Once again, NOAA’s Coral Reef Conservation Program (CRCP) is finishing up a busy year. We have been setting implementation plans into motion for the new NOAA Coral Reef Conservation Program Strategic Plan, and working across NOAA with state and territorial partners to target our research and conservation efforts.
We’ve been involved in efforts with collaborators to understand the value of coral ecosystems and to move the conservation needle in a positive direction. The U.S. Geological Survey released a report which determined that U.S. coral reefs protect 18,000 Americans, over $825 million in coastal infrastructure, and nearly $700 million in economic activity from flooding annually. The National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine completed a NOAA-funded study on coral interventions and released the final of two reports. This report provides a cost-benefit analysis of the 23 intervention strategies summarized in the first report, suggests priorities for future research, provides frameworks to help select interventions, and shares a case study in the Caribbean. NOAA continues to be a leader in the response to stony coral tissue loss disease, which was initially detected in Florida but has now been identified throughout the Caribbean region. Additionally, NOAA leadership joined staff from CRCP and other agencies at U.S. Coral Reef Task Force meetings in Washington, D.C. and Koror, Palau.
We have some exciting events coming up. This week, NOS and CRCP are holding the annual Corals Week campaign on social media. We hope you are following and joining in on this celebration of coral reefs using the hashtag #CoralsWeek. Starting in January, we will be celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Coral Reef Conservation Program. Follow the campaign using the hashtag #NOAACorals20th.