The purpose of this paper is to provide the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) with advice on the feasibility of establishing biological criteria for assessing coral reef ecosystems. Following up on the conclusions and next steps presented in: A Coral Reef Symposium on Practical, Reliable, Low Cost Monitoring Methods for Assessing the Biota and Habitat Conditions of Coral Reefs, we address the following questions. Does sufficient need exist to justify preparation of a guidance document on the development of coral reef ecosystem biocriteria. Does sufficient information currently exist to draft this guidance. What data, research and/or projects are needed to facilitate development of such a guidance document. Because of the interconnections which can develop between coral reefs, seagrass beds and mangrove forests, these ecosystems are considered one for the purposes of coral reef ecosystem bioassessment and biocriteria development described here. The biogeographic focus of this paper is coral reef ecosystems under U.S. jurisdiction. Coral reef ecosystems under United States jurisdiction are defined as ecosystems in waters where any United States environmental regulations apply and does not imply that the United States Federal government subsumes jurisdiction within the territorial sea.