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Plastic Waste Associated With Disease On Coral Reefs

Abstract: Plastic waste can promote microbial colonization by pathogens implicated in outbreaks of disease in the ocean. We assessed the influence of plastic waste on disease risk in 124,000 reef-building corals from 159 reefs in the Asia-Pacific region. The likelihood of disease increases from 4% to 89% when corals are in contact with plastic. Structurally complex corals are eight times more likely to be affected by plastic, suggesting that microhabitats for reef-associated organisms and valuable fisheries will be disproportionately affected. Plastic levels on coral reefs correspond to estimates of terrestrial mismanaged plastic waste entering the ocean. We estimate that 11.1 billion plastic items are entangled on coral reefs across the Asia-Pacific and project this number to increase 40% by 2025. Plastic waste management is critical for reducing diseases that threaten ecosystem health and human livelihoods.

Author: Lamb, J. B., B.L. Willis, E.A. Fiorenza, C.S. Couch, R. Howard, D.N. Rader, D. Harvell
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Email for the full article: resilience@tnc.org
Science 359(6374).

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Malaysia – MPA Management


Eco-tourism Supports Marine Conservation Area in Malaysia

Location
Sabah, Malaysia

The Challenge
The islands and surrounding waters off the coast of Sandakan in northeast Sabah, Malaysia are home to 500 species of reef fish, 300 species of corals, 25 species of seagrass and algae, and 7 species of giant clams. Part of the Coral Triangle region, this area is known for its exceptional coral reef diversity and its marine resources have high economic value, particularly for fisheries. The reefs however have been subjected to unsustainable fishing and illegal and destructive fishing practices which have compromised coral reef habitats.

Actions Taken
In 1997, the owners of Lankayan Island Dive Resort (LIDR) initiated the establishment of the Sugud Islands Marine Conservation Area (SIMCA), to counteract illegal and destructive fishing in the area and to protect turtle nesting habitats, fish populations and coral reef habitats. SIMCA is a privately managed no-take marine protected area located 80 km from the coastal town of Sandakan in northeastern Sabah, Malaysia. The reserve covers 463 km2 of the Sulu Sea and includes the islands of Billean, Tegapil and Lankayan.

SIMCA MalaysiaSIMCA was established as an IUCN Category II Conservation Area under the provisions of the Sabah Wildlife Conservation Enactment 1997. Category II areas are managed to preserve natural conditions and provide opportunities for recreation, so fishing and other extractive activities are prohibited. The heads of Sabah Parks, the Department of Fisheries, Sabah Wildlife Department and LIDR met on Lankayan to discuss the idea of a privately managed marine reserve. Following this meeting, LIDR drafted a proposal and management plan; the reserve was subsequently gazetted in 2001. LIDR funded SIMCA’s establishment, which totaled around RM200,000 (US $63,600). In 2003, the government of Sabah, in the guise of the Sabah Wildlife Department, a unit within the Ministry of Tourism, Development, Environment, Science and Technology, leased the conservation area to Reef Guardian. The lease agreement runs for 30 years at the cost of RM60,000 (US $19,000) per year. The lease has an optional ten-year extension.

How successful has it been?
SIMCA is managed by Reef Guardian, which is a private not-for-profit organization wholly owned by Pulau Sipadan Resort, the parent company of Lankayan Island Dive Resort (LIDR). LIDR, the only accommodation within the reserve, helps fund Reef Guardian operations by levying a conservation fee on all visitors to the resort. Reef Guardian uses funds derived from the visitor fees to establish surveillance systems, monitor the reserve, enforce regulations, train personnel, and undertake conservation and outreach programs. Since establishment of the conservation area, incidences of illegal fishing and turtle poaching have declined and fish abundance and turtle egg laying have increased.

Aerial view of Lankayan Island dive resort. Photo © Reef Guardian

Aerial view of Lankayan Island dive resort. Photo © Reef Guardian

Reef Guardian monitors and enforces reserve regulations and runs marine conservation and outreach programs. Reef Guardian is staffed by 15 personnel who are stationed on Lankayan Island. The team is led by a marine biologist, who develops scientific research programs and outreach initiatives. Other staff members are responsible for ecological monitoring, turtle hatchings, radar surveillance and reserve enforcement. Staff operations are aided by Reef Guardian’s three high-speed patrol boats and radar equipment. Enforcement officers patrol the reserve’s boundaries and have powers of inspection and seizure. The officers are trained and certified as Honorary Wildlife Wardens. They are permitted to arrest offenders with assistance from the local enforcement agency. The combination of regular patrols and radar surveillance has all but halted illegal and destructive fishing in the reserve.

