Protecting Habitat in the Pacific


Our goal is to conserve, protect, and restore marine habitat and coastal ecosystems in the Pacific Islands Region. The Pacific Islands Region is unique in that it encompasses a large percentage of the nation's coral reefs. Coral reefs were 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 plans include broad-based research programs on the marine habitat throughout the Pacific Islands Region, including habitat mapping and characterization; physical and biological oceanography studies; and 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 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.

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