Protected Caribbean Corals Program

NOAA Fisheries works to protect and preserve corals and coral reefs by addressing the threats that are causing their decline. Caribbean species as “threatened” include elkhorn coral, staghorn coral, lobed star coral, boulder star coral, mountainous star coral, pillar coral, and rough cactus coral.

Management Plan for Caribbean Acropora Population Enhancement 

NOAA Fisheries announces the release of the Management Plan for Caribbean Acropora Population Enhancement for threatened elkhorn and staghorn corals.  The intent of population enhancement efforts is to aid in the recovery of elkhorn and staghorn corals and to improve reef community and ecosystem function without negatively impacting native populations.  The management plan provides best management practices to minimize risks to native populations and guidelines to maximize recovery potential as identified by the goals, actions, and criteria in the Acropora Recovery Plan.  It covers all aspects of population enhancement, from collection and nursery cultivation, to outplanting, monitoring, and reporting.  The management plan pertains to any efforts to propagate elkhorn or staghorn corals when the intention is to release propagated individuals for reintroduction or augmentation of existing populations or to establish or maintain refugia populations (populations removed from the wild).  Coral restoration partners, including non-governmental organizations, academia, zoos, aquaria, and federal, state, and local agencies, are requested to collectively implement this Management Plan.



Learn more about threats facing corals.

Learn how you can help protect corals and coral reefs.

Educational Resources

Live Rock Factsheet - If you find a piece of live rock material with a threatened coral species attached, you must leave that piece of live rock on the bottom. 

Be Coral Conscious Brochure - Report a coral sighting, learn about legal protections, and learn how to act responsibly around corals. 

More Information