Jump to main content.

First Regional Assessment of Caribbean Coral Reef Health

Robert N. Ginsburg, Phillip Kramer, and Judith C. Lang

Atlantic and Gulf Rapid Reef Assessment, University of Miami, Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, 4600 Rickenbacker Causeway, Miami, FL 33149

Clearly coral reefs of the Caribbean are in decline. What is not clear is the spatial extent and severity of the declines. To produce answers to these concerns, the Atlantic and Gulf Rapid Reef Assessment (AGRRA) Program was designed to assess the health of coral reefs throughout the region by examining communities of reef-building corals, fishes, and algae. It is the first initiative to examine the regional health of coral reefs using trained experts rather than volunteers. AGRRA is focused on three objectives:

The AGRRA surveys are based on three guiding principles:

The assessments of the first 20 widely distributed reef areas testify to the promise of this regional approach. Progress is made in separating the effects of regional vs. local impacts, in creating norms of current reef condition comparable to those of human health (blood pressure, lung condition) and in identifying candidate areas for protection and remediation. The completed regional assessment will facilitate multi-scale comparison of reef condition and establish a comprehensive baseline against which future changes can be determined.

Keywords: Coral reef, rapid assessment, regional database, management and conservation, Caribbean


EMAP Home | About EMAP | Components | Data | Documents | Bibliography | News | Site Map

Local Navigation

Jump to main content.