NOAA, The Nature Conservancy Address Coral Reef Threats

Four-year agreement supports projects totaling $7.2 million

October 30, 2009

Healthy coral reef.

High resolution (Credit: NOAA)

NOAA and The Nature Conservancy have entered into an agreement to protect the health of the nation’s valuable but increasingly vulnerable coral reef ecosystems in the Caribbean, Florida, Hawaii and the Pacific Islands. The four-year agreement will dedicate $3.6 million in NOAA funding and $3.6 million in matching funds from The Nature Conservancy to address the top three threats facing coral reef ecosystems: climate change, overfishing, and land-based sources of pollution. The agreement is the result of a competitive request for proposals issued by NOAA in late 2008.

The decline and loss of coral reefs has significant social, cultural, economic, and ecological impacts on people and communities in the United States and around the world. As the ‘rain forests of the sea,’ coral reefs provide services estimated to be worth as much as $375 billion each year.

“This agreement will result in direct, positive outcomes for coral reef conservation and will build upon a long history of successful collaborations between The Nature Conservancy and NOAA,” said Kacky Andrews, program manager for NOAA’s Coral Reef Conservation Program. “With effective leadership and management, these reef ecosystems will continue to be healthy and resilient for current and future generations.”

The 36 projects supported through the four-year partnership agreement will carry out activities related to the following categories:

High resolution (Credit: NOAA)

“The partnership will bring together many individual efforts under a unified front that will improve both organizations’ ability to make a real difference for coral reefs and the millions of people who depend upon them, as well as to assess effectiveness, share information, and capture lessons learned,” said Lynne Hale, director of The Nature Conservancy’s Global Marine Initiative.

The Nature Conservancy is a leading conservation organization working around the world to protect ecologically important lands and waters for nature and people. Visit The Nature Conservancy on the Web.

NOAA understands and predicts changes in the Earth’s environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and conserves and manages our coastal and marine resources.