On Saturday, April 30, cadets from the 28th Police Academy joined forces with the Melekeok Conservation Network, Ngaramecherocher, Ngaraotellouch, Melekeok leadership and community members to participate in the control of a native species called cheuais in Lake Ngardok.

The plant cheuais (hanguana malayana) is a tall grass which has grown in the lake for years, but has recently become overgrown, obstructing the flow of the lake and nearly enclosing it. The Melekeok community started an initiative in the past two years to clear the extra growth, and up until December 2021 the community gathered monthly to cut and move the plant from the lake. Since the recent COVID-19 surge in Palau, the work had stopped, and April was the first trip back to the lake for this project.

A total of 23 cadets from the Police Academy joined the men and women of Melekeok to remove the cheuais, a labor-intensive process requiring entry into the lake to cut the plant at the root, passed hand to hand along a chain of people, then deposited away from the shore and cut up. Working for several hours, the group was able to remove a large patch of the species from the lake.

The Ngardok 25th Anniversary Committee, Melekeok Conservation Network, and the community and leadership of Melekeok extend their sincerest gratitude to Commander Obak Mad and the cadets of the 28th Police Academy for their hard work and partnership.

For more information about Ngardok Nature Reserve, please contact MCN Coordinator Dearlynn Rebluud, at dearlynnrebluud@gmail.com; msgconservationnetwork@gmail.com;  or visit Melekeok Conservation Network on Facebook and @ngardok_mcn on Instagram.

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