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DMWR & Nat’l Park briefed on sediment study

A PhD student, Alex Messina from San Diego State University, (pictured 4th. from left) is on island at this time conducting his first step of his PhD research, by quantifying the sediment flux, from the watershed in Faga’alu, to the reef in Faga’alu, which was funded by the Coral Reef Advisory Group. He was at the Department of Marine Wildlife Resources (DMWR) conference room yesterday afternoon explaining study to members of the DMWR and the National Park Service.

“I am doing the first step of my PhD research. Our goal is to quantify the sediment flux, from the watershed in Faga’alu to the reef in Faga’alu,” said Messina. “In other words, we want to say how much dirt comes from Faga’alu village and lands on Faga’alu reef, because the dirt kills the coral, or it could degrade the health of the coral. We are interested in how much dirt comes from where in the watershed and actually how much stays on the reef and how much goes out to sea.

“Once we know how much comes from which areas, then we can go to those areas and bring in some kind of management practices to clean up those areas and keep that dirt from going into the reefs,” he said.