Super Typhoon Maysak slams Ulithi and Fais with unprecedented damage. Please help donate to the ongoing relief effort by following the links below!

Please visit or contact Pacific Missionary Aviation’s webpage and donate what you can. 

**If you choose to donate, please earmark your donation to the Ulithi typhoon relief.  Feel free to contact us too

Recent news and updates can be found:

There is urgent need of food and water. Cash donations to support the fuel to fly these heavy life-saving commodities to the islands are needed as well and can be made to PMA through the their website:

A partial list of much needed items include:

3/4″ PVC pipe fittings, T’s, couplers, elbows, etc… (to get water running again)
Mosquito repellent
Chainsaw blades 14″ and 16″ with rods
Building tools and supplies
Sunglasses (there is no shade left on the islands) and hats.
Saws, hammers, nails
Vitamins, medicines especially diarrhea tablets (contaminated water is causing kids to get sick)

Donations and contributions can be taken to and staged at PMA for cargo drops.

Packages for Ultihi that will go by ship or plane can be mailed via USPS to:

P.O. Box 460
Yap, FM 96943

Please write Ulithi Relief on the package.

From Amos Collins, Pacific Missionary Airways:
“Please rest assured that your donations to PMA will be going entirely to the communities in Ulithi. I am in contact with Junior 2-4 times a day depending on the amount of flights we make out there, and I am getting his wish lists and supplying him with exactly what they need and request.  From the necessities of rice, and water, to the comforts of ice cream and ice cubes.   (Actually JR. special ordered the ice cream and paid for it himself). Also we are buying them nails for rebuilding and will probably begin sending building materials on the ship if they ever get it fixed.
The Ulithi community is very organized due to the leadership of JR and Mario.  They have distributed the food evenly among the families of Falalop, and then exported the overflow to Asor, Mogmog, and Fadrai. I’ve done 6 fully loaded flights out since Thursday, and have another 5500 lbs of water and food to take out tomorrow.  I also did one relief flight to Fais and a second one with YSPSC to restore water in Fais.  Then the YSPSC guys went to Ulithi and are working to restore power in Fadrai and Asor this weekend.
Falalop power will be down for a long time.  And Mogmog power is a different system and nobody here is trained to work on it.
Anyways, we will continue to do everything in our capacity to support them with their needs big and small.
Thank you for spreading the word and for all your support even from afar.  We would not be able to have supported Ulithi so quickly without the donations given to buy food and water.  And donations have also been given for fuel, which has enabled us to maintain the frequency we have been flying.  If anyone wants to donate for fuel, we are estimating $500 for one round trip, just in fuel costs.”

Please visit PMA’s webpage and donate what you can at

Share this and hastag ‪#‎ulithimaysak‬ ‪#‎faismaysak‬ to share awareness and help our people out.

The following text and pictures are from the Facebook feed of Brad Holland
Meet the Chief (I asked permission to take this photo while sitting outside of the men’s house), imagine having his job. There’s no account in these people’s history of a storm like this, and the damage is immeasurable. All that is left to survive on is what can be salvaged from what didn’t blow away. There’s no boat to go fishing. The taro patch looks like a scrap yard and every big tree that had anything good on it is upside down. There’s enough water to have 1 quart per day, per person. 1 quart a day on an island with no shade and nothing but work to do. Their food will last two more days. What do you say to your people when you have to start over, one coconut at a time, and there’s not enough to do it with? 
Photo and text by Brad Holland

An aerial photograph showing the damage to the communities on Ulithi Atoll.
Photo by Brad Holland

There’s enough water to have 1 quart per day, per person. 1 quart a day on an island with no shade and nothing but work to do. Their food will last two more days. What do you say to your people when you have to start over, one coconut at a time, and there’s not enough to do it with?

