American Samoa Monitoring Inventory

photo of coral in american samoa

The monitoring projects in the following inventory take place in or around the National Marine Sanctuary of American Samoa. Projects are conducted by either Sanctuary staff or by our partners. Summary information is presented for each.

For more information about the monitoring activities at National Marine Sanctuary of American Samoa, please click here, and review the Sanctuary Condition Report.

Contact the research coordinator at the Sanctuary for additional information.

Coral Reef Long-Term Monitoring

Lead Charles Birkeland (University of Guam Hawaii), Alison Green (The Nature Conservancy)
Objective Provide status and trends of the sanctuary's coral, algae and fish resources.

Method Video transects, repetitive photo stations, and coral growth stations surveyed with SCUBA.

Status Duration Frequency
Active 1985 - present Every three years

Partners University of Guam Hawaii, The Nature Conservancy
Keyword(s) coral, benthic algae, reef fish

Temperature, Water Quality and Habitat Health Monitoring

Lead American Samoa Environmental Protection Agency (ASEPA)
Objective Assess water quality of Fagatele Bay to maintain Environmental Protection Agency standards.

Method Collect measurements for temperature, salinity, DO, pH, light penetration, turbidity, currents, nitrogen, phosphorus, and fecal coliform.

Status Duration Frequency
Active 2002 - present Continuous

Partners Fagatele Bay National Marine Sanctuary, NOAA's Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center (Coral Reef Ecosystem Division)
Keyword(s) water quality

Research and Marine Mammal Monitoring

Lead David Mattila (Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary), Jooke Robbins (Provincetown Center for Coastal Studies)
Objective Gather sightings, photos and skin samples of humpback whales that visit within and around the sanctuary to determine the Oceania stock these whales belong to, their abundance, and how they use the habitat.

Method Vessel position, time and whale behavioral information are logged. Photos are taken to help identify individual animals as humpback flukes (tails) are distinctive for each individual. Skin samples are collected to provide additional information including the sex, population genetics, and what types of fat-soluble pollutants are in the animals' bodies. Recordings of the song are made opportunistically.

Status Duration Frequency
Inactive, pending funding 2003 - present Annual (2-3 weeks every winter)

Partners American Samoa Department of Marine and Wildlife Resources, National Park of American Samoa, Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary, Provincetown Center for Coastal Studies
Keyword(s) cetaceans, abundance, habitat