Nudibranch. Photo © Reef Guardian

Nudibranch. Photo © Reef Guardian

Compliance with regulations is high, in part because no fishing families live within the reserve. Prior to the construction of LIDR, there was one family residing on Lankayan. After being consulted, however, the family approved development plans for the island. Despite the success of SIMCA, it remains the only privately managed marine protected area in Malaysia. The owners of LIDR have encountered institutional resistance whenever they have suggested similar initiatives to the Government of Sabah.

Lessons Learned and Recommendations
Visitor fees have provided sustainable financing for management of the reserve and
investment in personnel training and surveillance technology to enforce the rules and regulations of the conservation area. In collaboration with government enforcement agencies, Reef Guardian has reduced threats such as illegal fishing and turtle egg poaching. As a result, there is a comparatively high abundance of commercially important fish, and turtle nesting at Lankayan Island has increased. Private management can be effective in conserving biodiversity in MPAs, and may well exceed regionally unsuitable locations.

Funding Summary
Reef Guardian operations are partially funded by a conservation fee of RM25 (US $8) per visitor per night levied on the guests of Lankayan Island Dive Resort. The conservation fee generates approximately RM250,000 (US $79,400) of revenue each year, which comprises 50% of the total operational costs of the reserve. The remaining costs are met entirely by grants, a resort lease fee (RM50,000 per resort) and the director’s fund. SIMCA’s RM500,000 (US $158,800) total annual operating costs translates to a per-hectare cost of US $3.43/year, which compares favorably with a median of US $7.80 per ha/year in a worldwide survey of the operational costs of 83 marine protected areas. The reserve also received a US $20,000 grant from Conservation International in 2006, US $44,000 from National Fish & Wildlife Foundation in 2008, US $61,000 from Conservation International Philippines in 2009, RM100,000 research fund from WWF-Malaysia, and RM60,000 project fund from the Ministry of Science Technology Innovation Malaysia in 2014. Furthermore, there are no tax breaks or other financial incentives available to LIDR’s owners in return for their donations to Reef Guardian.

Lead Organizations
Reef Guardian

Resources
Sugud Islands Marine Conservation Area

Lankayan Island Dive Resort

Video about the Sugud Islands Marine Conservation Area

A private management approach to coral reef conservation in Sabah, Malaysia

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Coral Triangle – Tourism & Recreation


Reducing Local and Direct Environmental Impacts Associated with Diving and Snorkelling Tourism Activities to Increase Reef Resilience

Location
Green Fins is currently active in six countries: Indonesia, Malaysia, The Maldives, The Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam

Green Fins is currently active in 18 locations throughout Asia including the Maldives. Photo © The Reef-World Foundation

Green Fins is currently active in 18 locations throughout Asia including the Maldives. Photo © The Reef-World Foundation

The Challenge
Coral reefs are globally important ecosystems facing intense and unprecedented pressures. Major global issues like marine debris, coral bleaching and illegal fishing mean that experts predict at least 60% of the world’s coral reefs will be destroyed within the next 30 years. Meanwhile, the tourism industry dependent upon these reefs continues to show considerable economic growth. According to the World Travel and Tourism Council (2014), tourism and travel sector activities generate 9.8% of GDP and support nearly 277 million people in employment, representing one in every eleven jobs globally. The World Tourism Organization predicts that, by 2020, over 1.56 billion international trips will be made each year, most of them intra-regional and with the highest numbers in Europe, followed by East Asia and the Pacific, with coastal tourism constituting a significant part of this.

However, tourism can constitute a locally significant driver of environmental degradation, putting pressures on the ecosystem through direct and indirect impacts associated with developing infrastructure as well as other activities. SCUBA diving and snorkelling are nowadays accessible to, and enjoyed by, a mass audience, which brings more and more people into marine habitats with very limited knowledge of the fragility of the environment. Intensive SCUBA diving and boating can directly damage marine habitats, making them susceptible to other stresses and degrading marine life health. Reports have shown that areas heavily used for recreational diving show higher incidences of coral tissue abrasion from anchor damage and diver damage as well as increased coral disease when compared to less frequently visited sites. As a result, marine tourism currently constitutes an increasing threat to the natural resource from which it has grown, and thus risks to undermine a key source of development and income to coastal nations. Local impacts such as these will greatly reduce reef resilience in the face of global threats like climate change. If left unmanaged, the rapid growth of the diving and snorkelling industry could cause significant damage to coral reefs, particularly in areas of high biodiversity.

