the United States of America

June 15, 2006, President Bush Signed A Proclamation That Will Create The Northwestern Hawaiian Islands Marine National Monument. This national monument will enable nearly 140,000 square miles of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands to receive our Nation's highest form of marine environmental protection. It honors our commitment to be good stewards of America's natural resources, shows what cooperative conservation can accomplish, and creates a new opportunity for ocean education and research for decades to come. Full Story:

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coral reef fish image

The Reefs at Risk in the Caribbean project was initiated to raise awareness about threats to coral reefs -- specifically the linkages between human activities and coral reef health -- and provide detailed information about threats in specific locations across the Caribbean region. Learn More ...

Ocean Explorer
NOAA Ocean Explorer is an educational Internet offering for all who wish to learn about, discover, and virtually explore the ocean realm. It provides public access to current information on a series of NOAA scientific and educational explorations and activities in the marine environment. The site provides a platform to follow explorations in near real-time, learn about exploration technologies, observe remote marine flora and fauna in the colorful multimedia gallery, read about NOAA's 200-year history of ocean exploration, and discover additional NOAA resources in a virtual library.

U.S. Coral Reef Task Force
The United States Coral Reef Task Force (USCRTF) was established in 1998 by Presidential Executive Order #13089 to lead U.S. efforts to preserve and protect coral reef ecosystems. The USCRTF includes leaders of twelve federal agencies, seven U.S. states and territories, and three freely associated states. The USCRTF has been instrumental in building partnerships and strategies for on-the-ground action to conserve coral reefs.

Coral Realm
Whether you're a scuba diving enthusiast, an adventurer, a naturalist, aquarist, a scholar or a virtual traveler, CoralRealm offers you marine life feature articles, species descriptions, professional underwater photography, video clips and other resources that you won't find on any other web site!

The NBII Program is administered by the Biological Informatics Program of the U.S. Geological Survey
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