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NOAA image of shallow coral reef in the NOAA Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary.Feb. 26, 2004 — For the first time, NOAA compiled key restoration monitoring information applicable to coastal habitats nationwide. "Science-Based Restoration Monitoring of Coastal Habitats, Volume One: A Framework for Monitoring Plans Under the Estuaries and Clean Waters Act of 2000 (Public Law 160-457)" offers technical assistance, outlines steps, and provides useful tools for developing and carrying out monitoring of coastal restoration efforts. (Click NOAA image for larger view of shallow coral reef in the NOAA Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. Click here for high resolution version, which is a large file. Please credit “NOAA.”)

Prepared by the NOAA National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science, the manual offers coastal resource managers, practitioners and the public a consolidated set of science-based tools for planning and conducting monitoring associated with restoration in habitats throughout U.S. coastal waters habitats. Along with providing a framework for structuring monitoring efforts, the newly available manual provides an introduction to restoration monitoring related to specific coastal habitats: water column, rock bottom, coral reefs, oyster reefs, soft bottom, kelp and other macroalgae, rocky shoreline, soft shoreline, submerged aquatic vegetation, marshes, mangrove swamps, deepwater swamps and riverine forests.

“Given the broad diversity and geographic scope of our nation’s coasts, there clearly is no one-size-fits-all, cookie-cutter approach to science-based restoration monitoring,” said lead author Gordon Thayer, of the NCCOS/Center for Fisheries and Habitat Research, in Beaufort, N.C. “Individual coastal managers, working with their public and private-sector partners, can use this document to determine the individual strategies best suited to a specific restoration effort or region.”

The manual will be useful to scientists, managers and citizens involved in planning and conducting restoration monitoring efforts, including individuals in academia, industry, government interests at all levels, nongovernmental organizations and the media. It also includes consistent principles and approaches likely to be applicable to a wide range of coastal restoration efforts, including those undertaken without federal funding support.

A companion volume, "Science-Based Restoration Monitoring of Coastal Habitats, Volume Two: Tools for Monitoring Coastal Habitats," is due for release later this year. This document will delve deeper into monitoring approaches for the selected coastal habitats, providing techniques for monitoring them. Additionally, Volume Two provides tools, such as a searchable database of restoration monitoring programs nationwide, a guide to selecting reference sites, and a discussion of the monitoring of social and economic aspects of coastal restoration.

Copies of the manual—Science-Based Restoration Monitoring of Coastal Habitats, Volume One: A Framework for Monitoring Plans Under the Estuaries and Clean Waters Act of 2000 (Public Law 160-457)—can be downloaded as a PDF file by visiting the NOAA Estuaries - Restoration Monitoring Web site.

For additional information and printed copies of the manual, contact, Teresa A. McTigue, Ph.D.; National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science (N/SCI); 1305 East-West Highway, Room 8128; Silver Spring, MD 20910; phone: (301) 713-3020 ext. 186; fax: (301) 713-4353; or by contacting

The NOAA Ocean Service, which includes NCCOS, is dedicated to exploring, understanding, conserving and restoring the nation’s coasts and oceans. The NOAA Ocean Service balances environmental protection with economic prosperity in fulfilling its mission of promoting safe navigation, supporting coastal communities, sustaining coastal habitats and mitigating coastal hazards.

NOAA is dedicated to enhancing economic security and national safety through the prediction and research of weather and climate-related events and providing environmental stewardship of the nationís coastal and marine resources. NOAA is part of the U.S. Department of Commerce.

Relevant Web Sites
NOAA National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science

NOAA Ocean Service

Media Contact:
Glenda Powell, NOAA Ocean Service, (301) 713-3066 ext.191