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2024 Featured Stories

March

Sharing knowledge at the 2024 U.S. Caribbean Stony Coral Tissue Loss Disease Workshop

A developed coastline with waves crashing over onto rock-like structures in shallow waters.

The 2024 U.S. Regional Caribbean Stony Coral Tissue Loss Disease (SCTLD) Workshop convened coral managers, practitioners, and researchers from Florida, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI) to exchange information, coordinate disease response efforts, and collaborate on projects across the U.S. Caribbean. The main objectives were to enhance regional coral rescue, share information on bleaching response and monitoring, coordinate restoration planning and implementation, and discuss strategies to expand disease response networks to include other coral disturbances, like bleaching, invasive species, and storm damage.

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Coral Reefs are Recognized as National Natural Infrastructure

A developed coastline with waves crashing over onto rock-like structures in shallow waters.

By combining basic scientific research and applied coastal management techniques with policy actions by decision makers, coral reef scientists show that coral reefs are natural infrastructure. This effort was successful because a multidisciplinary team built a solid foundation of science, directly engaged with stakeholders, and committed to novel approaches to coral reef conservation avenues. The culmination of this research and efforts of the U.S. Coral Reef Task Force working group is a national resolution that designates U.S. coral reefs as national, natural infrastructure.

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February

Socioeconomic Monitoring in the Caribbean: Travels to the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico

Aerial view of blue water and a green tropical island dotted with buildings, with a plane propeller in frame.

NOAA’s National Coral Reef Monitoring Program (NCRMP) Socioeconomic Component gathers and monitors a collection of socioeconomic data in seven U.S. coral jurisdictions. Recently, the team traveled to the U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI) to meet with partners and prepare for the 2025 USVI Survey, as well as Puerto Rico to present results and trends from the 2022 Puerto Rico Survey.

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January

Understanding the Coral Reef Data Lifecycle

A photo collage of different data sources and storage formats.

NOAA’s National Coral Reef Monitoring Program (NCRMP) Socioeconomic Component gathers and monitors a collection of socioeconomic data in seven U.S. coral jurisdictions. Recently, the team traveled to the U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI) to meet with partners and prepare for the 2025 USVI Survey, as well as Puerto Rico to present results and trends from the 2022 Puerto Rico Survey.

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Building Local Coral Reef Management Capacity One Summer at a Time

A group of young people in matching t-shirts stand together smiling at the camera. Many of them display the shaka symbol with their hands.

For over two decades, the NOAA Coral Reef Conservation Program has supported the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) Coral Reef Initiative’s annual summer internship program for local post-secondary students to be introduced to various aspects of coral reef management and gain hands-on experience. This investment in building the jurisdiction’s local capacity has proven invaluable as the CNMI has seen an astonishing return on its investment, with former interns completing their studies abroad and coming back to fill full-time positions in the CNMI’s natural resource management agencies and non-governmental organizations.

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