NOAA Reveals Its New Tool For Coral Reef Exploration

by | Nov 27, 2023 | Environmental News, Research Updates

Home » Environmental News » NOAA Reveals Its New Tool For Coral Reef Exploration

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) National Coral Reef Monitoring Program (NCRMP) has launched a groundbreaking data visualization tool, offering a comprehensive look into the status of U.S. coral reefs. This user-friendly tool is the first of its kind. It focuses on shallow tropical coral reef data and is hosted on the NOAA GeoPlatform, the central geospatial data and tools hub. In this article, read more about the report: NOAA Reveals Its New Tool For Coral Reef Exploration.

NOAA’s New Visualization Tool

Stakeholders, scientists, managers, and students now have a one-stop information hub to access and understand NOAA’s shallow tropical coral data as NOAA reveals is its new tool for coral reef exploration. It allows users to customize their exploration, focusing on specific timescales, locations, coral or fish species, climate data, and socioeconomic factors.

Nicole LeBoeuf, assistant administrator at NOAA’s National Ocean Service, emphasized the significance of the tool, stating, “NOAA’s coral monitoring activities represent a truly comprehensive array of data and information — from biological and physical characteristics of reefs to insights into how surrounding communities perceive and protect their reef resources. This user-friendly tool represents a leap forward in making our extensive data accessible and analysis-ready.

What sets this tool apart is its integration of a human dimensions component, marking a pioneering effort within the coral reef ecosystem monitoring programs worldwide. Social parameters are included in a NOAA coral product for the first time, offering a comprehensive analysis of coral status. This feature allows users to observe how residents interact with coral reefs and understand their perceptions of coral reef conditions over time—critical data points for managers developing locally appropriate conservation and management strategies.

NOAA Reveals Its New Tool For Coral Reef Exploration

 

Jennifer Koss, director of NOAA’s Coral Reef Conservation Program, expressed the transformative impact of the tool, stating, “To have this data available in an accessible, visual format will enable scientists and managers to make on-the-ground assessment and conservation decisions more easily.

Impact on Coral Reef Conservation and Management

Accessing data is a key feature of the visualization tool, allowing users to download streamlined data summaries for each available year at different geographic scales. This capability addresses a crucial demand from users who sought ways to filter and download data in an easy-to-understand format, enabling researchers and decision-makers to develop custom datasets with actionable, situation-specific information.

The tool covers data collected since 2013 across four themes: benthic communities (corals, macroalgae, and more), fish populations, climate and ocean chemistry, and socioeconomics. It encompasses diverse coral reefs within the nation’s states and territories, including Florida, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Hawaii, American Samoa, Guam, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. The tool also includes data from various marine sanctuaries and monuments, such as Flower Garden Banks, Florida Keys, Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale, National Marine Sanctuary of American Samoa, the Pacific Remote Islands, and Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monuments.

The NCRMP’s new data visualization tool is a portal into NOAA’s extensive portfolio of information on coral reef status and trends. It is a powerful tool for ongoing efforts to conserve these remarkable and fragile ecosystems, fostering a deeper understanding of U.S. coral reef ecosystems and their societal value.

Also Read: Brazil Signs Global Climate Deal To Triple Renewable Energy

 

Author

  • Sarah Tancredi

    Sarah Tancredi is an experienced journalist and news reporter specializing in environmental and climate crisis issues. With a deep passion for the planet and a commitment to raising awareness about pressing environmental challenges, Sarah has dedicated her career to informing the public and promoting sustainable solutions. She strives to inspire individuals, communities, and policymakers to take action to safeguard our planet for future generations.

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