NOAA Coral Reef Climate Change Strategy and Implementation Plan 2014-2016

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Climate Change Strategy and Implementation Plan refines and builds upon NOAA’s Coral Reef Conservation Program Goals and Objectives 2010-2015 to direct Program investments in reducing the impacts of climate change and ocean acidification to coral reef ecosystems. This Plan will be used by the Program to draft internal proposals, requests for federal funding, and evaluate received proposals. The Plan will guide the Program's efforts to aid coral reef managers and dependent communities. This aid helps managers and communities understand, plan for, and respond to climate impacts and ocean acidification.

Program climate funds as projected through 2016 will focus on activities that contribute to the following priorities:

  1. Supporting reef managers to assess and understand the vulnerability and resilience of their reefs and dependent communities and in using this information to inform management decisions.
  2. Developing, refining and disseminating climate products and services to management partners, meeting their specific requirements so that this information can be used in decision-making. 
  3. Build the capacity of managers to integrate science and local knowledge into management, and raise awareness of climate impacts and the benefits of sound ecosystem-based management.

These broad priorities are broken down into goals and actionable objectives in Appendix 3. This Appendix offers a detailed description of the progress, next steps, and funding needs of each objective. Some of these next steps and objectives relate directly to adaptation, such as conducting adaptation trainings and producing adaptation toolkits.

The Plan encourages the practice of ecosystem-based management and adaptation. This is an integrated, holistic approach that considers the connectedness of the entire ecosystem rather than a single issue, species, or service. Ecosystem-based management ensures that ecosystems are healthy and resilient while providing the ecosystem services humans need.

The Plan also offers information on ecosystem-based adaptation. This approach combines biodiversity and ecosystem services into an overall strategy to aid climate adaptation and allows the provision of ecosystem services. Ecosystem-based adaptation combines practices of sustainable management, conservation, and restoration to provide services that help people adapt.


The focus of the Coral Reef Conservation Program is to support effective ecosystem-based management and adaptation with a foundation of sound science to understand the impacts of climate change and ocean acidification to coral reef ecosystems. Based on this information, the Program provides targeted tools, products, and services to inform on-the-ground management of coral reef ecosystems.



Publication Date: 2014

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  • Adaptation plan


  • Ocean acidification

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