Fautasi Coastal Challenge Leads Stewardship Efforts

In the American Samoa islands, the traditional way of life includes dense coastal villages with open, thatched-roof homes that are highly vulnerable to damage from cyclones and tsunamis. These villages exist near beaches and coral reefs that are vulnerable to pollution from waste and agricultural chemicals, as well as marine debris.

To inspire action and awareness about these coastal hazards, the American Samoa Coastal Management Program established the Fautasi Coastal Challenge—a celebratory canoe race that includes a coastal management component. With this program, community unity and pride is harnessed and steered toward environmental stewardship. Participants learn about cyclone and tsunami preparedness, land management, resource conservation, and youth engagement, while also adopting a coastal area to monitor throughout the year. The challenge has triggered a larger regional discussion about waste management and prevention. (2016)

Partners: American Samoa Coastal Management Program, NOAA Office for Coastal Management