Green Fins Members in the Philippines. Photo © The Reef-World Foundation

Green Fins Members in the Philippines. Photo © The Reef-World Foundation

Actions Taken
There are a number of past initiatives on tourism impact management in general and diving specifically, with a number of guidelines available to help individual divers reduce their impact on the reef (e.g. Confédération Mondiale des Activités Subaquatiques, CMAS “10 Golden Rules”, Coral Reef Alliance “Best Practice When Diving”, Project AWARE “Ten ways a diver can protect the underwater environment”, Mesoamerican Reef Alliance “A Practical Guide to Good Practice”). However, there are no initiatives like Green Fins which combines a code of conduct with performance assessment and public-private collaboration.

Green Fins was initiated in 2004 to transform the threat of the diving and snorkelling industry into an opportunity to protect coral reefs. Green Fins is implemented internationally through a partnership between the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) and The Reef-World Foundation (Reef-World). It is a proven approach (Hunt et al. 2013, Roche et al. 2016) encompassing three main elements; a 15-point environmental code of conduct for dive centers complemented by a robust assessment system to monitor and promote compliance; support towards developing or strengthening implementation of relevant regulatory frameworks; and strategic outreach to and capacity building among dive centers and their customers as well as government partners. Almost 500 operators across Asia have committed to protecting coral reefs by working towards following the Green Fins environmental Code of Conduct.

Green Fins Assessors in El Nido Philippines. Photo © The Reef-World Foundation

Green Fins Assessors in El Nido Philippines. Photo © The Reef-World Foundation

Annual assessments are conducted by qualified Green Fins assessors who measure members’ performance against the list of 15 code of conduct activities and associated assessment criteria. Every business activity is given a score in a 330-point impact scoring system; activities posing a greater threat to marine biodiversity (e.g. dropping an anchor) are given a higher impact score than those not posing a threat (e.g. lack of environmental awareness material). Therefore the lower the score, the lower the impacts the businesses have on coral reefs. Continued participation and Green Fins certification is dependent on centers lowering impact scores from year to year. Solutions or alternatives to high-risk activities are agreed upon in collaboration with each business manager. Solutions can range anywhere from effectively separating and recycling the operation’s waste to monitoring local coral bleaching levels. Participation in relevant environmental activities such as citizen science programs or reef cleanup activities is promoted. Assessor training and qualifications are provided by Reef-World to reduce issues associated with inter-assessor variability.

Green Fins booth at the Beijing International Diving Expo. Photo © The Reef-World Foundation

Green Fins booth at the Beijing International Diving Expo. Photo © The Reef-World Foundation

Green Fins works by engaging relevant national authorities and building their capacity to use Green Fins as part of wider marine resource management programs. Green Fins is currently active within the national government frameworks of Indonesia, Malaysia, Maldives, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam. In Malaysia, the Department of Marine Parks Malaysia (DMPM) adopted Green Fins as a national program in 2009. Recognizing that Green Fins contributes to national priorities and commitments under the Convention on Biological Diversity it has been included in the Department’s Key Performance Index (KPI) as well as being a key component of the department’s action plan for delivery of Aichi Target 10. In the Philippines, the Green Fins Code of Conduct has been adopted as a guideline for environmentally sustainable diving under the Departmental Administrative Order (DAO) Sustainable Coral Reef Ecosystem Management Plan (SCREMP), leading to some national resource allocation for work with the diving industry. Similar efforts are underway in the Maldives and Vietnam.

How successful has it been?
Green Fins is a proven approach to reduce local direct threats to coral reefs associated with diving and snorkel activities, thus building their resilience. Since 2004, Green Fins has expanded throughout popular diving destinations in Indonesia, Malaysia, Maldives, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam. Nearly 500 dive and snorkel centers have signed up to be Green Fins members by committing to follow the 15 environmental points of the Code of Conduct since the program was launched. In countries where Green Fins has been integrated into National Government action plans, memberships are continually increasing and activities are set to expand to new locations throughout each country. In locations where Green Fins members have been reassessed annually, average assessment scores have continually improved, proving the success of Green Fins as a replicable management strategy to reduce damage to coral reef ecosystems.

