Projects supporting our environment, which you may find interesting...
Tasi Beach Guides
TheTasi Beach Guides Project is investigating the relationship between humanuse and coral health on coral reefs around Guam. The project collects data on the frequency and intensity of human users at two popular diving locations, both in-water and on land. The research will help improve management of these sensitive natural areas and develop locally-relevant strategies for reducing recreational impacts to Guam's coral reefs. The project team includes staff and interns from the UOG Center for Island Sustainability, NOAA's Coral Reef Conservation Program, Friends Of Reefs Guam, and the Bureau of Statistics and Plans.
Guardians of the Reef Program
The Guardians of the Reef Programis a collaborative between the Bureau of Statistics and Plans and the Guam Department of Education intended to mentor and educate the next generation of conservation leaders. The program trains high school students to conduct presentations to third grade students in a classroom setting about coral reefs, their importance to our island, the threats they face, and actions they can take to help preserve these valuable resources. The program has trained students for 14 years and serves six public high schools and 25 elementary schools.
Pollution, stormwater, and sediments run-off the land and onto adjacent coral reefs. These inputs can smother corals, cause harmful algal blooms, and result in coral disease outbreaks. Guam’s natural resource managers, students, and community members are working together to actively restore Guam’s watersheds todecrease the amount of pollution and sediments reaching our reefs. Watershed restoration increases the amount of vegetation on Guam’s land by replanting slopes and reducing impacts of wildland fires and offroading. By planting trees and other native plants, we can prevent erosion; the roots of plants will hold soil in place and prevent runoff of sediments onto the reefs when it rains.
Watershed restoration is occurring in Malesso, Merizo, As Gadao, Masso Reservoir, and other sites around Guam. The work is spearheaded by Guam Department of Agriculture Forestry and Soil Resources Division, and supported by NOAA, Bureau of Statistics and Plans, and other natural resource managers. Community members are invited to attend plantings. Stay tuned on the events calendar for upcoming events.
Coral Reef Restoration
Guam’s natural resource managers and local researchers are investigating innovative ways to actively restore our island’s coral reef habitats. Guam’s ocean-based coral nursery, located within the Piti Bomb Holes Marine Preserve, has hosted over 1,000 fragments of five species of branching staghorn corals. The fragments are transplanted to the nursery, where they are able to grow larger in favorable conditions before being outplanted to reefs. The nursery also contains juvenile corals bred in the University of Guam Marine Lab using coral spawn from Guam’s reefs. In 2015, after a mass spawning, more than 1,000 coral larvae were settled onto tiles and moved to the nursery where they could grow in a safe environment before being transplanted.
The Guam Reef Restoration and Intervention Partnership (GRRIP) is a local team of scientists, managers, volunteers, and other concerned citizens conducting restoration on Guam. GRRIP uses various coral cultivation techniques to grow corals quickly and securely in coral nurseries before they can reach a stable size and be outplanted to degraded reefs around Guam. Follow them on Facebook to learn more.
Hotels FOR Guam
Hotels FOR Guam is a new partnership between BSP, NOAA, FOR Guam, and GHRA piloting seven hotels in Tumon Bay to reduce impacts of tourism and recreational use on Guam’s coral reefs. The program will cultivate environmental champions within the tourism industry who will educate hotel staff on coral reef ecology, impact reporting, and safe and sustainable tourism. The program will raise awareness and stewardship of coral reefs to Guam’s visitors by integrating coral reef outreach across various departments andmarketing materials.
Guam Coral Reef Response Team
The Guam Coral Reef Response Team responds to acute impacts to Guam's coral reef ecosystems, including coral bleaching events, outbreaks of nuisance and invasive species, vessel groundings and chemical spills, and coral disease outbreaks. The Response Team includes representatives from local and federal government agencies and the University of Guam. In recent years, the Response Team has been busy collecting data on coral bleaching, which impacted Guam's reefs in 2013, 2014, 2016, and 2017. This effort is important as it allows local researchers and coral reef managers to better understand which of Guam's reefs may be most resilient to the impacts of climate change.
The Response Team is also conducting removal efforts for the crown of thorns sea star (known as COTS), which eats coral - one COTS can eat up to 100 square feet of live coral per year! Additionally, Response Team members track and remove invasive algae, remove marine debris (such as fishing nets) as necessary, and restore coral reefs that are damaged by vessel groundings and other physical impacts.
The Eco Warriors Program is a student organization of Guam Community College. They raise awareness and educate the community on sustainability issues including recycling, energy management, and conservation of natural resources.
Eyes of the Reef Marianas
Eyes of the Reef Marianas is a program that trains community members on identifying impacts to coral reefs and techniques for reporting impacts to coral managers. The program covers topics such as coral bleaching, coral disease, marine debris, crown-of-thorns starfish, and nuisance species. Training materials are online, and training events are open to the public. Check the events calendar for future training opportunities.
Community Coral Monitoring with FOR Guam
Friends of Reefs (FOR) Guam, formerly the Guam Community Coral Reef Monitoring Program, is a community program that supports stewardship of our island’s marine environment by Guam residents. Launched in 2012, FOR Guam started as a citizen science program to train residents to help monitor different reef flat areas on Guam. Over time, the program has grown to support other stewardship activities, such as Eyes of the Reef Marianas and the Hotels FOR Guam initiative.
Guam Year of the Reef 2018
The third Guam Year of the Reef was Proclaimed by Lt. Governor Ray Tenorio by Resolution No 337-34 on February 2, 2018 to recognize the economic, biological, social, and cultural value of Guam’s coral reefs.
Guam Year of the Reef (GYOR) is a localized effort of the International Year of the Reef, which only occurs every ten years. Throughout 2018, GCRIhighlighted Guam’s coral reef resources through social media, community events, newsletters, and new partnerships. Through the effort, GCRI developed new banners and outreach materials, and hosted a GYOR exhibit at the Guam Museum. GYOR2018 was a huge success with over 30 community events, a network of 22 partners, over 1,400 coral pledges by community members and visitors, and 300 Facebook followers.
Check out the newsletters with monthly themes on the BSP website here.