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NOAA releases Coral Reef Ecosystem Research Plan
This story entered on 1st Mar, 2007

cover of NOAA's Coral Reef Ecosystem Research PlanOn March 1st, in conjunction with the U.S. Coral Reef Task Force meeting in Washington, D.C., the NOAA Coral Reef Conservation Program (CRCP) released a new document entitled NOAA's Coral Reef Ecosystem Research Plan for Fiscal Years 2007 to 2011. The Coral Reef Research Plan provides coastal and ocean managers, scientists, and policy makers withthe most up-to-date scientific information to address the complex nature of the threats facing coral reef ecosystems, and identifies priority research needed to advance management action. NOAA Research (NOAA's Undersea Research Program) and NOAA Ocean Service (National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science) led the development of the Research Plan on behalf of the CRCP.

Background:Two earlier NOAA reports, The State of Coral Reef Ecosystems of the United States and Pacific Freely Associated States: 2002 and 2005, summarized the status and health of coral reef ecosystems throughout U.S. waters. Based on these status reports, the Research Plan outlines the national and regional research needed to address the many management challenges presented by coral reef decline.

Significance:The NOAA Coral Reef Ecosystem Research Plan is NOAA’s first agency-wide coral reef ecosystem research plan. The Plan:

  • Provides a national perspective on the stressors that affect the condition of coral reef ecosystems – fishing, pollution, coastal uses, invasive species, climate change, and extreme events;
  • Summarizes the management issues and information needs that will drive research at the regional level;
  • Describes what needs to be understood about coral reef ecosystems and the stressors that affect them to implement effective ecosystem-based management strategies;
  • Covers all coral reef ecosystems under the jurisdiction of the United States and the Pacific Freely Associated States; and
  • Builds on strategies identified in NOAA’s Strategic Plan, NOAA’s five- and 20-year Research Plan, the National Action Plan to Conserve Coral Reefs, the National Coral Reef Action Strategy, and the U.S. Ocean Action Plan.

NOAA Coral Reef Ecosystem Research Plan (Full Report).

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Updated: March 7, 2007