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The Climate Around Climate Change on Florida’s Reefs: In Action or Inaction?

Created: 6/25/2015 - Updated: 1/24/2019


This project seeks to evaluate the success and degree of implementation of the Climate Change Action Plan for the Florida Reef System 2010-2015 (referenced hereafter as Action Plan, and cited as CCAPFRS). This Action Plan identifies interdisciplinary actions to be incorporated into reef management plans in order to address a myriad of climatic and non-climatic stressors to the reef system, minimize risks to coral reef dependent people and industries, and target scientific research priorities for strategic management.

As we are now in the final year of the Action Plan, the status and degree of implementation of the plan’s 40 recommendations has been unknown until now. A qualitative evaluation was designed due to a lack of monitoring, established benchmarks, and specific measures in the plan. Through stakeholder interviews, surveys, and independent Internet research this project assessed to what degree the recommended actions had been implemented and developed a scorecard to consolidate information on management strategies underway that contribute to the general success of the Action Plan. The scorecard enhances communication among stakeholder groups and various governmental and state agencies regarding collective progress, and serves as a blueprint for a subsequent plan moving forward. This review process demonstrated the great benefits and value of monitoring and evaluation of action plans with application worldwide.

Overall, it was found the plan is in a fairly good degree of implementation, with 80% of the plan’s 40 action items addressed to some degree. The most success was found in research goals, and the area most in need regards fisheries management. Some priorities changed over time. There has been a strong monitoring and reporting network built in the region, with several programs utilizing “eyes and ears on the water”. The capacity to respond and monitor coral bleaching events has also greatly increased.

Published On

Thursday, June 11, 2015


Sector Addressed: 
Conservation / Restoration
Target Climate Changes and Impacts: 
Air temperature
Culture / communities
Habitat extent
Ocean acidification
Species of concern
Storms or extreme weather events
Water quality
Water temperature
Type of Adaptation Action/Strategy: 
Capacity Building
Monitor climate change impacts and adaptation efficacy
Habitat/Biome Type: 
Taxonomic Focus: 
Climate Type: 
Sociopolitical Setting: 

Related Resources

A Climate Change Action Plan for the Florida Reef Tract (2010-2015)

This photo has been released into the public domain because it contains materials that originally came from the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. No endorsement by licensor implied.

Case Study
Sector Addressed: 
Conservation / Restoration

Coral reefs are extremely vulnerable to climate change impacts, especially when combined with existing stresses such as land-based sources of pollution, habitat degradation, and overfishing. EcoAdapt has been working on a climate change action plan for Florida's reefs as result of the Reef Resilience conference recommendations in 2008.

Sector Addressed: 
Disaster Risk Management
Tourism / Recreation