The NOAA Fisheries Pacific Islands Region encompasses a large percentage of the nation's coral reefs. Coral reefs are important to indigenous Pacific Island communities, including Native Hawaiians, for food, cultural practices, recreation, and overall survival. In fact, Hawai‘i's location in the middle of the Pacific Ocean exposes the islands’ 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 research programs on the marine habitat throughout the Pacific Islands Region. Our goal is to conserve, protect, and restore marine habitat and coastal ecosystems. The management objectives and priorities for the main Hawaiian Islands are based on the Fisheries Local Action Strategy in Hawaiʻi, a collaborative effort to decrease fishing-related impacts to coral reefs in Hawaiʻi. 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.
Habitats in the Pacific
- Coral Reef Habitat in the Pacific Islands
- Coral Health and Threats in the Pacific Islands
- Restoring Shallow Corals
- Essential Fish Habitat in the Pacific Islands
Fisheries Local Action Strategy in Hawaiʻi
A collaborative effort to decrease fishing related impacts to coral reefs in Hawaiʻi.
Fishery Engagement and Collaboration
Marine National Monuments in the Pacific
The Marianas Trench, Pacific Remote Islands, Rose Atoll, and Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monuments were created to protect the respective areas' abundant and diverse coral, fish, and seabird populations; facilitate exploration and scientific research; and promote public education regarding the value of these national treasures.
- American Samoa Coastal Uses Mapping Project
- How Tiny Sea Urchins Are Saving Kāne‘ohe Bay
- Mapping Habitat Change in Saipan Lagoon, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands
- Shallow Coral Reefs — Essential Fish Habitat of the Pacific Islands
- The Saga of Pacific Paradise
- Essential Fish Habitat Consultations in the Pacific Islands
- Endangered Species Act Consultations in the Pacific Islands
Habitat Blueprint in the Pacific
- New Tools to Address Threats to Anchialine Pools in the West Hawaiʻi Habitat Focus Area
- NOAA and Partners Release New Map Viewer for West Hawaiʻi Habitat Focus Area
- Improving Habitat Restoration and Conservation in Guam's Manell-Geus Habitat Focus Area
Resources for Fishermen and Managers
- Measurement Guide for Regulated Nearshore Fishes of Hawaiʻi
- Pacific Islands critical habitat designations, maps, and GIS data
- Assessing relative resilience potential of coral reefs to inform management in the CNMI