The 1997 “Summary Report of the U.S. Islands Coral Reef Initiative Workshop” (aka Blue Book) and the 1999 “U.S. All Islands Coral Reef Initiative Strategy” (aka Green Book) reflected the islands’ visions for coral reef management strategies through projects and programs that were jurisdiction specific as well as regional, national, and international in scope. In 2002, the Local Action Strategy (LAS) format was adopted by the U.S. Coral Reef Task Force (USCRTF) and this shifted the priority setting process to align with federal targets. In 2010, the NOAA Coral Reef Conservation Program, working with jurisdictions, led to the creation of a set of Management Priority Setting Documents; one per jurisdiction.
UPDATED JURISDICTIONAL CORAL REEF MANAGEMENT PRIORITIES
The AIC believes that a document that captures local coral reef management priorities, led by jurisdictions and developed with input from partners, would be a critical asset to our combined efforts to make a difference for our coral reefs. We are committed to leading and coordinating this effort. While the AIC, as a group, does not get directly involved in local coral reef management decisions, we can and do support the development of national policy and action affecting local management, and serve as an advisory and coordinating body to the USCRTF on local jurisdictional issues.
We envision this Jurisdictional Coral Reef Management Priorities (a placeholder name for now) document to be similar to the Green Book and include a section that describes the priorities of the AIC and projects that would benefit all seven jurisdictions. Developing such a document offers great partnership opportunities with a multitude of entities.
We envision the overall process to build this document would be coordinated and led by the jurisdictions. This document would be updated on a regular basis and once completed, would be presented to the Task Force and Task Force agencies.
This document will help inform the efforts of Task Force agencies under the new USCRTF Strategy (in progress) and be used to build partnerships and support for jurisdictional projects that result in place-based resource-focused outcomes. With the numerous impacts to our coral reefs each day, we keep saying that we must stretch beyond the ‘status quo’ and work together, as federal agencies and jurisdictions, to make a difference NOW. We see this document as a key component to the future of our nation’s coral reefs.
CURRENT STATUS (as of 3/8/16)
During the 35th U.S. Coral Reef Task Force (USCRTF) meeting in Washington D.C. (February 2016), the AIC shared its intent to build this document and requested the support and engagement of Task Force member agencies. The AIC is in the very early planning stages for this document.