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National Coral Reef Ecosystem Monitoring Program — Coral Reef Ecosystem Monitoring Grants

This project is now managed by NOAA's Coral Reef Conservation Program (CRCP); please contact for more information.

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The National Coral Reef Ecosystem Monitoring Program (NCREMP), as authorized under the Coral Reef Conservation Act of 2000 (16 USC 6401-6409), provides annual funding to Governor-appointed point of contact agencies in support of local shallow-water coral reef ecosystem monitoring activities for the jurisdictions of the U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI), Puerto Rico, Florida, Hawaii, American Samoa, Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI), the Republic of Palau, the Federated States of Micronesia (including Chuuk, Yap, Kosrae, and Pohnpei), and the Republic of the Marshall Islands. The suite of projects funded through this program are conducted as cooperative agreements between NOAA’s National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science, Biogeography Branch and ten State, Territory, and Commonwealth partners throughout the U.S. and Pacific Freely Associated States.

The goal of the NCREMP monitoring grant program is to provide support for NOAA partners towards implementing a nationally-coordinated, comprehensive, long-term monitoring program to assess the condition of U.S. shallow-water coral reef ecosystems, evaluate the efficacy of coral reef ecosystem management, and communicate progress toward conservation of coral reef ecosystems. To accomplish this goal, focus is directed toward two primary program objectives:

  1. To work closely with jurisdictional partners and stakeholders to develop long-term monitoring programs in each location to collect and analyze information within three broad categories of inquiry: water quality and oceanographic conditions, seafloor or ‘benthic’ habitats, and biological communities associated with coral reef ecosystems.
  2. To evaluate the condition of U.S. shallow-water coral reef ecosystems in a periodic report entitled “The State of Coral Reef Ecosystems of the United States and Pacific Freely Associated States”, which is based on the presentation of quantitative monitoring data and descriptions of the impacts of thirteen threats to coral reefs identified in the National Coral Reef Action Strategy.

Project Summary

In 1999, the U.S. Coral Reef Task Force, along with the nation's coral reef program managers and the public, endorsed and called for implementation of "A National Program to Assess, Inventory, and Monitor U.S. Coral Reef Ecosystems." To fulfill this mission, NOAA began implementing the National Coral Reef Ecosystem Monitoring Program (NCREMP) in 2000 and continues to support it on an annual basis with Congressional appropriations for coral reef conservation. NCREMP is a component of NOAA’s Coral Reef Conservation Program, a matrix-managed program that draws expertise from numerous offices across NOAA and works collaboratively with many federal and jurisdictional partners.

NOAA's National Ocean Service, through the National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science’s Biogeography Branch, administers cooperative agreements with jurisdictional partners to support local monitoring of key biotic and abiotic parameters in coral reef ecosystems across the country. The program provides $30,000-130,000 per year (contingent on Congressional appropriations) to each of ten jurisdictions to support in-water data collection. NCREMP was designed to support jurisdictional efforts to monitor local reefs and provide targeted data products to local coral reef management agencies. In support of this objective, NCREMP provides funds for expenses related to monitoring, such as boat use, fuel, scuba tanks, monitoring equipment, underwater cameras, as well as for support of personnel who conduct surveys, coordinate local monitoring efforts, analyze and produce data products, and serve as local report coordinators who oversee development of jurisdictional chapters in the ‘State of the Reef’ reports. Approximately once every three years, program participants attend a regional monitoring meeting to share information and discuss the program’s progress.

The results of NCREMP monitoring activities are shared with the local management community via direct communication and with the public via a series of comprehensive national status reports that describe the condition of coral reef ecosystems based on quantitative data and the expertise of scientists and managers familiar with each jurisdiction. These assessment reports, which represent the work of a multitude of scientists and managers working at the jurisdiction level, provide the most comprehensive national assessment of the condition of U.S. coral reef ecosystems available. Each chapter in the report provides key information on the primary local threats to coral reef ecosystems, a description of current monitoring efforts and trends in the health of ecosystem components over time, and an overview of current conservation management activities. The report and individual chapters are made available to the public via free Internet downloads, and hard copies are provided free-of-charge to the scientific and management community and libraries. The next report in the series will be released in July 2008 at the International Coral Reef Symposium in Ft. Lauderdale, FL.



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Reports and Publications


Relevant Links

Time Frame

Completed: 2000 - 2009

For More Information

Program Contact:
Grants and External Funding Coordinator
1305 East West Highway
SSMC-IV-IV, Room 10400 N/ORM-1
Silver Spring, MD 20910
301-713-3155 ext 150

Program Contact:
1305 East West Highway
Silver Spring, MD 20910
301-713-3028 ext 160

Reports Contact:
1305 East West Highway
Silver Spring, MD 20910
301-713-3028 ext 189

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