Green Fins Ambassadors in Panglao, Philippines. Photo © The Reef-World Foundation

Green Fins Ambassadors in Panglao, Philippines. Photo © The Reef-World Foundation

Fifty-three qualified individuals from the National Governments of the Philippines, Malaysia, the Maldives and Vietnam have been trained as Green Fins Assessors to enable further expansion and continued implementation of Green Fins within their respective countries. As Green Fins is introduced to new countries and new locations, new assessors will be trained.

Hundreds of representatives associated with the diving and snorkelling industry (including dive guides, instructors, boat crew, boat captains, resort managers, resort staff, marine resource managers, Government officials and the general public) have received environmental training focused on reducing the threats of the industry on its local natural resources. Twenty-seven local dive guides or instructors from the Philippines have received further training on the conservation and sustainable management of their local coral reefs and have become Green Fins Ambassadors.

Lessons Learned and Recommendations
Lessons learned and key recommendations include:

  • Green Fins has successfully been replicated across tourist destinations in six Asian countries. This has been driven by demand from the industry as well as keenness from the government to manage tourism activities in all major tourist sites. Replication is possible because Reef-World has made capacity building for all levels of implementation readily available through outreach materials, Operational Handbooks and training programs.
  • Due to high industry demand, over subscription of dive centres can quickly become difficult for Green Fins management teams to oversee. It is therefore recommended that implementation focuses on single destinations. Once activities are fully established, replication to a new site can be considered, and so forth.
  • The global tourism market is changing and the Asian tourism market is currently booming. Green Fins has successfully engaged all of these major global tourism markets with outreach and communications adapted to each audience (e.g. Chinese, Japanese, and Korean).
  • The approach is documented, and comprehensive guidance material and training is available to resource managers globally through the series of Handbooks for implementation at the dive and snorkel centers, tourist destinations, and at the national governement level.
  • There is a comprehensive collection of outreach and awareness raising material available in multiple languages and designed to address key environmental challenges within the diving and snorkelling industry.
  • Green Fins builds meaningful partnerships between the private and public sectors. This has been critical for the successful replication of the program across six countries.
  • Uptake by government has been key in building Green Fins momentum. Government participation is the result of Reef-World and UNEP clearly communicating how Green Fins delivers on their national and international environmental commitments, as well as provides opportunity to strengthen relevant laws and regulations.
  • Green Fins drives sustainable economic growth and better informed consumer choices.
  • Dive Centres which adopt Green Fins have noticed a more loyal repeat customer base that make longer stays and are willing to pay more for services. UNEP and Reef-World are committed to continuing the development, implementation and expansion of Green Fins into new sites and countries, and are looking for partners to collaborate with.

Funding Summary
United Nations Environment Program (UNEP)
The Rufford Foundation
National Aquarium Limited
Mangroves for the Future
National government budgets of Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, Maldives and Vietnam
Private sector (diving industry) in-kind support in all active countries

Lead Organizations
United Nations Environment Program
The Reef-World Foundation

Partners
Reef Check Malaysia
Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, Department of Marine Parks, Malaysia
Sabah Parks
Ministry of Environment, Environmental Protection Agency, Maldives
Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Philippines
El Nido Foundation
Save Philippine Seas
Department of Marine and Coastal Resources, Thailand
Vietnam Institute of Oceanography

Resources
Green Fins awareness raising materials

The Green Fins approach for monitoring and promoting environmentally sustainable scuba diving operations in South East Asia

Recreational Diving Impacts on Coral Reefs and the Adoption of Environmentally Responsible Practices within the SCUBA Diving Industry

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Toxicopathological Effects of the Sunscreen UV Filter, Oxybenzone (Benzophenone-3), on Coral Planulae and Cultured Primary Cells and Its Environmental Contamination in Hawaii and the U.S. Virgin Islands

Managing exposure of corals to oxybenzone, a common ingredient found in sunscreen lotions, is critical for managing for coral reef resilience. A new study found that coral planulae exposed to oxybenzone became deformed and sessile, and had an increased rate of bleaching which increased with increasing concentrations, affecting coral recruitment and juvenile survival. Because oxybenzone is a photoxicant, high light levels at or near the surface of the water where planulae of broadcasting species spend 2-4 days before settling may place them at higher risk than was seen in this laboratory study. Water samples were also collected in the U.S. Virgin Islands and Hawaii to determine oxybenzone concentrations occurring around swimming beaches. In this study, cell death was seen in seven Indo-Pacific and Caribbean coral species at concentrations similar to the water samples taken. Caribbean species sensitivity to oxybenzone was similar to the model of coral tolerance to other stressors (Gates and Edmunds 1999)—boulder corals and other slow growing species have a higher level of tolerance to stressors. For management, the data from this study can help predict changes to coral reef community structure in places with significant oxybenzone exposure and can be integrated into reef resilience management plans.

