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Mark your calendar — Coastweeks 2012 Fautasi Ocean Challenge is coming up

The Department of Commerce (DOC) American Samoa Coastal Management Program (ASCMP), will be launching its 2nd annual Fautasi Ocean Challenge event on September 30, this year as part of the 2012 Coastweeks celebration, with the goal of promoting ocean conservation.

“The Fautasi race is more than a competition, it is an opportunity to take an active role in ensuring the sport has a healthy ocean space protected now and for generations to come,” said Solialofi Tuaumu of the Department of Commerce American Samoa Coastal Management Program.

“All Fautasi Ocean Challenge participants will conduct a village cleanup with the youth, and participate in coastal management training with ASCMP and other government experts assisting in the development of a resource management project” Tuaumu noted.

The projects will be subject to approval by ASCMP, she added.

“They will complete their resource management project with ASCMP support and participate in the Fautasi Ocean Challenge Race,” said Tuaumu.

At the conclusion and highlight of last year’s Coastweek, the two-mile Fautasi Race results were: the Aeto of Pago Pago taking first place, Matasaua of Manu’a in second place, while the Fa’asaulala of Vailoa finished third and Paepaeulupo’o of Aua came in last.

Coastweeks is a national celebration which occurs every year in September, and is dedicated to fostering awareness, understanding and improvement of the coastal areas.

Coastal areas are defined by ASCMP as “beginning at the top of the mountain peaks, to three miles into the water off the coast.”

Coastweeks is administered through NOAA’s Coastal Management Program, and was created to “build, promote and enhance environmental stewardship” and increase awareness of the community on ways to build a sustainable future for our coast, which extends for 77 miles around the island of Tutuila. The ASCMP is under the jurisdiction of the DOC.

For more information for this event, contact Solialofi Tuaumu or Simau Tanuvasa at 633-5155 or visit the Department of Commerce at the Executive Office Building in Utulei 2nd floor.