technical report |
Smith TB, Kadison E, Henderson L, Brandt ME, Gyory J, Kammann M, Wright V, Nemeth RS
Coral reefs in the Caribbean are facing a dramatic decline and are at a crossroads. Management decisions made today will affect the goods and services that reefs provide for decades to come. The government of the United States Virgin Islands (USVI), in coordination with the NOAA Coral Reef Conservation Program and the University of the Virgin Islands, implemented the Territorial Coral Reef Monitoring Program (TCRMP). The TCRMP has established baseline conditions and temporal trends of coral reefs and fish populations and has identified threats that will influence the future reef health and development. A major focus of the TCRMP is to provide information that can lead to more effective management strategies that balance the immediate needs of the Virgin Island’s population with preservation and sustainability of coral reefs and the renewable goods and services they provide. The intent of this report is to distill monitoring data into actionable information that can guide management decisions and inform the public and policy‐makers on areas that need further effort. This executive summary presents information on threats to USVI reefs that require management intervention/action as well as positive signs that can inform our understanding of sustainability.
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US Virgin Islands