Author: Downs, C. A., E. Kramarsky-Winter, R. Segal, J. Fauth, S. Knutson, O. Bronstein, F.R. Ciner, R. Jeger, Y. Lichtenfeld, C.M. Woodley, P. Pennington, K. Cadenas, A. Kushmaro, and Y. Loya
Year: 2015
View Full Article

Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology. doi: 10.1007/s00244-015-0227-7

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U.S. Virgin Islands – MPA Management


How do we use our Marine Space? Mapping Human Uses of the East End Marine Park

Location
St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands

The Challenge
The St. Croix East End Marine Park (STXEEMP) is the U.S. Virgin Islands’ first and largest marine protected area. Its waters are cherished for a variety of commercial and recreational uses by fishers, recreational boaters, charters, hotels, and marinas. The Park also contains extensive mangroves, seagrass beds, coral reefs, sea turtles, beaches, and fish species, which provide invaluable ecosystem benefits. While the extent and health of the biological resources are well understood, human use and social dimensions of the Park are not well researched or documented.

A central objective of marine spatial planning (MSP) is the identification and reduction of conflicts among human uses, and between human uses and the environment. In order to achieve this objective, it is necessary to have accurate and thorough spatial data representing both important and sensitive benthic habitats as well as the location, temporal distribution, and intensity of human activities. Unlike datasets related to physical and biological information, coastal human use information is less common in geographic information systems (GIS). However, collecting and putting this information into GIS allows for it to be visualized and analyzed for the purpose of MSP and management. This project filled those human activity data gaps through a coastal use mapping project.

Participants at the coastal mapping project for the St. Croix East End Marine Park represented a number of organizations including national and local government agencies, fishers, hoteliers, charter companies, and recreational boaters. © TNC

Participants at the coastal mapping project for the St. Croix East End Marine Park represented a number of organizations including national and local government agencies, fishers, hoteliers, charter companies, and recreational boaters. © TNC

With support from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Coral Reef Conservation Program (NOAA CRCP), The Nature Conservancy (TNC) and the Virgin Islands Department of Planning and Natural resources (USVI DPNR) convened partners and stakeholders to conduct the STXEEMP Coastal Use Mapping Project. Designed to collect information on how a community is using a coastal or marine area, a representative group of stakeholders were invited to provide input on how they use the waters and coastal areas of the Park. In order to ensure accurate representation from users of the STXEEMP, project partners assembled a list of every human activity within the STXEEMP. Key stakeholders from each activity were invited to workshops to represent their knowledge of that activity. This data will help resource managers understand both the range and intensity of key activities.

Workshops were held with stakeholders on St. Croix on April 16 and 17, 2015, to map key uses in the coastal environment, with a particular focus in the St. Croix East End Marine Park. Representatives from different marine sectors (recreation, watersports, marina, charter boating, SCUBA diving, and fishing industries) as well as NGOs and territorial and federal governmental partners met to provide first-hand information on the spatial and temporal distribution of human use activities in nearshore areas of USVI.

Stakeholder Mapping WS

Participant mapping coastal activities using E-Beam™ technology. @ TNC

This information was captured using the method of “Participatory GIS Mapping.” Participatory mapping provides participants a map on which to indicate the location of their activities, while moderators generate representative spatial data files in real time. E-Beam™ technology, an interactive tool that allows users to draw electronically on a map, was used to aid the participatory mapping method. During the workshops, maps of the STXEEMP were projected on the wall in front of the group. Representative stakeholders of each activity (i.e. snorkeling) walked to the front of the room and electronically mapped the location while the group provided input.

This work represents an ongoing effort by TNC, USVI DPNR, NOAA CRCP, and members of the Caribbean Regional Ocean Partnership (CROP) to update human use data throughout the USVI in support of resource managers and regional MSP.

