Identifying and structuring objectives for a coral reef protection plan at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

  • John F. Carriger
  • William S. Fisher
  • Charles T. LoBue
  • David N. Cuevas-Miranda
Article

Abstract

Region 2 of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency initiated a Coral Reef Protection Plan (CRPP) in 2014 to reduce anthropogenic stress on Caribbean coral reefs. The CRPP is intended to foster institutional practices that improve reef condition and focus regulatory and non-regulatory decision making on minimizing pollutant release to coastal systems. A framework incorporating two sets of objectives was constructed to examine the short- and long-term costs and benefits of tasks. The first set of objectives was derived from existing tasks in the CRPP and was intended to support an update of the CRPP for 2015. Fundamental objectives were constructed to communicate the end objectives across tasks and means objectives were constructed to communicate the means for achieving them. The second set of objectives was created to reflect costs and benefits of the CRPP beyond 2015. These objectives contained fundamental objectives comprising broad social, economic, learning and governance topics. The means objectives included tasks such as building capacity, providing regulatory oversight, and learning and reducing uncertainties. The second set of objectives also included strategic objectives that identify long-range benefits such as coral reef integrity and reef ecosystem services. The process of defining objectives helped to ascertain and better elucidate the important consequences for the CRPP. Understanding objectives not only provides a roadmap for coral reef protection but can help Region 2 communicate internally and externally with other agencies, industry, and the public.

Keywords

Objectives Decision analysis Coral reef protection Coastal pollution Sustainable practices Regulatory fulfillment 

