May 24, 2013, Guam, posted by Roxanna Miller
Back in November 2012 the Micronesia Challenge posted a short article
about the Humåtak Project. This project is a community effort working to
revive Guam’s watersheds, coral reefs, and fisheries using watershed
restoration activities. The project began in 2002 after local fisherman
noticed a decline in fish catch, which they attributed to excessive
sedimentation on the reef. The goals of the project are to: 1) build
awareness of environmental issues through educational and community
outreach, 2) treat sources of sedimentation by implementing erosion
control practices, and 3) improve the science of mitigating for impacts
to coral reefs and other aquatic resources by monitoring changes in
sedimentation rates and coral reef health.
To read rest of entry, click here.
Elizabeth McLeod, Alison Green, Edward Game, Kenneth Anthony, Joshua Cinner, Scott F. Heron, Joanie Kleypas, Catherine E. Lovelock, John M. Pandolfi, Robert L. Pressey, Rodney Salm, Steve Schill & Colin Woodroffe (2012): Integrating Climate and Ocean Change Vulnerability into Conservation Planning, Coastal Management, 40:6, 651-672
Read article here.
Top photo: Tammy Jo Anderson Taft gathered the islands high school students to learn about sustainability at the University of Guam.
Bottom photo: Mark Cruz and the Guam Extention Interns Team lead a fantastic plant propagation workshop at House 2, UOG.
Photos: Bart Lawrence
The study’s goals were:
1. Quantify the sediment trapping rates for different types of taro fields.
2. Determine the sediment trapping efficiency of taro fields.
Previous research identified the sediment trapping ability of Palau’s mangroves. This project sought to find out whether taro field farming, which diverts river water through taro fields, also helps to keep sediment out of Palau’s bays. The research team placed forty-four sediment traps in three taro fields in Babeldaob (two in Aimeliik and one in Airai) to measure how much sediment exits the taro field and re-enters rivers. The area surrounding the sites differed by slope, vegetation, erosion and development.
The study found that Palau’s taro fields trap approximately90% of riverine sediments. River water diverted into the fields slows as it spreads out over the field. Grasses within the fields further slow the water. As such, fine, suspended sediments have time to settle to the bottom and deposit into the field, and cleaner water returns to the river at the irrigation system’s exit and out to Palau’s coral reefs. Increased sediment runoff onto coral reefs negatively affects reef health—it can smother reef corals and encourage algae growth. Understanding the tools that can help keep sediments out of the ocean leads to better marine conservation management and reef recovery planning. The study is important locally, regionally, and internationally, because it describes and quantifies sustainable traditional farming methods that can help protect against coral reef degradation.
This paper is the first research collaboration between the Bureau of Arts and Culture and PICRC. It is also the first paper that Shirley Koshiba has submitted for publication. Shirley, in her time with PICRC, has developed into a proficient researcher. She received her undergraduate degree in Political Science from the University of Hawaii, Manoa and was initially hired as an Office Assistant at PICRC. However, her strong work ethic and analytical skills came to the attention of PICRC CEO Dr. Yimnang Golbuu, who recommended that she apply for an open Researcher position. PICRC provided the proper training and support for the researcher position and since then, she both monitors in the field and does socio-economic research for PICRC. Her professional success reflects PICRC’s emphasis on employee development.
The paper can be found at http://link.springer.com/article/ 10.1007/
Participants at this years MIC Retreat in Majuro, RMI
with Minister Tony DeBrum
RMI. The Micronesians in Island Conservation (MIC) Peer-learning Network met for their annual retreat on Majuro in the Marshall Islands. The group was welcomed with inspiring words by the Honorable Minister in Assistance Tony DeBrum and then spent 4 days learning about successes and challenges from each of the islands, participated in leadership development sessions, endorsed their strategic plan, and discussed the latest updates on Micronesia Challenge sustainable finance, measures and communications, Rare campaigns, and enforcement training around the region. Local partners in the Marshall Islands also presented on their recent success in enforcing their nationwide shark sanctuary.
The group was hosted by His Excellency President Christopher J. Loeak at an evening reception at the Marshall Islands Resort and visited a "Mule", or native Ratak Imperial pigeon, recovery project on the island of Bikirin. Click here for more.