U.S. Coral Jurisdictions

All Islands Committee: Formed in 1996, the U.S. All Islands Coral Reef Committee (AIC) represents the combined voice of the coral reef jurisdictions of the U.S. and Freely Associated States (American Samoa, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Florida, Guam, Hawai’i, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Republic of the Marshall Islands, and Republic of Palau).

The AIC's strength is its ability to elevate cross-cutting jurisdictional issues and priorities within the U.S. Coral Reef Task Force (USCRTF) and federal processes related to coral reef conservation. The Committee does this in a unified voice with the support of Governors and Cabinet-level staff. The AIC does not get involved directly in coral reef management and processes at the jurisdictional level. However, can support a cross-cutting issue at the local level. Efforts and activities at the local level are separate from cross-cutting efforts of the AIC, which tend to focus at the national level.

The vision of the AIC aims for thriving coral reef ecosystems, effectively managed to protect their ecological, social, and economic value for present and future generations. The mission is to be a unified voice for the effective management of coral reef ecosystems in the U.S. and Freely Associated States. The AIC provides leadership and coordination of strategic initiatives to strengthen the conservation of coral reef ecosystems in the U.S. and is guided by its Charter, Communications Plan, and Strategic Action Plan.

We invite you explore and learn about each of these special places, their coral reef resources, and the work they are doing to help protect and conserve them. (https://allislandscommittee.org/aboutaic/contacts/)

State and Territories: There are approximately 4.7 thousand square kilometers of tropical shallow hard bottom coral reef ecosystems in the U.S. coral reef jurisdictions. These comprise about 3% of the world’s tropical shallow water coral reefs. Here, at least 3 million people directly depend on coral reefs for costal protection and fisheries.

Recognizing that coral reef ecosystems are largely in state and territorial waters, one of the first actions the USCRTF took in 1999 was to invite the Governors of American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Florida, Guam, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands to join the USCRTF as full members and partners. In 2000, the Presidents of the Freely Associated States of the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, and the Republic of Palau were invited to participate in the USCRTF as non-voting members. Effective communication and collaboration with local agencies and communities in these jurisdictions is crucial for the mission of the USCRTF by enhancing local capacity.

For Local Action Strategies, publications, management plans, data, reports, educational materials, and more, visit the Jurisdiction's Regional Portal on the Coral Reef Information System (https://www.coris.noaa.gov/portals/).