References

  1. Belton V (1999) Multi-criteria problem structuring and analysis in a value theory framework. In: Gal T, Stewart TJ, Hanne T (eds) Multicriteria decision making: advances in MCDM models, algorithms, theory and applications. Springer Science+Business Media, New York, pp 335–366CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bradley P, Fore L, Fisher W, Davis W (2010) Coral reef biological criteria: using the clean water act to protect a national treasure. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Research and Development, Narragansett. EPA/600/R-10/054, 153 pGoogle Scholar
  3. Bradley P, Santavy DL, Gerritsen J (2014) Workshop on biological integrity of coral reefs, August 21–22, 2012, Caribbean Coral Reef Institute, Isla Magueyes, La Parguera, Puerto Rico. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Research and Development, Atlantic Ecology Division, Narragansett. EPA/600/R-13/350, 128 pGoogle Scholar
  4. Browne NK, Smithers SG, Perry CT (2012) Coral reefs of the turbid inner-shelf of the Great Barrier Reef, Australia: an environmental and geomorphic perspective on their occurrence, composition and growth. Earth-Sci Rev 115:1–20CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Espinosa-Romero MJ, Chan KMA, McDaniels T, Dalmer DM (2011) Structuring decision-making for ecosystem-based management. Mar Policy 35:575–583CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Fisher WS (2007) Stony coral rapid bioassessment protocol. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Research and Development, Washington, D.C., EPA/600/R-06/167, 60 pGoogle Scholar
  7. Fore LS, Karr JR, Fisher WS, Davis WS (2008) Making waves with the Clean Water Act. Science 322:1788CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Fore LS, Karr JR, Fisher WS, Bradley P, Davis WS (2009) Heeding a call to action for U.S. coral reefs: the untapped potential of the Clean Water Act. Mar Pollut Bull 58:1421–1423CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Gregory R, Keeney RL (1994) Creating policy alternatives using stakeholder values. Manag Sci 40(8):1035–1948CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Gregory RS, Keeney RL (2002) Making smarter environmental management decisions. J Am Water Res Assoc 38(6):1601–1612CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Gregory R, Failing L, Harstone M, Long G, McDaniels T, Ohlson D (2012) Structured decision making: a practical guide to environmental management choices. Wiley-Blackwell, ChichesterCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Griffith D, García-Quijano C, Valdés-Pizzini M (2013) A fresh defense: a cultural biography of quality in Puerto Rican fishing. Am Anthropol 115(1):17–28CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Hall NM, Berry KLE, Rintoul L, Hoogenboom MO (2015) Microplastic ingestion by scleractinian corals. Mar Biol 162(3):725–732CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Jackson JBC, Donovan MK, Cramer KL, Lam VV (2014) Status and trends of Caribbean coral reefs: 1970–2012. Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network. International Union for the Conservation of Nature, Gland, p 306Google Scholar
  15. Johns GM, Leeworthy VR, Bell FW, Bonn MA (2003) Socioeconomic study of reefs in Southeast Florida. Final report, 349 pGoogle Scholar
  16. Keeney RL (1992) Value-focused thinking: a path to creative decisionmaking. Harvard University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  17. Keeney RL, McDaniels TL (2001) A framework to guide thinking and analysis regarding climate change policies. Risk Anal 21(6):989–1000CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Keeney RL, McDaniels TL, Ridge-Cooney VL (1996) Using values in planning wastewater facilities for metropolitan Seattle. Water Resour Bull 32(2):293–303CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Koss RS, Kingsley JY (2010) Volunteer health and emotional wellbeing in marine protected areas. Ocean Coast Manag 53:447–453CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Linkov I, Moberg E (2012) Multi-criteria decision analysis: environmental applications and case studies. CRC Press, Boca RatonGoogle Scholar
  21. McDaniels T, Longstaff H, Dowlatabadi H (2006) A value-based framework for risk management decisions involving multiple scales: a salmon aquaculture example. Environ Sci Pol 9:423–438CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Merkhofer MW, Keeney RL (1987) A multiattribute analysis of alternative sites for the disposal of nuclear waste. Risk Anal 7(2):173–194CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Oliver LM, Lehrter JC, Fisher WS (2011) Relating landscape development intensity to coral reef condition in the watersheds of St. Croix, US Virgin Islands. Mar Ecol-Prog Ser 427:293–302CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Principe P, Bradley P, Yee S, Fisher W, Johnson E, Allen P, Campbell D. (2012) Quantifying coral reef ecosystem services. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Research and Development, Research Triangle Park. EPA/600/R-11/206, 147 pGoogle Scholar
  25. Ramos-Scharrón CE, Torres-Pulliza D, Hernández-Delgado EA (2015) Watershed- and island wide-scale land cover changes in Puerto Rico (1930s–2004) and their potential effects on coral reef ecosystems. Sci Total Environ 506-507:241–251CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Seager TP, Satterstrom FK, Linkov I, Tuler SP, Kay R (2007) Typological review of environmental performance metrics (with illustrative examples for oil spill response). Integr Environ Assess Manag 3(3):310–321CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Smith TB, Nemeth RS, Blondeau J, Calnan JM, Kadison E, Herzlieb S (2008) Assessing coral reef health across onshore to offshore stress gradients. Mar Pollut Bull 56:1983–1991CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Smith TB, Brandt ME, Calnan JM, Nemeth RS, Blondeau J, Kadison E, Taylor M, Rothenberger JP (2013) Convergent mortality responses of Caribbean coral species to seawater warming. Ecosphere 4(7):1–40CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Spalding MD, Ravilious C, Green EP (2001) World atlas of coral reefs. University of California Press, Berkeley 432 pGoogle Scholar
  30. USCRTF (2016) Handbook on coral reef impacts: avoidance, minimization, compensatory mitigation and restoration. United States Coral Reef Task Force, Coral Injury and Mitigation Working Group 152 pGoogle Scholar
  31. USEPA (2012) Best management practices for marinas. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 2 Pollution Prevention Team, 20 pGoogle Scholar
  32. UVICES (2002) Virgin Islands environmental protection handbook 2002. University of the Virgin Islands Cooperative Extension Service 302 pGoogle Scholar
  33. von Winterfeldt D, Edwards W (1986) Decision analysis and behavioral research. Cambridge University Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  34. Whelan KRT, Miller J, Sanchez O, Patterson M (2007) Impact of the 2005 coral bleaching event on Porites porites and Colpophyllia natans at Tektite Reef, US Virgin Islands. Coral Reefs 26:689–693Google Scholar
  35. Wilkinson C (2008) Status of the coral reefs of the world: 2008. Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network and Reef and Rainforest Research Centre, Townsville 296 pGoogle Scholar
  36. WMO (2010) Climate, carbon and coral reefs. World Meteorological Organization/Convention on Biological Diversity, Geneva. WMO-No. 1063, 32 pGoogle Scholar
  37. Woody K, Atkinson A, Clark R, Jeffrey C, Lundgren I, Miller J, Monaco M, Muller E, Patterson M, Rogers C, Smith T, Spitzak T, Waara R, Whelan K, Witcher B, Wright A (2008) Coral bleaching in the U.S. Virgin Islands in 2005 and 2006. In: Wilkinson C, Souter D (eds) Status of Caribbean coral reefs after bleaching and hurricanes in 2005. Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network, and Reef and Rainforest Research Centre, Townsville, pp 68–72Google Scholar
  38. WRI (2011) Reefs at risk revisited. World Resources Institute, Washington, D.C. 130 pGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© This is a U.S. government work and its text is not subject to copyright protection in the United States; however, its text may be subject to foreign copyright protection 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Research and Development, National Risk Management Research Laboratory, Land and Materials Management DivisionCincinnatiUSA
  2. 2.U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Research and Development, National Health and Environmental Effects Research Laboratory, Gulf Ecology DivisionGulf BreezeUSA
  3. 3.U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 2Clean Water DivisionNew YorkUSA
  4. 4.U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 2Caribbean Environmental Protection DivisionGuaynaboUSA

Personalised recommendations