NOAA award to support Pacific coral reef protection efforts

Noah Idechong, current Speaker of the Palau National Congress, discusses environmental impacts of poor land use practices at a village community meeting in Aimeliik State. Credit: NOAA
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NOAA has awarded the University of Hawaii at Manoa Kewalo Marine Laboratory a $199,996 grant to address the effects of land-based sources of pollution on coral reefs in the Pacific.

The money will fund the first year of a five-year, $1 million dollar project.

With this grant, researchers will help resource managers, policy makers and community leaders develop and implement strategies to prevent or reverse coral reef degradation on the Pacific Island nations of Palau, Pohnpei, Guam and Yap. The grant will facilitate information exchange among indigenous fishers, resource managers, researchers and students in an effort to learn from previous work and to incorporate traditional ecological knowledge into management decisions.

“This new grant will allow us to continue addressing problems resulting from poor land-use practices in the past,” said Noah Idechong, speaker of the Palau National Congress and a key member of the project’s advisory group. “We will also engage the community in proactive planning for future activities and test culturally appropriate approaches supporting coral reef sustainability for us, our children and generations to come.”

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