NOAA's National Coral Reef Monitoring Program (NCRMP) Data Collection

Metadata Updated: November 12, 2020

Coral reefs provide nearly $30 billion in net benefits in goods and services to world economies each year, including tourism, fisheries, and coastal protection, and an estimated $3.4 billion annually in total economic value to the U.S. The "Coral Reef Conservation Act of 2000" authorizes a national program that includes "monitoring [and] assessment...that benefit the understanding, sustainable use, and long-term conservation of coral reefs and coral reef ecosystems."

The Coral Program developed the "National Coral Reef Monitoring Program" (NCRMP) to: a) support conservation of the nation's coral reef ecosystems through documenting and understanding the status and tredns of core indicators, b) provide an ecosystem perspective by monitoring climate, fish, benthic, and socioeconomic variables in a consistent and integrated manner, c) coordinate various Coral Program biological, physical, and human dimensions activities into a cohesive NOAA-wide effort, and d) communicate results of national-scale monitoring to national, state, and territorial policy makers, resource managers, and the public on a periodic basis

The goals of NCRMP are to: a) develop consistent and comparable methods for all indicators b) develop and maintain strong partnerships with federal, state/territory, and academic partners c) collect scientifically sound, geographically comprehensive biological, climate, and socioeconomic data in U.S. coral areas d) deliver high-quality data, data products, and tools to the coral reef conservation community e) provide context for interpreting results of localized monitoring f) provide periodic assessments of the status and trends of the nation's coral reef ecosystems

The focus is on four monitoring themes: benthic community structure, fish community structure, climate impacts, and socioeconomic condition. NCRMP monitoring covers all ten priority U.S coral reef areas: Florida, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands [USVI], Flower Garden Banks [FGB], Main Hawaiian Islands [MHI], Northwestern Hawaiian Islands [NWHI], Guam, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands [CNMI], American Samoa, and the Pacific Remote Island Areas [PRIA]. Benthic and fish monitoring will be conducted using a diver-based stratified random-sampling design throughout shallow water coral reefs. Carbonate chemistry water sampling will be conducted at a subset of the biological sampling areas, while a smaller number of fixed stations will have variable configurations of instrumentation, including ocean acidification monitoring buoys at six locations. Satellite monitoring of regional thermal stress will complement in situ measurements of ocean temperature. Socioeconomic monitoring will be conducted using human dimension surveys of a random sample of residents every three to four years.

Partnerships with the state or territory governments, as well as federal agencies (including U.S. National Park Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Geological Survey, Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary, and Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument) and academic institutions (including Nova Southeastern University, University of Hawai’i, University of Miami, University of Puerto Rico, and University of the Virgin Islands) will provide valuable monitoring data (particularly at various long-term fixed-site locations), logistical support for field operations, scientific research, and statistical analyses that will contribute to NCRMP imprementation and status and trends assessments.

Access & Use Information

License: No license information was provided. If this work was prepared by an officer or employee of the United States government as part of that person's official duties it is considered a U.S. Government Work.

Downloads & Resources


Metadata Date April 20, 2020
Metadata Created Date November 12, 2020
Metadata Updated Date November 12, 2020
Reference Date(s) 2016 (creation)
Frequency Of Update asNeeded

Metadata Source

Harvested from CoRIS Native ISO Metadata

Graphic Preview

National Coral Reef Monitoring Program: Study Areas

Additional Metadata

Resource Type Dataset
Metadata Date April 20, 2020
Metadata Created Date November 12, 2020
Metadata Updated Date November 12, 2020
Reference Date(s) 2016 (creation)
Responsible Party DOC/NOAA/Coral Reef Conservation Program (Point of Contact)
Contact Email
Access Constraints None
Bbox East Long 180
Bbox North Lat 35
Bbox South Lat -31.75
Bbox West Long -180
Coupled Resource
Frequency Of Update asNeeded
Graphic Preview Description National Coral Reef Monitoring Program: Study Areas
Graphic Preview File
Graphic Preview Type jpg
Licence Please note: NOAA and CRCP make no warranty, expressed or implied, regarding these data, nor does the fact of distribution constitute such a warranty. NOAA and CRCP cannot assume liability for any damages caused by any errors or omissions in these data., accessLevel: Public
Metadata Language eng
Metadata Type geospatial
Progress planned
Spatial Data Service Type
Spatial Reference System
Spatial Harvester True
Temporal Extent Begin 2016-01-01
Temporal Extent End 2016-12-31

Didn't find what you're looking for? Suggest a dataset here.