POHNPEI, 13 OCTOBER 2023 (BLUE PROSPERITY/PRISTINE SEAS) — Blue Prosperity Micronesia and National Geographic Pristine Seas began their expedition in the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) today to explore and conduct a nationwide assessment of the marine ecosystems.

The expedition will be conducted by Blue Prosperity Micronesia and National Geographic Pristine Seas.

It is a government-led initiative in collaboration with National Geographic Pristine Seas, FSM Department of Resources & Development, Chuuk State, Pohnpei State, Kosrae State, Yap State, Micronesia Conservation Trust, University of Guam, Scripps Institution of Oceanography and Waitt Institute.

The expedition research will focus on remote atolls, seamounts and reefs where little scientific information currently exists to help create an updated baseline of the Federated States of Micronesia’s marine environment and resources. The expedition’s science team, which includes a roster of local and international scientists, will help fill in research knowledge gaps to support the Federated States of Micronesia’s sustainable marine management goals. Over the next few weeks, local scientists from all four States will join the expedition team. 

Data collected will contribute to the nation’s goals of traditional and sustainable resource management, specifically the Blue Prosperity Micronesia program and the Micronesia Challenge, reinforcing the region’s dedication to preserving its natural heritage.

“This is National Geographic Pristine Seas’ first expedition to the Federated States of Micronesia and we are humbled to be part of this collaborative effort to study the marine environment,” said Paul Rose, National Geographic Pristine Seas expedition leader.

Blue Prosperity Micronesia Science Advisor Dr. Nicole Yamase stated, “As Micronesians, our ocean is fundamental to our wellbeing and survival. Our government has already committed to protecting 30% of the ocean to safeguard our natural and cultural heritage. This expedition is a unique opportunity to help shape the future of our ocean management and prosperity.”

“This research will build upon the extensive Micronesia coral reef monitoring network which has been studying reef management over a decade. We are excited to research how traditional knowledge and reef tenure across outer atolls has facilitated sustainable resource use for centuries. We are blessed to have the opportunity to learn from these remote communities and support them in addressing modern challenges like climate change,” said Peter Houk, Expedition Chief Scientist, University of Guam Marine Lab.

Throughout the expedition, the team will also be involved in community engagement efforts, such as hosting public events and conducting in person and virtual educational sessions…. PACNEWS

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