NOAA's Participation in WSSD — Coral Reefs|
Coral reefs are one of the most biologically diverse ecosystems in the world, supporting essential coastal fisheries, offering potential medicines and other bioactive compounds, protecting coasts from erosion and supporting coastal tourism. The global decline of coral reef ecosystems is due to both natural and human causes. Over the past few years, anomalously warm sea surface temperatures have led to increased prevalence of coral reef bleaching worldwide. This stress compounds those already incurred from natural factors (e.g., hurricanes) and factors associated with detrimental human activities (i.e., over fishing, sediment and nutrient run-off, anchor damage, unregulated coastal development, etc.).
In response, NOAA has initiated the National Coral Reef Action Plan to address the loss and degradation of U.S. and international coral reef ecosystems. The Action Plan includes a mandate for the United States to exercise leadership internationally to shape and develop environmentally sound and comprehensive coral reef policy, strengthen international conventions and foster strategic partnerships with other countries—including through the International Coral Reef Initiative, international organizations and institutions, the public and private sectors, and non-government organizations to address international threats to coral reef ecosystems.
Publication of the
National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
Last Updated: 8/21/02