20th Anniversary of NOAA’s Coral Reef Conservation Program

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. The program works with state and territorial governments, academic institutions, non-governmental organizations, and community groups to address local issues that affect coral reef ecosystems.

Learn more in this video.

Follow the celebration throughout 2020 on our Facebook and Twitter pages and the National Ocean Service Instagram page all year using the hashtag #NOAACoral20th.


Coral reefs are essential for healthy coasts and vibrant economies, playing a critical role in everything from reducing erosion and storm surge to promoting tourism and recreation.

The total economic value of coral reef services for the United States tops $3.4 billion a year, affecting services in tourism, fisheries, and coastal protection.

NOAA’s Coral Reef Conservation Program was established in 2000 by the Coral Reef Conservation Act. Our mission is to protect, conserve, and restore the nation’s coral reefs.

Working with partners in the seven states and territories, as well as internationally with countries in the Coral Triangle, Micronesia, the South Pacific, and the Caribbean, we take a “ridge to reef” approach to conservation addressing both threats coming from the land and in nearshore waters.

We create partnerships with local governments and state agencies to reduce land-based sources of pollution. We educate communities on sustainable fishing practices, identify coral reefs at risk of bleaching, and work to mitigate the effects of disease and changing ocean conditions. Also included - in-water coral reef restoration projects with a focus on resilience.

Coral reefs are truly a treasure, and we can all work together to conserve them.

Learn more about us and what you can do to protect coral reefs.