A University of Guam Sea Grant researcher recently presented findings on a study that focused on the connection between Southern Guam watersheds, water quality, coral reefs, and fisheries at the UOG Marine Lab Lecture Hall. One of the findings emphasized in the research was the effect of nitrogen on fish biomass.
A Pwo ceremony was held at Piti Park in September to recognize several initiates as Pelu or Master Traditional Navigators. The ceremony is part of the University of Guam Island Wisdom and UOG Sea Grant's initiative to advance traditional local knowledge in the region.
Volunteers and community members alike joined the Guam Restoration of Watersheds (GROW) Initiative for the second GROW in Malojloj event earlier this month at the Ugum Watershed in Inalahan.
The Center for Island Sustainability and Sea Grant participated in the 2022 International Coastal Cleanup with the adoption of two locations Ensa Beach at Pago Bay and Tarague Beach at Andersen Air Force Base.
From the professional rugby field to the forefront of the aquaculture movement in Guam, Johnny Borja has taken a unique path on his road to sustainability.
In 2013, the Department of the Navy's Naval Facilities Engineering Command Marianas signed a Cooperative Ecosystem Studies Unit (CESU) agreement with the University of Guam to conduct beach monitoring and protect sea turtle nesting activities, to develop an educational outreach program.
UOG Sea Grant obtained this project in 2018 and works collaboratively with sea turtle expert Jessy Hapdei, of Jessy's Tag Services, to conduct the nest monitoring surveys on Andersen Air Force Base. Our sea turtle biologists currently monitor activity of the endangered green sea turtle (haggan betde) and the critically endangered hawksbill sea turtle (haggan karai).
By learning about sea turtle behavior and habitat usage, we are able to promote a healthier endangered species population that will hopefully one day sustain itself. In this way, UOG Sea Grant is promoting healthy coastal ecosystems around the island of Guam. Further, the information gained from nesting surveys and satellite tagging is dispersed to the community via outreach (e.g. classroom presentations, tabling at community events, and beach cleanups) that fosters environmental literacy for island residents.
When southern Guam residents look out into their watershed, they see a recurring issue: eroding soil bleeding into the sea. Poor land use is a common environmental concern among Pacific islands that leads to consequences such as accelerated land erosion and subsequent sedimentation on downstream coral reefs. Sedimentation smothers and kills coral reefs and harms nearshore fisheries.
To enhance local stakeholders' understanding of environmental stressors, the UOG Sea Grant Program conducts outreach and research through the GROW Initiative. The project began after villagers in Umatac experienced a decline in the size and quality of their fish catch and discovered that poor land-use practices were to blame. Hundreds of community members were reached through the education outreach activities, including Watershed Adventures and guest lectures.
Our Program has since partnered with the Guam Department of Agriculture Forestry Division to establish a plant nursery that will house saplings that will later be transplanted. The Forestry Division is sharing some of its plant nursery space with our Program to help continue our efforts.
Reckless off-roading is a major environmental stressor that accelerates land erosion. In early 2018, UOG Sea Grant facilitated a roundtable discussion with off-road enthusiasts, environmental groups, natural resource managers, and community stakeholders concerning the environmental impacts of the sport.
Following the roundtable discussion, UOG Sea Grant initiated a community pledge for responsible off-roading and outdoor practices.
Our team conducted outreach on responsible off-roading during the 2018 Smokin' Wheels event. More than 70 individuals signed the Tread Lightly 2018 pledge — a community-wide commitment to responsible off-roading and safe practices while engaging in outdoor activities.
The pledge asked participants to respect the rights of others, remain educated on protected sights and avoid sensitive areas such as wetlands, streams, and falls.
Using the stars, wind, and waves as guides, students from the University of Guam spent six weeks under the tutelage of Master Navigator Larry Raigetal, one of the few remaining masters of traditional navigation, to learn the basic principles of indigenous seafaring. The 2018 Fañomnåkan course, aptly entitled, "Traditional Navigation & Climate Change Adaptation," also offered students a rare glimpse into the world of the "sakman" or canoe building community — a privilege typically reserved for those embarking on a monthslong journey by sea. Although students did not have to partake in an actual trip across the Pacific, they were treated to the rich knowledge of celestial navigation, Micronesian enthnomathematics, hydrophysics, and more.
On the final week of the course, the 15 students prepared for the final lesson climate change adaptation. Anchored in environmental lessons on climate change in both scientific and humanistic contexts, the course sought to address issues like rising sea levels, global warming, and the Micronesian responses to adapt to environmental threats.
In an interview with the University of Guam Sea Grant for an upcoming documentary, Raigetal shared the connection between climate change adaptation and traditional knowledge. "I think that there is a lot that we can learn from indigenous knowledge that is all too relevant and applicable to the impact of climate change," shared Raigetal. He continued, "Our mission should always be to make sure that those coming after us are better off. It's not all about us — it's not all about me. It's not about what I can grab from the resources now. It's all about making sure the future generations are also sharing that same [message] and passing it on."
Check out this simple recipe for a great surf and turf with local seafood and veggies!
G3's own Lawrence Lizama takes us into the kitchen with some local shrimp and locally grown kangkung for a delicious meal that we can all agree goes swimmingly with any dinner plans.
An island favorite with a Middle-Eastern twist, submitted by local celebrity Nae Nae!
Last updated: June 2, 2021