The following projects were approved by the American Samoa Resource Conservation & Development Executive Board on March 23, 2006. Council members voted to add the first project to the 2006 Annual Plan, based on documented support for aquaculture development provided by partners during the Annual Meeting in January. The following project meets the goals and objectives of the Conservation Corps project to be funded by CNCS (AmeriCorps) and adopted in the Annual Plan. This project is provided as a major accomplishment for the first half of the fiscal year.
Coral Farming for Village Industry and Coral Reef Rehabilitation: AS RC&D joins the Coalition of Reef Lovers, a private nonprofit organization based in Tutuila, in a major proposal to the Administration for Native Americans, Social and Economic Development Strategies Program to help local villages grow hard coral fragments for restoration projects and sale to the marine aquarium industry. This three-year project has the potential to develop over 300 part-time jobs, implement three to six watershed plans, and restore damaged and degraded coral colonies in nine villages which will enhance wildlife habitat in an estimated 30 underwater acres. The project will also create a viable marketing cooperative for shipment of farmed coral fragments. Project partners agree to ship only farmed specimens.
Fagasa Tamaligi Removal: In early March, AS RC&D was presented with the opportunity to administer a small grant from the private San Francisco-based nonprofit organization, Seacology. The purpose of the project is to eradicate the invasive tree known locally as tamaligi palagi (Albizia chinensis) from the village of Fagasa on the Island of Tutuila. This tree, originating in Asia, has spread to an estimated 40% of the island since it was first planted in the area as a nitrogen-fixing ornamental at least 30 years ago. The tree displaces vegetation favored by the (candidate listing) threatened native doves of the Territory, and has been observed to uproot readily during tropical storm events causing water quality impairment and reef degradation due to erosion. Research conducted in Hawaii suggests that the tree alters the chemistry of the soil, which further discourages growth of native trees and shrubs under its wide canopy.
With some quick work, the Council adopted the project, opened a new checking account, secured worker’s compensation insurance, purchased supplies and equipment, and hired five local workers to girdle the trees with hand tools.
The crew is being supervised by Tavita Togia, an ecologist with the National Park Service. Work will continue throughout April and conclude in May. The target area includes approximately 200 acres.
� American Samoa 2007 Annual Report (PDF; 210 KB)
� American Samoa 2006 Annual Report (PDF; 696 KB)
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