Home > Explore Data & Reports > Baseline assessment of Faga'alu Watershed: a ridge to reef assessment in support of sediment reduction activities and future evaluation of their success


Holst Rice, S., A.T. Messina, T. Biggs, B. Vargas-Angel, and D.R. Whitall. 2016. Baseline assessment of Faga'alu Watershed: a ridge to reef assessment in support of sediment reduction activities and future evaluation of their success. NOAA Technical Memorandum CRCP 23. Silver Spring, MD. 44 pp. doi:10.7289/V5BK19C3

Data/Report Type:

NOAA Technical Memorandum


The primary purpose of this document is to provide local and federal partners with baseline information and survey methods to allow for continued monitoring efforts to evaluate the effectiveness of management actions taken at the Samoa Maritime quarry in Faga'alu, American Samoa. This document summarizes work completed between 2012 and 2014, and was coordinated and funded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Coral Reef Conservation Program (CRCP) to gather baseline data and information before management interventions such as drainage systems, alternative ground cover, and retention ponds were installed at the quarry to reduce land-based sources of pollution inputs to the coral reefs in Fagaalu Bay. The work was funded through direct investments made by the NOAA CRCP, through a Cooperative Agreement with American Samoa to the Coral Reef Advisory Group (CRAG), and through a domestic grant awarded to San Diego State University (SDSU) titled, 'Monitoring and analysis of sediment accumulation and composition on coral reefs in Faga'alu Bay, American Samoa' which extended previous efforts supported by the Department of Interior Insular Affairs Office through the CRAG. To carry out these baseline assessments, technical and scientific experts from NOAA and SDSU collaborated to gather baseline information to share with local management authorities in American Samoa. These 2012-2014 activities describe the pre-intervention baseline data collection, analysis, and interpretation needed to evaluate the effectiveness of subsequently planned interventions over time. To quantify effectiveness of these interventions, additional long-term monitoring of sediment loads in Faga'alu Stream and coral community structure will be needed for comparison with the baselines presented here. The overall effort required to evaluate the effectiveness of the interventions is large, and requires a close coordination between local and federal efforts.

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