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2020 Featured Stories

Aug

Nearly $1 Million in NOAA Funding Recommended for Ruth Gates Coral Restoration Innovation Grants Projects

A scuba diver works along a transect line.

NOAA is recommending nearly $1 million in funding for four projects through the Ruth Gates Coral Restoration Innovation Grants opportunity. The funded projects aim to enhance coral resilience and improve the long-term success and efficiency of shallow-water coral reef restoration in a changing climate.

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New research plan sets the course for NOAA’s ocean acidification science

Ocean acidification has been shown to impact the growth of corals and contribute to dissolution of reefs. NOAA and partner scientists are working to restore corals in this coral reef nursery in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary

NOAA unveiled its new 10-year research roadmap to help the nation’s scientists, resource managers, and coastal communities address acidification of the open ocean, coasts, and Great Lakes.

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July

Coral Heroes: The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation

Mushroom corals in Rose Atoll in American Samoa.

Throughout the Coral Reef Conservation Program’s 20th Anniversary, we are highlighting Coral Heroes — individuals and organizations that have worked with the program and are making a real difference in coral reef conservation.

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A New Era of Monitoring the Coral Reef Environment from Space

An aerial view of the Great Barrier Reef in Australia.

Healthy coral reefs are among the most biologically diverse, culturally significant, and economically valuable ecosystems on Earth. They provide billions of dollars in food, jobs, recreational opportunities, coastal protection, and other important goods and services to people around the world.

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June

Cheers to the Coral Triangle

Coral reefs in Indonesia

The Coral Triangle is an area in the western Pacific that includes the waters of Indonesia, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, the Solomon Islands, and Timor-Leste. The Coral Triangle is home to 75 percent (almost 600) of the world’s coral species, over 2,000 species of reef fish, and six out of seven sea turtle species. The region supports multiple marine mammal species, an important tuna nursery and migration area, and over 120 million people.

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Coral Heroes: The National Marine Sanctuary Foundation

A green sea turtle gives itself a belly rub on soft coral at the wreck of Benwood in Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary.

Throughout the Coral Reef Conservation Program’s 20th Anniversary, we are highlighting Coral Heroes — individuals and organizations that have worked with the program and are making a real difference in coral reef conservation. The conservation of special places and resources like coral reefs involves many different types of groups. Federal agencies, state and territorial agencies, academic institutions, and non-governmental organizations each have distinct strengths that they bring to the table.

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May

Looking Out for Hurricanes and Corals

Waves build up before breaking on a deeply sloping crustose coralline algae covered reef at Swain's Island in American Samoa

It may seem early, but hurricane season is right around the corner. Hurricane season begins on May 15 in the eastern Pacific Ocean, and on June 1 in the central Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. Hurricanes have become more frequent and stronger, impacting coastal communities and economies.

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Coral Reef Health Captured in the Atlantic, Caribbean, and Gulf of Mexico

Angelfish swimming through cauliflower coral at Stetson Bank in Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary.

The NOAA Coral Reef Conservation Program has released status reports for coral reefs in the Atlantic and Caribbean U.S. states and territories - Florida, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands; and Flower Garden Banks in the Gulf of Mexico.

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Coral Heroes: The Micronesia Conservation Trust

Corals in the Republic of Palau

Throughout the Coral Reef Conservation Program’s 20th Anniversary, we are highlighting Coral Heroes — individuals and organizations who have worked with the program and are making a real difference in coral reef conservation.

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Apr

Aquariums and Zoos: Caring for Corals from A to Z

The Caribbean Reef exhibit at the Shedd Aquarium

Zoos and aquariums are important partners in coral reef conservation. From education to disease response, these institutions support efforts by organizations like NOAA. Here are some of the ways zoos and aquariums are working with NOAA and the ocean-interested public.

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Coral Heroes: The Reef Resilience Network

Throwing a cast net on Saipan in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands

Throughout the Coral Reef Conservation Program’s 20th Anniversary, we are highlighting Coral Heroes — individuals and organizations who have worked with the program and are making a real difference in coral reef conservation.

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March

Coral Fellows Take on Local Issues

The 2020-2022 fellowship class at orientation

Managing coral reef ecosystems requires more support—and many more hands—than most U.S. jurisdictions can provide with available resources. The National Coral Reef Management Fellowship was created to help fill this need at the local level.

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Ridge to Reef in American Samoa

The island of Tutuila in American Samoa

Coral reef conservation is not restricted to the water. Coastal development, deforestation, agricultural runoff, and oil and chemical spills introduce pollution into coral reef ecosystems. Land-based sources of pollution affect coral growth and reproduction, disrupt overall ecosystem function, and lead to disease and death. NOAA uses a “ridge to reef” approach to address this connection.

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Coral Heroes: Dr. Ruth Gates

Coral polyps viewed through a laser scanning confocal microscope

Throughout the Coral Reef Conservation Program’s 20th Anniversary, we are highlighting Coral Heroes — individuals and organizations that have worked with the program and are making a real difference in coral reef conservation.

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February

The Year of a Lifetime

The Coral Reef Conservation Program’s 2019 Knauss Fellow Lauren Swaddell (left) and 2020 Knauss Fellow Leanne Poussard (right)

Since 1979, graduate and professional school students travel from around the country to the Washington, D.C. area every year for the John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship. The fellowship, administered by NOAA’s National Sea Grant College Program, matches fellows with host offices in the executive and legislative branches of government to learn about ocean, coastal, and Great Lakes resource management and policy. NOAA’s Coral Reef Conservation Program has been fortunate to host many Knauss fellows over the years.

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Coral Heroes: FORCE BLUE

A diver working with a coral “tree” structure

Throughout the Coral Reef Conservation Program’s 20th Anniversary, we are highlighting Coral Heroes — individuals and organizations that have worked with the program and are making a real difference in coral reef conservation.

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January

The Coral Reef Conservation Program Celebrates 20 Years

Coral Reef Conservation Program Celebrates 20 Years

The Coral Reef Conservation Act was signed into law on December 23, 2000, establishing the NOAA Coral Reef Conservation Program. For 20 years, the program has brought together expertise from across NOAA and its partners to protect, conserve, and restore the nation’s coral reef ecosystems.

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$500,000 Available for Coral Restoration Projects in Honor of Dr. Ruth Gates

Coral restoration in the Florida Keys

As part of our efforts to restore resilient coral ecosystems, NOAA is announcing the availability of approximately $500,000 in funding for coral restoration in 2020. The competition is in direct response to the recently completed National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine study on Interventions to Increase the Resilience of Coral Reefs. This is the first competition under the new Ruth Gates Coral Restoration Innovation Grants.

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The Coral Heroes: The Coral Restoration Consortium

The Coral Restoration Consortium

Throughout the Coral Reef Conservation Program’s 20th Anniversary, we are highlighting Coral Heroes — individuals and organizations who have worked with the program and are making a real difference in coral reef conservation.

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