The Midway Atoll Coral Reef Research Project is an integrated, multi-disciplinary program of biological, geological, and oceanographic studies that explore the current state of Midway’s reefs and the processes that shape them. The research incorporates historical impacts and aims to understand the likely effects of projected global changes for coral reefs and propose management procedures that may reduce or mitigate these effects. The project was established in 2005 as a collaboration between the University of California Santa Cruz under the leadership of Dr. Donald Potts, the Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and Mitsubishi Corporation’s Global Coral Reef Conservation Project.
The project aims to:
- Provide baselines for understanding future environmental changes by establishing the nature and magnitudes of past and present patterns of biological, physical, and chemical variation, within and among habitats, and on scales from days to years.
- Provide the scientific basis for enhanced conservation, management and ecosystem sustainability of Midway Atoll’s islands, reefs and biota.
- Experimentally investigate important ecological species interactions that affect coral cover and reef community composition.
- Distribute knowledge and technologies enhancing effective long-term conservation of coral reefs to the adjacent Northwestern Hawaiian Islands, other National Wildlife Refuges, and marine protected areas throughout the Pacific.