You are here:
EPA Field Manual for Coral Reef Assessments
SANTAVY, D. L., W. S. FISHER, J. G. CAMPBELL, AND R. L. QUARLES. EPA Field Manual for Coral Reef Assessments. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC, EPA/600/R-12/029, 2012.
Originally submitted in requirement for Water Quality APM 306, 2010. Published as EPA report in 2012
The Water Quality Research Program (WQRP) supports development of coral reef biological criteria. Research is focused on developing methods and tools to support implementation of legally defensible biological standards for maintaining biological integrity, which is protected by the Clean Water Act (CWA). Under CWA authority and following national guidelines established by EPA (CWA 303), states and other jurisdictions promulgate Water Quality Standards to protect the physical, chemical and biological integrity of the Nation’s waterbodies. States apply physical and chemical standards at levels protective of aquatic biological inhabitants. More recently, the importance of biological standards are gaining acceptance. Biological standards have the benefit of directly measuring the cumulative effects of good and poor environmental conditions on the biological community. Because the CWA is intended to protect aquatic resources from changes generated by human activities (not from natural changes in the environment), the anticipated outcome is regulatory protection that sustains reef condition equal or similar to a natural state.