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Assessing the Sustainability of Culturally Important Marine Sites in Guam and CNMI

A Pacific Islands CSC Funding Opportunity 2015 Project


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This project was designed to use climate models to produce projections of changes in sea temperatures and ocean chemistry for coastal marine areas in Micronesia as well as reports that describe the outlook of culturally important marine sites in Guam and CNMI. The projections and maps were expected show what the current state of climate science suggests the future holds for marine areas in Micronesia if we continue to use fossil fuels aggressively. These projections of sea conditions will become the foundation of outlook reports for Tumon Bay in Guam, Lao Lao Bay and Saipan Lagoon in Saipan, and northern Tinian Island. The selected areas are among the most important sites for recreation in Guam and CNMI and, as such, are key to the [...]

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Attached Files

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“Bleached acroporid corals in Pago Bay, western Guam - Credit: Laurie Raymundo”
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“Bleached Porites rus corals in Tumon Bay Marine Preserve, Guam - Laurie Raymundo”
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“Bleached coral in Pago Bay, western Guam - Credit: Laurie Raymundo”
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“Bleached Sinularia, Piti Bomb Holes Marine Preserve, Guam - Laurie Raymundo”
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“Staghorn coral with bleached tips, Achang reef flat, Guam - Laurie Raymundo”
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Project Extension

typeTechnical Summary
valueThe proposed project has three objectives, divided into two phases of work. During Phase 1 we will downscale climate model projections of coral reef impacts and will produce an interactive tool (Obj. 1). We will also compile a catalogue of culturally important marine and coastal sites in Guam and CNMI (Obj. 2). During Phase 2, we will develop outlook reports that forecast the sustainability of 4 areas in Guam and CNMI and share guidance and reporting templates to aid other Pacific Island in outlook reporting (Obj. 3). The climate model projections we will develop build on our PICCC-funded research of 2012/13, which produced model-resolution projections for coral reef areas for all RCP emissions scenarios. We will statistically downscale the model-resolution projections to 4 km, which resolves much of the local-scale variation in warming rates around islands and ensures projections can inform local-scale management decision-making. The Google Earth (GE) tool that will present the projections will also show the locations of culturally important sites in Guam and CNMI we aim to identify through collaborating with 10+ culture, arts, and historical preservation societies. The downscaled projections will be used in outlook reports we propose to develop for Tumon Bay in Guam, Lao Lao Bay and Saipan Lagoon, Saipan, and northern Tinian Island. The outlook reports will follow the framework pioneered by Australia’s GBRMPA, compiling current information on ecosystem state and pressures and the effects of current and alternative management responses on the sustainability of goods and services provision. Anticipated products include: 1) a GE tool complete with introductory material and a user guide, 2) two peer-reviewed journal publications, 3) 4 completed outlook reports with 1-page ‘report-card’ summaries, 4) a guidance document for others on preparing outlook reports, and 5) text and graphics for local agency websites. Our plan for information sharing/communication includes meetings with managers, fact sheets and project updates, websites and webinars. The multi-disciplinary team includes expertise in coral reef ecology, climate science, decision science, modeling, anthropology and social science and includes three resource managers based in Saipan, CNMI with NOAA Fisheries and the CNMI (BECQ).

Budget Extension

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typeAgreement Number

Additional Information


Type Scheme Key
RegistrationUUID NCCWSC c7cdb000-9c9e-49c4-b970-497358253995
StampID NCCWSC PI14-RL0055

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