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The Coral Reef Evaluation and Monitoring Project (CREMP) monitors the status and trends of selected coral reefs along Florida’s Coral Reef from Martin County to the Dry Tortugas, excluding Biscayne National Park and the Marquesas. CREMP’s success in documenting both short- and long-term changes in benthic communities is due to the program’s broad spatial coverage, robust sampling design, tenure, and the program’s willingness to consistently adapt its monitoring protocols to address management priorities. CREMP is split into three main regions (see map). CREMP in the Florida Keys was initiated in 1996 and monitors 40 reefs between Carysfort Reef off Key Largo and Sand Key in Key West. CREMP in the Dry Tortugas was established in 1999 and monitors 11 reefs in Dry Tortugas National Park and one reef in Tortugas Ecological Reserve North. CREMP in Southeast Florida (SECREMP) started in 2003 and monitors 22 reefs between Martin County and the northern boundary of Biscayne National Park. Collectively, the spatial effort for monitoring across the three regions includes >70 sites under the CREMP framework along Florida’s Coral Reef.  

A simplified map with white water and grey land showing south Florida and the Florida Keys. CREMP regions and sub-regions are defined by text and black lines. Coral management areas are shown by different color polygons - light blue for the Southeast Florida Coral Reef ECA, dashed green for Biscayne National Park, Pink for Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, and hatched blue for Dry Tortugas National Park.

Map showing locations of three CREMP monitoring regions – CREMP in Southeast Florida, CREMP in the Florida Keys, and CREMP in the Dry Tortugas.

Financial support for CREMP comes from a variety of sources. Funding for CREMP in the FL Keys is supported by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Water Quality Protection Program. A cooperative agreement between the National Park Service and FWC supports annual surveys of 12 CREMP sties in the Dry Tortugas. Funding from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Coral Program and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection allows Nova Southeastern University to survey 22 CREMP sites in southeast Florida in collaboration with FWC.