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Ways to enhance marine ecosystem health in American Samoa

Tauese P.F. Sunia Ocean Center [SN file photo]
Conservation research science leaders to meet next week

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA —Next Tuesday, April 10th, leaders in marine conservation research and science will gather at the Tauese P.F. Sunia Ocean Center (Rotunda Room) between 10am-4pm to share what they believe are top priorities — and potentially determine opportunities — to enhance the marine ecosystem health, monitoring, and capacity in American Samoa.

Each presentation will be "from a perspective of learning and understanding from each other, what key priorities are for each agency, and a discussion of common themes to collaborate on or leverage together from the visitors on island," according to information from NOAA's National Marine Sanctuary of American Samoa (NMSAS).

Local partners include the Dept. of Interior, the American Samoa Community College, the Coral Reef Advisory Group, the Dept. of Marine and Wildlife Resources, the AS Environmental Protection Agency, the National Park of American Samoa, and Congresswoman Aumua Amata's Office.

Tuesday's roundtable is a great opportunity for locals to learn from off island visitors, "priorities/opportunities in conservation research science."

Panel presentations will made by Dr. Michael Crosby (President/CEO, Mote Marine Lab), Jennifer Koss (Director, NOAA/Coral Reef Conservation Program), and John Armor (Director, NOAA/Office of National Marine Sanctuaries)

There will be "sharing by each agency on conservation research science priorities and opportunities, to … determine common/ shared areas of focus and drill down on opportunities to collaborate and leverage outside resources."

The goal is to "better understand, explore, and further relationships on conservation research science with outside partners like Mote Marine Lab, NOAA’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries, and the Coral Reef Conservation Program." 


Dr. Michael Crosby is President & CEO of Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium (Sarasota, FL), which is an independent research institution that has existed for 60 years. Dr. Crosby has more than 30 years of diverse research, teaching, science management and leadership endeavors. This isn't his first trip to American Samoa. As a matter of fact, he has been here twice; his last trip was in 2000 during which he worked as the NOAA Senior Advisor to Undersec. Baker (NOAA).

Mitchell Tartt is the Chief of the Conservation Science Division of NOAA’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries (Silver Spring, MD) who is visiting the territory for the first time. He has worked for NOAA & the Office of National Marine Sanctuaries for 22 years, and the focus of his visit is conservation research science.

More information on next week's event can be obtained by calling 633-6500