Reefs at Risk Data available on Web

Lauretta Burke LAURETTA at
Fri Aug 14 18:02:18 EDT 1998

The Reefs at Risk Indicator of estimated threat to the world*s coral reefs is now available as a geographically- referenced data set which can be downloaded from the World Resources Institute*s web site ( 

Reefs At Risk is a first-of-its-kind, standardized, global assessment of anthropogenic threats to coral reefs. The data set contains over 55,000 locations representing coral reefs, classified by degree of threat from human activities. The map-based analysis produced an indicator of potential threats to coral reefs from four broad categories: 
1) Coastal Development
2) Marine-based Pollution
3) Overexploitation of Marine Resources
4) Inland Pollution and Erosion 

The Reefs at Risk Indicator was developed at The World Resources Institute (WRI),
in collaboration with The International Center for Living Aquatic Resources Management (ICLARM), and The World Conservation Monitoring Centre (WCMC).

The geographic data are available in two formats - 
a) as point data in ArcView Shapefile or
b) as raster data in an ArcInfo GRID format.

ArcView Shapefiles are compatible with the ArcView software developed by the Environmental Systems Research Institute (ESRI).
ArcInfo GRID data can be used with ESRI*s ArcInfo software, or with the *Spatial Analyst* extension of the ArcView software.

The data are in zipped (compressed) format.  User*s will need decompression software such as PKUNZIP or WinZip in order to use these data.

Data Download Options:
A) To obtain the Reefs at Risk Indicator as Point data in ArcView Shapefile format, you should download REEF_PTS.ZIP.  This file is 650k compressed, and will require 5.5 megabytes of disk space.  (These data are in Geographic Projection.)
The zip file includes four files - a file of data documentation called DATA_DOC.TXT, and three files which together comprise the ArcView Shapefile called REEF_PTS.  These three files have .DBF, .SHP, and .SHX extensions.  These data will unzip into a directory called REEF_WRI\DATA_GEO.

B) To obtain the Reefs at Risk Indicator as a raster (GRID) format, you should download REEFDATA.ZIP.  This file is 2.3 megabytes compressed, and will require 10.5 megabytes of disk space.  (The GRID data are in Mercator projection, at 4 kilometer resolution).
This zip file includes:
- coral reefs classified by threat from human activity in ArcInfo GRID format;
- four data sets in GRID format which represent estimated threats from Coastal Development, Marine-based Pollution, Overexploitation of Marine Resources, and Pollution and Sediment from Inland Activities, respectively; 
- one data set in GRID format which summarizes our estimate of threat from the four categories of human activities; 
- one ArcView Shapefile data set reflecting coral reefs classified by threat from human activity in point format for comparison (same data as in REEF_PTS.ZIP); and
- one ArcView project file to make the mapping of these many datasets easier.
- a file of data documentation called DATA_DOC.TXT. 

Notes on UnZipping
For the GRID data to work, it is important that the data retain the directory (path) structure that they were saved with.  This happens automatically with the WinZip Software.  If using PKUNZIP, it is important to use the *-d* option of the command.  These data should unzip into a directory called REEF_WRI\DATA_MER.  For the ArcView project to correctly reference the data locations, it is best to unzip these data onto the C:\ drive.

For further information on Reefs At Risk, visit WRI*s web site
( or e-mail Lauretta Burke
lauretta at

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