The National Parks in the Pacific are participants in the National, and International, Coral Reef Initiative. Coral reefs are in serious decline globally, especially those near shallow shelves and dense populations. It has been estimated that 10 percent of the Earth's coral reefs have already been seriously degraded and a much greater percentage is threatened. If allowed to continue, this decline is likely to lead to the loss of most of the world's reef resources during the next century.
· Expand program implementation for conservation, restoration and management of sustainable coral reefs and their associated communities among governments and international organizations.
· Incorporate management provisions into existing local, regional, and national development plans that provide for protection, restoration, and sustainable use of corals and their associated communities.
· Strengthen the capacity for developing and implementing management policies and research, and monitoring coral ecosystems.
· Establish and maintain coordination of international regional and national research and monitoring programs to ensure efficient use of resources and information flow.
· The United States is one of the first countries with coral reefs to launch a national Coral Reef Initiative. Announced in 1996, the U.S. Coral Reef Initiative (USCRI) is designed to be a platform of U.S. support for domestic and international coral conservation efforts. Five of the Pacific National Parks (American Samoa, War in the Pacific, Kaloko-Honokohau, Hawaii Volcanoes, and Kalaupapa) contribute staff and management to the Coral Reef Initiative. The Pacific Islands National Parks I & M Network of eleven National Parks contribute inventory and monitoring research to the Initiative.
· The extensive coral reefs of the U.S. Pacific cover over 10,000 square miles.
· Three million tourists visit one of Hawaii's many coral reef sites every year;
· In American Samoa, coral reefs play an important cultural role and supply over 50 percent of the fish caught locally for food;
· In Guam and the Northern Marianas, 90 percent of new economic development is related to coastal tourism.
The purposes of this title are-
(1) to preserve, sustain, and restore the condition of coral reef ecosystems;
(2) to promote the wise management and sustainable use of coral reef ecosystems to benefit local communities and the Nation;
(3) to develop sound scientific information on the condition of coral reef ecosystems and the threats to such ecosystems;
(4) to assist in the preservation of coral reefs by supporting conservation programs, including projects that involve affected local communities and nongovernmental organizations;
(5) to provide financial resources for those programs and projects; and
(6) to establish a formal mechanism for collecting and allocating monetary donations from the private sector to be used for coral reef conservation projects.