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U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2006-1383

Pacific Island Ecosystems Research Center

Trip Report: Pilot Study of Factors Linking Watershed Function and Coastal Ecosystem Health in American Samoa

By Carter T. Atkinson and Arthur C. Medeiros


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Coral reef resources in the territory of American Samoa face significant problems from overfishing, non-point source pollution, global warming, and continuing population growth and development. The islands are still relatively isolated relative to other parts of the Pacific and have managed to avoid some of the more devastating invasive species that have reached other archipelagoes. As a result, there are opportunities for collaborative and integrative research and monitoring programs to help restore and maintain biodiversity and functioning natural ecosystem in the archipelago.

We found that the “Ridge to Reef” paradigm already exists in American Samoa, with a high degree of interagency cooperation and efficient use of limited resources already taking place in the Territory. USGS may be able to make contributions as a partner organization in the Coral Reef Advisory Group (CRAG) through deployment of sediment monitoring instrumentation to supplement stream monitoring by the American Samoa Environmental Protection Agency, by providing high resolution vegetation and land-use maps of main islands, by providing additional support to the American Samoa Department of Marine and Wildlife Resources and the National Park Service for monitoring of invasive species, by working with members of CRAG to initiate sediment transport studies on Samoan reefs, and by developing new projects on the effects of bacterial contamination and pollutants on coral reef physiology and demography.

Last modified October 4, 2010
First posted 2006

  • This report is available only on the Web.

For additional information contact:
PIERC, Pacific Island Ecosystems Research Center
U.S. Geological Survey
677 Ala Moana Blvd. Suite 615
Honolulu, HI 96813

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Suggested citation:

Atkinson, Carter T., and Medeiros, Arthur C., 2006, Trip report; pilot studies of factors linking watershed function and coastal ecosystem health in American Samoa: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2006-1383, 31 p.



Research and Monitoring in American Samoa

Ridge to Reef - An Exisiting Paradigm for American Samoa

Research Opportunities for USGS in American Samoa



Literature Cited

Appendix: Travel Itenerary in American Samoa

American Samoa Contacts

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