A team of NOAA staff will undertake a preliminary assessment of tsunami-generated marine debris and emergency coral restoration for American Samoa. A strategic and systematic survey and assessment of the level and impact of marine debris is necessary, both to demonstrate the extent of support needed for recovery efforts and to help prioritize potential future removal operations. The team draws on the expertise of the NOAA Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center’s Coral Reef Ecosystem Division, Office of National Marine Sanctuaries, and Office of Response and Restoration’s Emergency Response Division and Marine Debris Program. The effort is funded by the NOAA Coral Reef Conservation Program and NOAA Marine Debris Program. An advance team arrived November 29th and dive teams arrive December 3rd. Operations are slated for December 5th through 17th.
Photo: On December 1, 2009, the NOAA Marine Debris Team met with the Office of Samoan Affairs to brief Village Chiefs and Pulenu’u (Mayors) on planned activities. The meeting ended with a press conference and interview with the Samoan Government Television Station. Here, Kris speaks with media at the press conference.