Preliminary Findings of Mariana Archipelago Monitoring Delivered to NAVFAC

The crown-of-thorns seastar Acanthaster planci occurs in abundance on some reefs of the Mariana Archipelago.

On September 30th, staff of the Center's Coral Reef Ecosystem Division (CRED) completed the report Coral Reef Ecosystem and Habitat Surveys in the Mariana Archipelago: Preliminary Findings and Key Figures for the Islands of Guam, Aguijan, Tinian, Saipan, and Pagan. The report was delivered to the Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC), which commissioned the study. Copies were also provided to key federal and local resource management agencies in Guam and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.

The report detailed findings based on extensive ecological surveys conducted on the coral reefs of the Mariana Archipelago as part of NOAA's multi-faceted, long-term monitoring program. The preliminary results included about 500 draft figures presenting the data collected around each of the five islands during Mariana Archipelago Reef Assessment and Monitoring Program cruises by NOAA research vessels in 2003, 2005, and 2007.

Processing, analysis, and interpretation of the survey data are ongoing and will result in a comprehensive coral reef ecosystem monitoring report for the Mariana Archipelago. Accordingly, the findings presented in the NAVFAC report are preliminary and may be subject to revision after further analyses.

For more information contact: Rusty Brainard