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Land-Sea Characterization of the St. Croix East End Marine Park, U.S. Virgin Islands

Author(s): Pittman, S.J., D.S. Dorfman, S.D. Hile, C.F.G. Jeffrey, M.A. Edwards, and C. Caldow

NCCOS Center: CCMA (http://coastalscience.noaa.gov/about/centers/ccma)

Center Team: Biogeography

Place of Publication: NOAA, Silver Spring, MD

Publication Type: NOAA Technical Memoranda

Date of Publication: 2013

Reference Information:

Keywords: St. Croix east end marine park, coral reefs; USVI; human impact; watershed condition; land use mapping; ecosystem health; land-sea connectivity; St Croix; marine protected area; fish; pollution; runoff; landscape analysis

Abstract: About This Document This report provides a detailed spatial characterization of landscape and adjacent seascape condition within the St. Croix East End Marine Park (STXEEMP). This characterization is presented to highlight the potential influence of landscape patterns on nearshore coral reef ecosystems and to document the diversity, condition and composition of biological communities within each of the distinct park zones. The data includes new field data collected as part of this project to address a data gap on marine communities, particularly for the southern portion of the park. This synthesis is intended to support local management priority setting for conservation of coral reef ecosystems by identifying and mapping potential threats to coral reef health from land-based sources of pollution and also to help managers and the local community develop a more detailed understanding of the types, variety and condition of marine flora and fauna within the park. The information was compiled as a contribution to the project “Land-sea characterization of STXEEMP to evaluate zones and support management plan review” funded by NOAA Coral Reef Conservation Program (CRCP). It addresses the CRCP goal to improve the use and effectiveness of marine protected areas (MPAs) by conducting science in support of MPA design and adaptive management. Related report: Pittman, S.J., S.D. Hile, C.F.G. Jeffrey, C. Caldow, M.S. Kendall, M.E. Monaco, and Z. Hillis-Starr. 2008. Fish assemblages and benthic habitats of Buck Island Reef National Monument (St. Croix, US Virgin Islands) and the surrounding seascape: A characterization of spatial and temporal patterns. NOAA Technical Memorandum 71. For more information on this project direct questions and comments to: Simon Pittman, Ph.D., Project Lead National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration / National Ocean Service / National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science/ Center for Coastal Monitoring and Assessment / Biogeography Branch E-mail: simon.pittman@noaa.gov Chris Caldow Branch Chief National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration / National Ocean Service / National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science/ Center for Coastal Monitoring and Assessment / Biogeography Branch E-mail: chris.caldow@noaa.gov

Availability: Online PDF

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