Journal of Coastal Conservation

, Volume 22, Issue 2, pp 263–281 | Cite as

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


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.


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



The authors thank the Region 2 personnel and CRPP task leaders for their valuable contributions and assistance in understanding coral reef protection initiatives and objectives: Kathleen Anderson, Sergio Bosques, Peter Brandt, Jim Casey, Moses Chang, Evelyn Huertas, Jaime Lopez, John Martin, Pedro Modesto, Douglas Pabst, David Pohle, Carl Soderberg, and Donna Somboonlakana. This research was supported in part by an appointment to the ORISE participant research program through an interagency agreement between the U.S. EPA and the U.S. Department of Energy. John F. Carriger was an ORISE participant at the U.S. EPA during the tenure of this study. The views expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.


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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

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