Interagency Partnerships


U.S. Coral Reef Task Force

Coral readingsThe United States Coral Reef Task Force (USCRTF) was established in 1998 by Presidential Executive Order to lead U.S. efforts to preserve and protect coral reef ecosystems. The Department of the Interior and NOAA co-lead the USCRTF that includes leaders of 10 Federal agencies, seven U.S. States, Territories, Commonwealths, and three Freely Associated States. The USCRTF helps build partnerships, strategies, and support for on-the-ground action to conserve coral reefs. Interior plans and supports biannual meetings that bring Task Force members together, and Interior bureaus implement actions to support coral reef conservation, science, and management.

Interior’s Multi-Bureau Role for Managing Coral Resources:

  • The FWS manages 15 National Wildlife Refuges with coral reefs and five Marine National Monuments which represent the largest and most ecologically comprehensive series of fully-protected marine areas under unified conservation management in the world.
  • The BOEM has sponsored long-term monitoring in the coral reef ecosystem of the Flower Garden Banks located in the Gulf of Mexico and continues to lead in improved understanding of deep ocean ecosystems and their related coral communities.
  • The NPS has 10 National Parks in Florida, the Caribbean, and the Pacific Ocean that include coral reef ecosystems.
  • The OIA, through its Coral Reef Initiative, funds coral reef conservation and management projects in the U.S. insular areas.
  • The USGS conducts research to advance coral ecosystem science and works with partners to identify threats to their structure and biological communities, including pollution and local impacts, disease, and climate change. 

Learn more about the Interior's role in coral reef protection.

Marine Protected Areas Center


The United States has developed a national system of marine protected areas (MPAs) to advance the conservation and sustainable use of the nation's vital natural and cultural marine resources. The MPA Center is a partnership between NOAA and the Department of the Interior and is a resource for all federal, state, territorial and tribal programs responsible for the health of the nation's oceans. The MPA Center helps build management capacity and coordinate collaborative efforts in the protection of significant natural and cultural resources within MPA programs. 

Read and subscribe to the MPAC Newsletter.

Extended Continental Shelf (ECS) Project Task Force

The Department of the Interior plays a key role in the U.S. Extended Continental Shelf Project Task Force through the U.S. Geological Survey, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management and the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement joining other government agency members: the U.S. Department of State, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Executive Office of the President, Joint Chiefs of Staff, U.S. Navy, U.S. Coast Guard, Department of Energy, National Science Foundation, Environmental Protection Agency, Arctic Research Commission, and Marine Mammal Commission. 

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