On the evening of December 6th, Palau International Coral Reef Center (PICRC) and members of the Palau Coral Reef and Island Ecosystem (P-CoRIE) Project presented results of research work to members of the Airai community. The community meeting was held to share research results from different research projects conducted within Airai State, and provide recommendations that are relevant to their community. PICRC researchers, Marine Gouezo and Lincoln Rehm, along with P-CoRIE Chief Advisor Dr. Takashi Nakamura and P-CoRIE researcher, Dr. Haruko Kurihara, presented their findings to the community. [restrict]
The meeting highlighted chronic stressors as a major contributor to the state of resources found in Airai Bay. PICRC’s marine protected area monitoring has shown that over the past 5 years, seagrass beds within the Airai conservation area have been diminishing. Additionally, the effects of the conservation area on fish and invertebrate resources in Airai are not obvious. Results from P-CoRIE research indicate that typhoon disturbances as well as the construction of the airport and other land development projects may be responsible for the slow growth of corals in Airai. Run off from incessant rains and poor land development contribute to high sedimentation in the bay, hindering the reefs ability to receive ample light.
Through research and monitoring, researchers are able to provide scientific feedback to communities in order to effectively manage their marine ecosystems and ensure the success of the communities surrounding them. These meetings provide a platform for researchers to share and inform community members so they can better address concerns and identify solutions. PICRC would like to thank the Airai State community members and leaders and PAN coordinator, Mr. Kamen Chin, for all of their help during the community meeting. [/restrict]