- About the Habitat Blueprint
- Fact Sheets
- St. Louis River Factsheet
- Penobscot River Factsheet
- Biscayne Bay Factsheet
- NE Reserves/Culebra Factsheet (English)
- NE Reserves/Culebra Factsheet (en español)
- Alaska Fact sheet
- Muskegon Lake Factsheet
- St. Louis River Factsheet
- Guam Factsheet
- West Hawaii Factsheet
- Russian River Factsheet
- Choptank River Complex
- Blueprint Overview
- Habitat Focus Areas
- Living Shorelines
- Landscape-Scale Conservation
- Frequently Asked Questions
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NOAA has chosen two sites in the Southeast and Caribbean Region as the next Habitat Focus Areas under NOAA’s Habitat Blueprint
Puerto RIco’s Northeast Reserves
Florida’s Biscayne Bay
The Northeast Reserves and Culebra habitats are home to coastal forests, wetlands, a bioluminescent lagoon, seagrass beds, shallow and deep coral reefs, and miles of pristine beaches. Leatherback sea turtles nest on the beaches, while manatees, green and hawksbill turtles, and bottlenose dolphins are frequently sighted. A variety of coral species—including those protected under the Endangered Species Act—can be found along with diverse fish species that depend on these valuable habitats. This area is also of great economic value, thanks to thriving tourism, seven marinas, and recreational and commercial fisheries.
The Northeast Reserves and Culebra Island encompass a combination of urban and protected lands. This lush region has experienced significant decline in coastal and marine habitats, such as mangrove, coral, and seagrass. This is due largely to unsustainable coastal development and recreational and commercial uses, land-based sources of pollution, and climate change impacts such as rising sea surface temperatures.
NOAA will protect and restore coastal habitats and resources within the Northeast Reserves and Culebra Island through conservation projects, management based monitoring and research, and training and
NOAA, partners, and local communities are already engaged in multiple projects in this new Habitat Focus Area. Our partners include:
Scientists and resource managers worry that
We’ve only recently learned the extent of the threats posed by algal blooms. The recent appearance of expansive algal blooms in the southern, most pristine, part of the Bay is troubling. Water quality monitoring, always somewhat limited and patchy, has declined. Further investigations into the algal blooms and the water quality conditions that promote these blooms are needed and should be accompanied by efforts to reduce nutrient inputs wherever possible.
Bay fishery and protected species’ nurseries, as well as recreational activities within the bay and on the adjacent reef, depend upon clean, clear waters. Tourism and recreational activities are major industries and sources of revenues, jobs, and income for the Biscayne Bay area, and both are directly and indirectly influenced by the ecological health of the bay.
NOAA has considerable involvement in Biscayne Bay research and conservation. We’ve partnered with other federal, state, and local agencies in the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Project: an effort to restore south Florida ecosystems, including coastal waters. NOAA also works with Biscayne National Park and Miami-Dade County to monitor water quality, physical, and biological parameters in Biscayne Bay.Among our other partners: