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  • Abstract: Combining oral histories with NOAA data to illustrate two decades of change in the Florida Reef Tract
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NOAA's Coral Reef Conservation Program (CRCP) was established 20 years ago by the Coral
Reef Conservation Act to better protect coral reefs and to preserve them for future generations.
The CRCP spans four NOAA line offices, operates in seven United States jurisdictions and
collaborates internationally, reaching out to thousands of people every day with a variety of web
services and informational products.

The NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI), which houses the data
produced by the CRCP, is arguably the largest open source coral data repository in the world,
and CRCP-funded scientists have amassed a wealth of data concerning Florida's coral reefs, the
only barrier reef system in the continental United States. This is an incredible resource and
represents a wealth of NOAA heritage. Examining these data can yield information about
NOAA's past activities, how reef conditions have changed over time, and can even inform the
future actions of the next generation of NOAA scientists.

Our project goal is to protect, preserve, and add value to these data in a manner that is accessible
to all of NOAA's audiences. We will collect firsthand accounts from scientists, divers, and
others with firsthand knowledge of how reef conditions have changed in Florida. These video
interviews will be paired with professionally created visuals of NOAA data to form a human-
centered and approachable retrospective of Florida's reefs over the past two decades.

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