Guam – Over the weekend, more than 60 students from Simon Sanchez High School and the University of Guam embarked on a Humåtak Watershed Adventure.
Participants learned about natural resources, environmental threats and community resilience. The adventure started in the upper watershed showcasing sources of erosion and concluded in Fouha Bay, allowing participants to observe the many connections of Guam’s watershed ecosystems.
“Accelerated erosion is the main environmental threat in most of our southern villages, wiping out native forests and smothering coral reefs to death. Arson fires, many caused by deer poachers, and invasive wild pigs are the main causes of erosion,” Humåtak Project Coordinator Austin Shelton explained to participants.
The purpose of Humåtak Watershed Adventures is to connect the community to their natural resources, which are foundations of island culture. Humåtak Watershed Adventures are part of the environmental education outreach efforts of the Humåtak Project, a community initiative dedicated to reviving Guam’s watersheds, coral reefs and fisheries. Since Humåtak Project restoration initiatives began in 2011, volunteers have contributed over 1,600 service hours planting trees and installing sediment filters in an effort to revive native forests and coral reefs.
Busing for the adventure was provided by the Guam Environmental Protection Agency. Umatac Mayor Johnny A. Quinata provided road safety support. Guest speakers came from the University of Guam (UOG) and the Guam Coastal Management Program. The Kewalo Marine Laboratory of the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Center for Sponsored Coastal Ocean Research and the Western Pacific Coral Reef Institute at UOG are among the funding partners of the Humåtak Project.
For more information about the Humåtak Project:
Twitter and Instagram: @HumatakProject