Protecting the Coral Reefs

by egill1 on April 16, 2015 - 10:43am

We know that with atmospheric CO2 on the rise, CO2 in the ocean water is as well. This increase in CO2 is acidifying the oceans and causing great harm to many of the organisms that call the ocean their home. Although the oceans are large and difficult to manage there is an act out there that is working to protect and conserve the Coral Reefs.

In 2000, the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) enacted the Coral Reef Conservation Act. This act gave NOAA the authority to undertake many activities to understand, manage, and protect coral reef ecosystems (NOAA, 2011). Ocean acidification is slowly destroying the coral reefs of the world and this act supports an implements conservation projects in the reefs of US jurisdiction (NOAA, 2011). The way this program operates is under an ecosystem-based management philosophy. The natural resources that make up a coral reef ecosystem and the human impacts and uses of those resources are all considered when taking action (NOAA, 2011).

The Coral Reef Conservation Act has accomplished a lot in its almost 15 years. According to the 2010 fiscal year accomplishments, the CRCA received $29 million to help continue with its activities to conserve, manage, and understand coral reef ecosystems (NOAA, 2011). A monetary accomplishment like that is great because it means the programs can continue and more can be learned about protecting the coral reefs of the world’s oceans. The CRCA also expanded conservation to the reefs located in the Coral Triangle (NOAA, 2011) which shows that efforts are worldwide and not just in United States waters. The taskforces created by NOAA under this act have allowed meetings to take place which help develop new or expand on current conservation processes (NOAA, 2011). Although young for a piece of legislation, the CRCA is doing well and hopefully will continue on the path it is on now with conservation and education about the coral reefs of the world’s oceans.

 

Sources:

NOAA. 2011. Accomplishments. NOAA's Coral Reef Conservation Program. [Online]. NOAA, Washington, DC. Available at: http://coralreef.noaa.gov/aboutcrcp/howwework/accomplishments/ 

NOAA. 2011. CRCA Reauthorization. NOAA's Coral Reef Conservation Program. [Online]. NOAA, Washington, DC. Available at: http://coralreef.noaa.gov/aboutcrcp/strategy/reauthorization/