The Pacific Islands Region encompasses a large percentage of the nation's coral reefs. Coral reefs are important to indigenous Pacific Island communities, such as Native Hawaiians, for food, cultural practices, recreation, and overall survival. In fact, Hawaii's location in the middle of the Pacific Ocean exposes its coral reefs to large open ocean swells which play an important coral habitat role in structuring the coral reef community.
Our habitat protection efforts include broad-based research programs on the marine habitat throughout the Pacific Islands Region. Our goal is to conserve, protect, and restore marine habitat and coastal ecosystems. These efforts include:
- Habitat mapping and characterization.
- Physical and biological oceanography studies.
- Research on a variety of marine habitat issues, including marine debris, invasive species, and pollutants.
We also work to increase partnerships with other federal and local authorities. These partnerships allow us to maintain sustainable coastal ecosystems and implement strategies that minimize the introduction and impacts of alien species and marine pollution. We provide technical reviews of all proposed federal actions in coastal habitats in the Pacific Islands Region to eliminate or reduce potential negative environmental impacts on the marine habitat.