Local Action Strategies
Local Action Strategies (LAS) are a U.S. Coral Reef Task Force led initiative to identify and implement priority actions needed to reduce key threats to valuable coral reef resources in each U.S. coral reef jurisdiction. In 2002, the Task Force adopted the “Puerto Rico Resolution” which calls for the development of three-year LAS by each of the seven U.S. jurisdictions containing coral reefs: Florida, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Hawaii, Guam, American Samoa, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. These LAS are locally-driven roadmaps for collaborative and cooperative action among federal, state, territory, and non-governmental partners.
The goals and objectives of the LAS are linked to those found in the U.S. National Action Plan to Conserve Coral Reefs,adopted by the U.S. Coral Reef Task Force in 2000. From the thirteen goals identified in the National Action Plan, the Task Force prioritized six areas for immediate local action: over-fishing, land-based sources of pollution, recreational overuse and misuse, lack of public awareness, climate change and coral bleaching, and disease. Applying a collaborative decision-making process based on local needs, concerns and capacities, each of the seven U.S. coral reef jurisdictions developed LAS that contain a variety of projects designed for implementation over a three-year period (roughly FY2004-2006). A jurisdiction’s strategies may address some or all of the six focus areas as well as additional locally relevant threats. A series of fact sheets were produced to provide an overview of the strategy development process and to highlight the goals, objectives, and project examples for each of the seven jurisdictions.
The LAS initiative is in different stages with diverse approaches within each jurisdiction; sometimes with multiple LAS on different timelines. Implementation of LAS projects began in 2003-2004 and NOAA and the Task Force are currently working with each jurisdiction to complete implementation of their first round of LAS. Several jurisdictions are now completing the core elements of their initial LAS and are examining how best to revise their LAS to more effectively achieve coral reef management objectives in the future. A report entitled, “Report on the Status of Local Action Strategies to Conserve and Protect Coral Reefs for years 2002-2006” was prepared by NOAA in cooperation with the U.S. All Islands Coral Reef Committee and representatives from the U. S. Coral Reef Task Force to highlight activities and accomplishments at the end of the initial 5 years of the LAS initiative. The report describes the overall status of the LAS initiative including accomplishments, an overall project and funding summary, and an overview of the LAS process and funding for each jurisdiction. The final section presents a summary of lessons learned and recommendations for future phases of the LAS effort.
In 2009, each jurisdiction created the LAS factsheets found below.
American Samoa Department of Commerce
Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana
Division of Environmental Quality
Office of Coastal and Aquatic Managed Areas
Division of Aquatic and Wildlife Resources
Department of Land and Natural Resources
Department of Natural and Environmental Resources
U.S. Virgin Islands
Division of Coastal Zone Management