Summary report : the economic value of U.S. coral reefs, 2001-2011
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Summary report : the economic value of U.S. coral reefs, 2001-2011
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  • Alternative Title:
    Economic value of U.S. coral reefs, 2001-2011
  • Description:
    "Coral reefs are among the most valuable ecosystems on Earth, they provide humans with billions of dollars in economic and environmental services (also known as ecosystem services) such as food, protection for coasts, and tourism. However, increasing population growth rates along with economic and industrial development has resulted in unprecedented pressure to coral reefs. These pressures include impacts from climate change, unsustainable fishing, and land-based pollution. Domestically, the NOAA Coral Reef Conservation Program (CRCP) funds and equips reef conservation activities by NOAA and its partners in the seven US states and jurisdictions containing coral reefs (American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Florida, Guam, Hawai`i, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands), as well as in uninhabited islands including the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands and the Pacific Remote Island Areas. Given some of the threats mentioned above, there are a few questions to consider. How much are coral reefs worth to society? How much do people care about coral ecosystems? Can we demonstrate the value of these unique ecosystems and account for what we stand to lose if they are irreparably damaged? Providing answers to these questions can assist with better decisions that influence coral reef resource management and policy. One way to provide answers is through the use of Economic Valuation techniques. The CRCP recognizes the benefits gained from the strategic use of social science tools in US coral reef jurisdictions and one of these tools includes Natural Resource Valuation. Since 2001, the program has funded social science activities including, valuation studies in seven (7) US coral reef jurisdictions. This document attempts to summarize the major findings of these studies in order to provide an overall report on the value of US coral reefs.
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