Heat map of cumulative activities shows the most intensely used areas of the STXEEMP.  Red and orange areas indicate heavily used areas of the Park. © Lynnette Roth

Heat map of cumulative activities shows the most intensely used areas of the STXEEMP. Red and orange areas indicate heavily used areas of the Park. © Lynnette Roth

How Successful has it been?
The following human activities and subsequent mapping layers were created during the STXEEMP Human Use Mapping Workshop in April 2015:

  • Boat Ramps and Slips
  • Marinas
  • Moorings
  • Recreational and Commercial Boating
  • Motorized and Non-motorized Personal Watercraft
  • Dive and Snorkeling Sites
  • Marine Restoration
  • Camping Beach Areas
  • Fish and Conch Fishing Area
  • Surfing

Data collected during the mapping workshops has been made available to workshop participants on the CROP Data Portal to the general public and resource managers as maps, GIS mapping layers, and analytical products reflecting the variety and extent of ocean uses. The summary report will be available electronically at reefconnect.org. Where possible, layers were combined to create a regional file for the entire territory of the USVI.

Map of motorized and non-motorized personal watercraft activity (i.e. kayaking) in the STXEEMP.  © Lynnette Roth

Map of motorized and non-motorized personal watercraft activity (i.e. kayaking) in the STXEEMP. © Lynnette Roth

These data are available to local and regional managers for the purposes of marine spatial planning, management, conflict reduction amongst user groups, and resource protection.

Lessons Learned and Recommendations
In order to conduct a participatory mapping process, several key factors come into play including:

  • Participatory mapping depends on human resources and knowledgeable stakeholders must attend workshops and share their valuable information on human activities. Effort should be put towards recruitment of these stakeholders.
  • Technical resources including personnel that can manipulate GIS spatial files is critical.
  • Base maps of existing data are critical to getting accurate results.
  • E-Beam™ technology facilitates the collection of real time data in a participatory manner.

Funding Summary
This project was conducted by The Nature Conservancy with support from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Coral Reef Conservation Program (NOAA CRCP) through Cooperative Agreement #NA13NOS4820145. Through this Partnership, TNC and NOAA work on site level management and conservation strategies for the STXEEMP. The STXEEMP management and staff supported the project by identifying stakeholders, creating outreach materials and advertising the event.

Lead Organizations
The Nature Conservancy

Partners
USVI Department of Planning and Natural Resources, Coastal Zone Management, East End Marine Park
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Coral Reef Conservation Program

Resources
Reef Connect
Caribbean Regional Ocean Partnership Portal

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Coral Reef Disturbance and Recovery Dynamics Differ Across Gradients of Localized Stressors in the Mariana Islands

Disturbance and recovery patters of coral reefs in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands were studied over a 12-year period, including Crown of Thorns Starfish (COTS) densities, localized stressors, and natural disturbances such as tropical storms. COTS densities caused significant coral decline, however, the ability of reefs to recover was most influenced by localized stressors, in particular, grazing urchin densities and herbivore sizes. Reefs on Saipan had the highest disturbance impacts, with smaller fish sizes, grazing urchins, and water quality, even though they had the most favorable geological features for coral growth. These reefs are also subject to reef-based tourism, which is important to CNMI’s economy and thus deserves a hard look at how to improve fish assemblages, urchin populations, and local water quality concerns.

Author: Houk, P., D. Benavente, J. Iguel, S. Johnson, and R. Okano
Year: 2014
View Full Article

PLoS ONE 9(8): e105731. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0105731

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Using Wastewater Treatment Technologies to Reduce Nutrient Pollution Impacts on Coral Reefs

Watch on YouTube

March 11, 2015

Jim Bays, Technology Fellow at CH2M HILL discusses wastewater treatment technologies ranging from low-tech onsite treatment to large system level upgrades that improve public health and mitigate nutrient pollution impact to coral reefs and sensitive marine ecosystems. Case histories from small communities, resorts and large cities in coral reef areas are shared. Click here for resources from the presentation.

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New and improved Network Forum

The Reef Resilience Network has launched a new and improved online discussion forum!

Now part of the Reef Resilience website, this interactive online community is a place where coral reef managers and practitioners from around the world can connect and share with others to better manage marine resources.

If you work to protect, manage, or promote coral reefs please join the conversation: www.reefresilience.org/network

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New Reef Resilience Online Course Launched

The new online course Advanced Studies in Coral Reef Resilience is designed to provide coral reef managers and practitioners in-depth guidance on managing for resilience. This free course incorporates new science, case studies, and management practices described in the Reef Resilience Toolkit.

The course includes six modules that discuss local and global stressors affecting coral reefs, guidance for identifying coral reef resilience indicators, design principles for resilient MPA networks, methods for implementing resilience assessments, and important communication tools for managers. Course participants can choose to complete any or all lessons within course modules. Read more.

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