An Entire Year of Reef Education Inspires Guam Residents

The Takeaway: Guam Year of the Reef offered over 50 public events and a museum exhibit to educate thousands on protecting this resource.

Guam’s coral reefs play many roles: backbone of local tourism, protector from storm damage and shoreline erosion, foundation for many cultural activities, and vital habitat for fish and other marine species. During Guam Year of the Reef, thousands of residents and visitors enjoyed a museum exhibit and 50-plus events outlining how coral reefs are suffering and ways to protect them. NOAA’s Coral Reef Conservation Program and the Guam Coastal Management Program played major roles.

Guam Year of the Reef also received the prestigious Governor’s MagPro Award of Excellence for program of the year.

In early 2018 the commemoration kicked off with a proclamation by then-Governor Calvo, and each month featured a different “protect the reefs” theme. In March, 200 attendees learned about the latest reef research and management efforts at the 4th Guam Coral Reef Symposium. The year culminated with a 5,000-square-foot Guam Museum exhibit with dramatic reef photography, kids’ activities, and coral facts.

The Coral Reef Conservation Program supported Guam Year of the Reef, and partners in organizing public events and design of the exhibit included the Guam Coastal Management Program and the Guam Coral Reef Initiative, a multi-partner network to protect reefs and related resources. (2019)

More Information: Guam coral reefs

Partners: Galaide, Guam Bureau of Statistics and Plans, Guam Coastal Management Program, Guam Department of Agriculture, Guam Environmental Protection Agency, Guam Museum, Guam Nature Alliance, Micronesia Conservation Coalition, National Park Service, The Nature Conservancy, Naval Facilities Engineering Command-Marianas, NOAA Coral Reef Conservation Program, and University of Guam