The 1998 Executive Order on Coral Reef Protection (E.O. 13089) represented a formal response to the precarious state of US coral reefs. It required agencies to examine their actions affecting coral reefs and established the U.S. Coral Reef Task Force to oversee Federal efforts to study, manage, and conserve the nation’s coral reef resources.
The interagency Task Force supported the passage of the Coral Reef Conservation Act of 2000 and the creation of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Coral Reef Conservation Program (CRCP). The CRCP is a multi-office program that uses the diverse expertise across NOAA to help protect important coral reef ecosystems.
As a result of E.O. 13089, Congress appropriated funds to NOAA to support regional coral reef research initiatives which resulted in the creation of three coral reef ecosystem research Institutes: the Hawaii Coral Reef Initiative (HCRI), the National Coral Reef Institute (NCRI), and the Caribbean Coral Reef Institute (CCRI). NOAA’s Center for Sponsored Coastal Ocean Research (CSCOR) administers the Institutes for the CRCP.