The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and U.S. Virgin Island Department of Planning and Natural Resources (DPNR) held a workshop September 11-13, 2007, in St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI), to begin the process of designing a monitoring program that meets multiple management objectives. The Coral Reef Monitoring Needs Assessment Workshop was an information sharing and brainstorming session that provided an opportunity to explore alternative ways to compress a complex ecological system into a small set of variables and functions that could potentially address a variety of management perspectives. Through a facilitated process, workshop participants began to develop an assessment framework for USVI coral reefs that addresses both anthropogenic and natural stresors across a range of spatial and temporal scales. An organizing framework was introduced as a systems-based approach to emphasize the interconnectedness of ecological, economic, and social components. Assessment questions were developed at the workshop and subsequently organized into an objectives hierarchy and means-end network. A rotating panel monitoring design was developed as a result of the workshop presentations and discussions. Potential indicators were discussed.