2019 Featured Stories


Coral Geography Bee

Map of U.S. coral reef jurisdictions

Geography Awareness Week, held every November, provides an opportunity to learn more about the study of places and the relationships that people have with their environments; as well as the ways geography affects our daily lives.


Community-Driven 'Opihi Restoration Proves Successful

Surveyors count and size 'opihi makaiauli from the water while others record data and watch for waves

Found only in Hawai'i, 'opihi is a marine limpet that lives suctioned onto rocks where the ocean meets the shoreline. It is a coveted local delicacy and staple of the native Hawai'ian diet. So when communities in East Maui started documenting declines in 'opihi populations, they took action.



Over $9.3 Million Awarded for Coral Reef Projects and Studies

Bleached coral at Jarvis Island in the Pacific Remote Islands

NOAA Coral Reef Conservation Program Grants and Cooperative Agreements will address coral reef threats and restoration.


Alii Belau: Hello Palau

U.S. Coral Reef Task Force - Palau

Every year, the U.S. Coral Reef Task Force — created by Executive Order in 1998 to coordinate coral reef conservation activities among government agencies at the national and local level — holds a meeting in a jurisdiction with coral reef ecosystems.



Corals and Estuaries — A Winning Partnership

Jobos Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve

National Estuaries Week, held every September, is a celebration aimed at increasing awareness of the country’s estuaries—such as the national estuarine research reserves—and encouraging people to become involved in the protection of these important natural resources.


Tracking and Managing Predicted Massive Coral Bleaching in Hawai‘i

A woman scuba dives atop a coral reef in the tropical waters of Kona, Hawaiʻi.

Satellite data from the NOAA Coral Reef Watch program indicate coral reefs in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands are experiencing a major bleaching event.



NOAA is celebrating Get into Your Sanctuary Days

Bluestripe snapper, Ta’ape, Threespot damselfish, and Oval Chromis damselfish

In August, NOAA celebrates Get into Your Sanctuary Days, a nationwide event that encourages people to appreciate and learn more about the National Marine Sanctuary System.


NOAA Responds to Ongoing Outbreak of Coral Disease in Florida

Corals Disease

Florida's coral reefs are experiencing a multi-year outbreak of stony coral tissue loss disease. Learn about the problem, what NOAA and partners are doing in response to the problem, and how you can help.



National Academies Study Offers Framework for Coral Reef Research and Recovery

Corals grown in underwater nurseries can be replanted on damaged reefs or studied by researchers

Today, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine released the second and final report for their study on Interventions to Increase the Resilience of Coral. The report, entitled A Decision Framework for Interventions to Increase the Persistence and Resilience of Coral, was commissioned by NOAA to help focus urgently-needed coral recovery efforts.



The Value Coral Reefs Provide against Hazards

A diver in the National Park of American Samoa

In April, the U.S. Geological Survey released the results of a study on the role of coral reefs in reducing coastal hazard risks. The report, titled “Rigorously Valuing the Role of U.S. Coral Reefs in Coastal Hazard Risk Reduction,” looked at tools, valuation approaches, and economic information from various federal agencies.


New NOAA, Partner Buoy in American Samoa Opens Window into a Changing Ocean

Fagatele Bay Buoy

NOAA and partners have launched a new buoy in Fagatele Bay within NOAA’s National Marine Sanctuary of American Samoa to measure the amount of carbon dioxide in the waters around a vibrant tropical coral reef ecosystem.



Sharing the Nationwide Task of Coral Reef Conservation

Coral colony showing signs of stony coral tissue loss disease

The U.S. Coral Reef Task Force - created by Executive Order in 1998 to coordinate coral reef conservation activities among government agencies at the national and local level - recently held its 41st meeting in Washington, DC.



Lessons from Coral Reefs for World Heritage Sites

The North Broken Passage in the Great Barrier Reef

Staff from NOAA's Coral Reef Watch led an assessment of the impacts of climate change on World Heritage coral reefs.


Over the River and Through the Coral

Image of Pillar coral

In 2015, the NOAA Coral Reef Conservation Program awarded funding to Florida Atlantic University to study the effects of the St. Lucie River on nearby corals in the Florida Reef Tract.



Translating Science to Management and Policy

Knauss fellows Kevin Staples and Lauren Swaddell

Every year, graduate and professional school students travel to the Washington, D.C. area from around the country to learn more about ocean, coastal, and Great Lakes resource management and policy.


A Changing Climate through a Fisher’s Eye

Image of view of northeastern Puerto Rico

In 2016, the NOAA Coral Reef Conservation Program awarded funding to the University of New Haven to assess the socioeconomic impacts of climate change on Puerto Rico’s coral reef fisheries.