Today was Sunday (well, it was when I started typing). It was the first day of operations for the dive teams—two boats went out with five people on each. I didn’t hear all the details and will ask one of them to blog in the future. However, when we met with the boats around 5pm at the Department of Marine and Wildlife Resources pier, the snorkel team was just pulling in. They had been able to survey more than their planned area and picked up an impressive amount of debris to boot.
except for the barrels. Crushed kettles and pots lie alongside a candy-cane
Christmas decoration swept away by the tsunami.
While a day off snorkeling may seem unrelated to marine debris, it recharged our batteries and reminded us of how important coral reefs are to the territory of American Samoa. By providing food, protection from storm waves, and tourist attractants, coral reefs are important to the economy and culture of the territory. It’s times like these when I love my job; by surveying the marine debris generated by the tsunami, we hope to get the word out on just what it will take to help the territory recover more quickly.