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U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2011–3049

From Ridge to Reef—Linking Erosion and Changing Watersheds to Impacts on the Coral Reef Ecosystems of Hawai‘i and the Pacific Ocean

By Jonathan D. Stock, Susan A. Cochran, Michael E. Field, James D. Jacobi, and Gordon Tribble

Thumbnail of and link to report PDF (8 MB)Summary

Coral reef ecosystems are threatened by unprecedented watershed changes in the United States and worldwide. These ecosystems sustain fishing and tourism industries essential to the economic survival of many communities. Sediment, nutrients, and pollutants from watersheds are increasingly transported to coastal waters, where these contaminants damage corals. Although pollution from watersheds is one of many factors threatening coral survival, it is one that local people can have a profound influence on. U.S. Geological Survey scientists are using mapping, monitoring, and computer modeling to better forecast the effects of watershed changes on reef health. Working with communities in Hawai‘i and on other U.S. islands in the Pacific, they are helping to provide the science needed to make informed decisions on watershed and coral reef management.

  • This report is also available in print from:

    USGS Information Services, Box 25286,
    Federal Center, Denver, CO 80225
    telephone: 888 ASK-USGS; e-mail: infoservices@usgs.gov

For additional information:
Contact Information, Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center
U.S. Geological Survey
Pacific Science Center
400 Natural Bridges Drive
Santa Cruz, California 95060
http://walrus.wr.usgs.gov/

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Suggested citation:

Stock, J.D., Cochran, S.A., Field, M.E., Jacobi, J.D., and Tribble, Gordon, 2011, From ridge to reef—linking erosion and changing watersheds to impacts on the coral reef ecosystems of Hawai‘i and the Pacific Ocean: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2011–3049, 4 p.




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