Project

Coral Reef Resilience to Climate Change in the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas Islands

Project Summary

Affiliation(s): Pacific Islands CSC

Principal Investigator(s):
  • Laurie Raymundo (Marine Laboratory, University of Guam)
  • Jeffrey Maynard (Marine Applied Research Center, Wilmington, NC)

Coral reefs are sometimes called “rainforests of the sea” because of their immense biological diversity and economic value. While coral reefs are sensitive to changes in their environment such as altered temperature or pollution, some reefs are more resilient, or able to recover from disturbance more quickly, than others. The overarching objective of this project was to gather information on coral reef resilience and vulnerability to climate change that could inform coastal management decision-making in the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas Islands (CNMI). Scientists collaborated with local managers to survey reefs at 78 locations throughout the CMNI and evaluate indicators of resilience, such as numbers of juvenile corals and plant-eating fish. Their findings highlight priority sites for management action and identify which management actions (e.g., fisheries regulation, pollution reduction, reef restoration and monitoring) will best support natural resilience at each site. Local managers are currently using the results to inform and improve the effectiveness of their coastal management planning.

Coral in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands - Credit: NOAA

Affiliation(s): Pacific Islands CSC

Principal Investigator(s):
  • Laurie Raymundo (Marine Laboratory, University of Guam)
  • Jeffrey Maynard (Marine Applied Research Center, Wilmington, NC)
Co-Investigator(s):
  • Steven McKagan (NOAA Fisheries in Saipan, CNMI)
  • Steven Johnson (CNMI Bureau of Environmental and Coastal Quality)

Start Date: September 2013

End Date: December 2014

Project Status: Completed

Tags: CSC, Pacific Islands CSC, 2013, Coral Reef Resilience, Vulnerability, Management, Water and Ice, Coral Reefs

Fiscal Year: FY 2013 Projects

Publications & Other

  • Assessing relative resilience potential of coral reefs to inform management

      • Project Snapshot: Coral reef resilience to climate change in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands

        • PICSCResearchFeature_Raymundo_MarianasReefResilience.pdf (Download)
        • Assessing the Relative Resilience Potential of Coral Reefs to Inform Management in the Northern Mariana Islands

          • Final Report: Coral Reef Resilience to Climate Change in CNMI

            • CNMI Resilience_PICSC_Raymundo and Maynard_Final Report_FINAL.pdf (Download)

            Data