The Coral Reef Conservation Program provides financial awards (grants and cooperative agreements) to support conservation projects and scientific studies that benefit coral reef management across seven U.S. states and territories, the Caribbean, and the Pacific.
Each year, we strive to award at least $8 million in grants and cooperative agreements, which are matched by nonprofit organizations, academic institutions, regional fishery management councils, commercial entities, community groups, and state and territorial natural resource management agencies. All projects focus on the reduction of primary threats to coral reefs—global climate change, land-based sources of pollution, and unsustainable fishing practices— and coral reef restoration as outlined in the Coral Reef Conservation Program’s Strategic Plan. Funded projects also focus on priority coral reef regions and watersheds.
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MICRONESIA CONSERVATION TRUST
International Cooperative Agreement Recipient Enhances Management across Micronesia
The Micronesia Conservation Trust (MCT), a nonprofit organization based in Pohnpei, Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), has been a recipient of a cooperative agreement from the Coral Reef Conservation Program for several years. During this time, MCT has used the funding to build capacity of teams of marine managers from Palau, FSM and the Marshall Islands to collect, manage, and analyze coral reef monitoring and fish landing data. This information is then communicate to policy makers and has helped create new regulations for fishing and spatial management across the region. A recent program evaluation from the Pacific Islands Managed and Protected Area Community (PIMPAC) estimated that approximately 20 fisheries related policies have been influenced as a result of these efforts. Additionally, all of the coral reef monitoring data collected has been organized into a centralized Micronesia Challenge Coral Reef Monitoring Database, which managers can use to query data to inform management.
Under the Cooperative Agreement, MCT also supports a full time socio-economic monitoring (SEM) trainer. This individual supports a network of SEM team across Micronesia to collect SEM data to ensure communities understand the costs and benefits associated with implementing marine protected areas.
Lastly, under the current cooperative agreement, MCT is funding for to improve resilience in several fishing and protected areas communities to the impacts of climate change by supporting the development and integration of resilience-based management approaches through ecosystem-based-adaptation and behavior change campaigns across the region.
The NOAA Coral Reef Conservation Program was established in 2000 by the Coral Reef Conservation Act. Headquartered in Silver Spring, Maryland, the program is part of NOAA's Office for Coastal Management.