Palau National Marine Sanctuary celebrated its 4th anniversary with great presentations and displays on different marine life such as whales and sharks and the difference in travelling patterns of males and females.

The presentation on marine life emphasized importance of understanding what’s in our ocean as one presenter said, “It may be our backyard but it is their world”.

Contests were also held for this anniversary celebration with Elia Yobech, Chairman of the board for friends of the Palau National Marine sanctuary, presenting award to the winners of the cigarette butt challenge. George B. Harris Elementary school won the first place award for cigarette butt challenge with the weight of 33.4 lbs.  Maris Stella Elementary School won both second and third place for this contest.

Olkeriil Kazuo, the press secretary of the President presented awards for the essays saying all the essays reflected what Our Oceans 2020 is doing to fight pollution from companies’ waste.

The first-place winner of the essay contest went to Belau Modekngei School, 11th grade JudgeMean O. Ngiraikelau and her essay will be kept  to be presented in a book that will be about Palau’s Our Ocean 2020.

A lot of awards were represented but the most important was the translation of the Palau National Marine Sanctuary to Palauan. The whole point of doing this was to capture something in our language in this title. Out of 135 contestant both in and out of Palau of all ages, the winner was 6th grader from Koror, Tkerbai Junior who translated PNMS to “Eluotelel a klingil a debel Belau”.

Cigarette Butt Winners

  1. 5th grade George B. Harris (GBH) with 33.4 lbs. -$500
  1. 2nd grade Maris Stella with 28.16 lbs. (MSS)- $200
  1. 3rd grade Maris Stella (MSS) 14.8 lbs-$100

Our Ocean Essay Contest

  1. First Place JudgeMean O. Ngiraikelau 11th grade from Belau Modekngei School (BMS)
  1. Second Place Shinng-yu Yang, 12th grade Mindszenty High School (MHS)
  1. Third Place Rhuetei Mutsuo 10th grade from Mindszenty High School. (MHS)