State Water Resources Research Institute Program

Project ID: 2011GU205B
Title: Identifying Watershed Discharge Patterns and Linkages with Ecological Assemblages in Nimpal Area, Yap State, Federated States of Micronesia
Project Type: Research
Start Date: 3/01/2011
End Date: 2/29/2012
Congressional District: N/A
Focus Categories: Water Quality, Ecology, Nutrients
Keywords: water quality, seagrass-and-macroalgae ecology, nutrients, marine protected areas, adaptive management
Principal Investigators: Houk, Peter; Golbuu, Yimnang
Federal Funds: $ 20,240
Non-Federal Matching Funds: $ 0
Abstract: Throughout Micronesia the impacts of land-based sources of pollution to nearshore marine resources are increasing in severity. Numerous conservation planning documents cite land-based pollution among the highest priority items for improved science and management to address, evidenced through WERI's 2010 critical needs list. Briefly, much of the scientific insight to date surrounding land-based pollution and coral reef assemblages has emerged through examining ‘heavily polluted' locales and drawing comparisons with ‘pristine' locales to define somewhat obvious conditions on reef assemblages that are associated with watershed status. Yet, throughout Micronesia the overwhelming majority of sites lie somewhere between these extreme pollution endpoints. It is critical that we collectively build upon the science to identify more relevant thresholds for efficiently identifying and quantifying sources of water quality impairment. This should include building new science and using the existing body of evidence to approach numerous, site-specific management needs that exist.

Here, we propose to conduct coupled water quality and ecological sampling in Yap State, along the coastline associated with the Nimpal marine conservation area (MCA). The MCA was established in May 2008 by the community to address growing concerns of marine resource depletion and declining coral reef ‘health'. Our project would build upon an existing community-led watershed project awarded by the Micronesian Conservation Trust (MCT) that led to the general characterization of discharge patterns and relative volumes of freshwater input, both inside and outside of the MCA. As a result of MCT-funded efforts, the extent of each sub-drainage is becoming better defined, paving the way for enhanced data collection within each to identify where, and what type of improvements to community-based management will best facilitate success. Here we propose to:

Progress/Completion Report, 2011, PDF

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