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Community Briefs



Team members from the National Marine Sanctuary of American Samoa (NMSAS) have completed a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Component Class. This is in addition to taking part in training exercises and vessel checkout of the R/V Manuma, which is used mainly for science monitoring and outreach.


Dana Wilkes (Small Boats Coordinator) and Jordan Cousino (Course Trainer/Consultant) were in American Samoa to complete the teaching of the course which included training in trailering, launching, docking, maneuvering, navigation, hazard identification, and emergency response.


According to the NMSAS, “The Sanctuary team gained valuable experience while logging on-water training hours on the R/V Manuma that are crucial for building additional capacity for the Sanctuary vessel operations program.”




Two men and 43 women received their certificates of completion last Thursday after successfully completing the requirements for the 12th sewing class offered by the Dept. of Youth and Women’s Affairs (DYWA).


A brief ceremony was held in the Fale Tele in Utulei at the Suigaula ole Atuvasa Beach Park where family and friends gathered to witness the occasion.


Among the many classes offered by the DYWA, the sewing class is the longest, requiring 200 hours over a span of six months to complete.


The sewing classes began back in 2008 to assist local women in many ways. The classes are a collaboration between DYWA and the Criminal Justice Planning Agency (CJPA) which provides funding under the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA).


As with all other DYWA programs, the sewing classes are free of charge and open to anyone.


Other programs to choose from include elei making, cooking, and flower arranging courses. DYWA Deputy Director Pa’u Roy Ausage said in an initial interview with Samoa News that the programs offered by the DYWA are there to assist local women and youth, so they can gain a new skill and use it to their benefit, either to find a job or start a business of their own.




Employees from the National Marine Sanctuary of American Samoa (NMSAS) were invited by the National Park Service to take part in the American Samoa Search and Rescue (SAR) Training exercise last month. The training included a classroom component that covered standard operating procedures and a field exercise in the National Park of American Samoa.


According to the NMSAS Superintendent Report for March 2014, “The SAR training provided an excellent opportunity for both programs to work together as a team to better prepare for future joint rescue responses within the National Park or areas adjacent to the National Marine Sanctuary of American Samoa.”


The field exercise addressed operations, communications, field searches, first aid, and victim transport.


During the second media coffee chat held last week at the Tauese P.F. Sunia Ocean Center, NMSAS officials said the training is an excellent tool to help Sanctuary personnel gain knowledge on what to do and how to respond in case of emergencies.