American Samoa to host 28th Meeting of U.S. Coral Reef Task Force
UTULEI, AS — The American Samoa Government will host the 28th U.S. Coral Reef Task Force (USCRTF) meeting here in the Territory, on August 17- 23, 2012.
Governor Fitial of the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas will be in attendance along with representatives from all the US territories, the Commonwealths, Freely Associated States of Micronesia as well as the states of Florida and Hawaii.
This meeting provides American Samoa an opportunity to highlight many successful efforts in local environmental and coral reef protection, with the theme “Building Resilience into Coral Reef Conservation,” or “Fausia Le Malosiaga-Tumau I totonu O le Puipuiga O ‘Amu”.
The meeting creates a platform for American Samoan leaders and resource managers a chance to share knowledge and experiences with other participants to promote further protection of marine ecosystems, prepare more effective responses to natural disasters, and address impacts of climate change on local coastal communities.
The USCRTF was established in 1998 by Presidential Executive Order to lead U.S. efforts to preserve and protect coral reef ecosystems. The Task Force includes leaders of twelve Federal agencies, seven U.S. States, Territories, Commonwealths, and three Freely Associated States. The USCRTF helps build partnerships, strategies, and support for on-the-ground action to conserve coral reefs and associated ecosystems.
American Samoa has hosted two previous USCRTF meetings (2000 & 2007) and continues to play an active part in USCRTF initiatives. Themes this year will include Community and Disaster Response Plan Resilience Workshops, Climate Change adaptation, and Watershed Management.
The Governor’s Coral Reef AdvisoryGroup consists of five agencies, Department of Commerce (AS Coastal Management Program & Fagatele Bay National Marine Sanctuary), Marine & Wildfire Resources, AS Community College, AS Environmental Protection Agency & National Park of AS.
For more information about the U.S. Coral Reef Task Force, visit www.coralreef.govhttp://www.coralreef.gov or for schedules of the meeting in American Samoa, please visit www.crag.as. Interested parties can also call Kristine Bucchianeri at (684) 633-5155 ext. 230 or email Kristine.Bucchianeri@doc.as.