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Reefs at Risk in the Caribbean

Improving coastal resource management and coral reef protection by providing comprehensive information on threats to coral reefs, the value of goods and services provided by these ecosystems, and economic losses that will result from their degradation.

Key Findings

Executive Summary

Many people in coastal communities throughout Latin America and the Caribbean depend on the natural resources provided by reefs for their livelihoods. Ensuring proper management of the reefs is vital for the economic and environmental health of the region, but there is a lack of quality information about the relationship between human activities and coral reef condition across the region. The Reefs at Risk in the Caribbean project was a response to this information need. The primary goal of the project was to raise awareness and improve management of coral reefs across the region through improving the knowledge base on the status of and threats to coral reefs. In collaboration with partner institutions across the region, we implemented an analysis to link human activities with reef condition. A major component of the project involved modeling (estimating) threat to coral reefs from human activities.


Reefs at Risk Caribbean on CD

The CD version of this report includes:

  • Over 30 spatial data sets reflecting physical, environmental and socioeconomic variables for the Wider Caribbean;
  • user-friendly map viewing software (ESRI ArcReader);
  • Detailed country profiles for 35 Caribbean countries and territories
  • Full technical notes on the threat modeling method;
  • Technical notes on data sources and methods for the economic valuation;
  • Complete set of maps in high and low resolution JPEG format.

To order a copy of the CD, contact reefsatrisk@wri.org.


Downloadable GIS Data Sets

Both download options provide estimates of threat to coral reefs for the four individual threats (coastal development, marine-based threats, overfishing, and sediment and pollution from upland sources), in addition to integrated threat -- the Reefs at Risk threat index.

  • Vector Data Sets (ZIP archive, 20.7 Mb) including data on coral reef locations, estimated threat to coral reefs from human activities, watersheds boundaries, and marine protected areas, all in ESRI ArcView shapefile format in Geographic projection.

    This option five polygon data sets reflecting estimated threats from human activities; five point data sets reflecting coral reef locations by these estimated threats; a polygon data set of watershed boundaries (with associated erosion estimates); a point data set reflecting river mouths and estimated relative sediment delivery; a polygon data set reflecting country boundaries; a line data set reflecting the coastline; and a point data set reflecting cruise ship ports of call. The zip file also includes an ArcView project file (rrcar_vec.apr) which requires ESRI's ArcView software.

  • GRID Data Sets (ZIP archive, 32.7 Mb) including data on coral reef locations, estimated threat to coral reefs from human activities, relative erosion rates across the landscape, and bathymetry, all in ESRI ArcView GRID format in Lambert Equal-Area Azimuthal projection.

    This option five GRID data sets reflecting estimated threat to coral reefs from human activities; five GRID data sets reflecting coral reef locations classified by estimated threat; a GRID data set reflecting estimated relative erosion rates across the landscape; and a GRID reflecting Bathymetry. All GRIDs are in Lambert Equal-Area Azimuthal projection.

    In addition, the zip file includes several vector shapefiles in Geographic projection – polygon watershed boundaries (with associated erosion estimates), polygon country boundaries, and a point data set reflecting river mouths and estimated relative sediment delivery. The zip file also includes an ArcView project file (rrcar_gr.apr) which requires ESRI's ArcView software and Spatial Analyst 2.0 extension.


Technical Documentation


Workshop Summary

Reefs at Risk in the Caribbean Threat Assessment Workshop Summary

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