Infographic Transcript: Reefs Closest to Humans are Degraded
Coral reefs closest to human populations are degraded. The corals are not thriving, fish populations are impaired, and connections to reefs by local communities are lacking. Conversely, coral reefs that are farthest from human populations have fewer threats to combat. While coral bleaching from temperature stress, illegal fishing, and marine debris still impact remote reefs, these reefs tend to be more resilient to pressures due to minimal direct human contact. The good news is that U.S. residents generally support the use of Marine Protected Areas in both remote and more easily accessible regions, which indicates that coral conservation is seen as a net benefit for the public.
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.