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Comprehensive U.S. Caribbean Coral Reef Ecosystem Monitoring Project (C-CCREMP)


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Objectives

  • To compile summary information on marine monitoring activities in the U.S. Caribbean and make this information available through an online mapserver and metadatabase
  • Conduct a spatial and temporal gap analysis of monitoring activities
  • Evaluate possibilities and limitations for data synthesis and the ability of current monitoring programs to address resource management objectives and strategies
  • Coordinate strategic discussions and planning workshops to advance a coordinated regional marine monitoring program

Project Summary

The purpose of this project is to support territorial and Federal partners by developing an integrated system for monitoring coral reef ecosystem health in the U.S. Caribbean. C-CCREMP is funded by the Coral Reef Conservation Program and is focused on evaluating and integrating current and future coral reef ecosystem monitoring activities into a comprehensive long-term assessment and monitoring program. C-CCREMP is a partnership project between territorial and Federal resource managers and scientists led by three NOAA programs - the NOS Coral Reef Conservation Program (CRCP), the NOS Center for Coastal Monitoring and Assessment (CCMA) and the NMFS Southeast Fisheries Science Center. Partners include: National Park Service; Dept. Planning and Natural Resources of the Virgin Islands Government; University of the Virgin Islands; University of Puerto Rico; Puerto Rico Department of Natural Environment and Resources; U.S. Geological Survey; Environmental Protection Agency and others.

CCREMP project area
The project area includes nearshore coral reef ecosystems, including areas around the small island of Navassa (to the west and not shown)

Monitoring activities in the U.S. Caribbean are carried out by multiple agencies to meet different management objectives, using highly variable and sometimes limited resources and often applying a wide range of sampling strategies and data collection techniques. In addition, there is relatively little flow of information between agencies. An evaluation of the status of monitoring activities is now required in order to move forward with the development of a strategy that builds on existing strengths and addresses critical limitations as recommended by the last C-CCREMP workshop in 2006 and the Coral Reef Monitoring Assessment Workshop hosted by DPNR in 2007.

Working collaboratively with local resource agencies, academic research institutions, Federal offices, and others, the project seeks to establish monitoring goals and targets, evaluate existing programs and data, identify gaps and shortcomings, modify existing programs through a consensus-based approach, integrate existing projects where practicable, and expand long-term monitoring efforts. Such a capability would benefit the jurisdictions by providing consistent and reliable information to local management agencies while generating a comprehensive data set that allows for cross-jurisdictional comparisons of reef condition, a key input necessary to periodic reporting efforts.

Optimal Decision Making

Expected Outcomes.  The workshop in 2006 was an initial component of the project intended to introduce the project to partners and solicit input from the scientific and management community. In addition, the workshops were designed to obtain feedback on the need and feasibility of developing the C-CCREMP concept in order to provide NOAA and its partners with a comparative assessment and comprehensive coral ecosystem monitoring capability across the U.S. Caribbean. Project outcomes will include:

  • An online searchable project database linked to a GIS to display in space and time the characteristics of individual monitoring projects across the region.
  • A spatial and temporal monitoring Gap Analysis to identify gaps and overlaps in what is and has been monitored? and where? and when?  Monitoring methods are also assessed.
  • Recommendations and a roadmap that lead to implementation of a well coordinated and integrated marine monitoring program for the U.S. Caribbean.

Products

Completed

Future/Planned

  • May 2009: A database with mapping capability to show metadata and sampling locations for all current and recent historical monitoring projects in the U.S. Caribbean.   This product is being updated and will be available online.
  • May 2009: A Monitoring Gap Analysis and report will be available online
  • May 2009: CRCP will host a workshop on Caribbean mapping and monitoring, which will direct the future C-CREMP activities and products.

Partners

Relevant Links

Time Frame

2006 - 2013

For More Information

Principal Investigators

NOAA/NMFS, Galveston, Texas Phone: 409-766-3519
      NOAA/NOS, Silver Spring, MD Phone : 301-713-3028x160
NOAA/NOS, Silver Spring, MD Phone : 301-713-3028x164
NOAA/NOS, St. Thomas, USVI Phone: 240-693-1179

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