The first response was through Pacific Missionary Aviation that was kicked off through an immediate donation by a Guam church and an IOM budget for an arial survey. This got a truckload of food (the betel nut and cigs was my payload) delivered with surveyors. PMA flew two flights today and had to load the nose of the plane with rocks to balance out on the return flight to Yap. Relief supplies and gas money can be sent directly to PMA to be on the next flight. If anyone wants to help, one thing that can be done is get something useful over to the airport or pay for a few pounds of staged relief supplies at cargo rates. As of right now, this is all they have…
Photo and text by Brad Holland

This is what Maysack left behind for people to survive on. A wheelbarrow full of fruit that was scraped off the ground. Breadfruit, banana, coconut, a mellon or two and some papayas. All the good stuff will be spoiled this weekend if not eaten and after that it’s coconut until those are gone.
Photo and text by Brad Holland

Welcome to One People One Reef!

Working together to keep the reefs, culture and people
of the Micronesian Outer Islands healthy.

One People One Reef is about working with outer island communities to bring traditions and modern science together in a revolutionary approach to sustainable ocean management.

Micronesian Outer islanders from the remote atolls of the Yap outer islands in the western Pacific have sustainably managed their oceans for centuries, even millennia. Their culture, traditions and livelihoods  are  intimately linked to the reefs that surround their islands. However, their future is threatened by rapid environmental and cultural change.

In 2010, they recognized a decline in fish populations, and the need to address that. The people realized that their health, their communities, and their reefs were experiencing rapid change. They asked for help to learn more about how to manage a sustainable food supply from their oceans in the face of these changes, a critical issue for their present and future wellbeing.  We are a team of scientists who came together to respond to the outer islanders call for assistance. Our response was a revolutionary approach that lets communities lead through traditional management backed by modern science.

Our Approach

We talk extensively with people to better assess the nature of fish and reef declines (including changes in fishing practices), historical context, and the role that traditions – and the loss of them – may play.

We understand the critical link between traditional knowledge and environmental sustainability – the key to effective ocean management.

We conduct extensive ecological surveys of the reefs to better understand the effects that fishing and other anthropogenic impacts are having, and we share what we find with the communities.

We discuss specific findings, such as the link between parrotfish declines, night spearfishing, and algal overgrowth on reefs and how traditional management could address this.

We are encouraging a reconnection to traditional ways without ignoring modern influences – such as motor boats (rather than abandoning them which is not practical) to address problems in resource abundance and reef health.

With the support and direction of the local communities, and at their invitation, we are implementing a unique approach to advance adaptive management and conservation in Micronesian outer islands.

The program is managed and directed by the Community.  Community members are trained to continue collecting data, and the science team remains as an advisory body and helps to analyze data and provide guidance.

Our Achievements

This project is realizing unprecedented success!

The Communities in the Federated States of Micronesia autonomously govern over one million square miles of ocean in the Western Pacific – extending more than 1700 miles from west to east across one of the most biodiverse regions on Earth

They make their own decisions, community by community with their own councils.  They can implement management immediately if they need to, and each community can adopt a plan that is unique to their needs and environmental context.  In addition, they have a deep historical knowledge of management and traditions that have protected their ocean resources over time  They, not us, hold the key to successful management and conservation in this vast archipelago.

As of Spring 2014, 3 of the 4 islands of Ulithi Atoll have adopted new management planning. We plan to work with the 4th island this summer. This will create the first Atoll-wide management plan encompassing over 550 square kilometers. Ulithi is the fourth largest atoll in the world. Most importantly, communities are coming together to discuss these critical issues.

In February of 2014, along with our Ulithian colleagues, a team of us visited the Yap outer islands, traveling over 1000 nautical miles aboard the Yap State Ship Hapilmohol 1.  We visited with each community, all the way to Satawal, and surveyed the reefs.  The result of that trip was a historic gathering of outer islanders on the Atoll of Ulithi for a marine management and planning workshop in the summer of 2014.

For it is true that the Ocean unites us and brings us together but the Reef sustains us in so many ways.

-Sabino Sauchomal

Featured Post

One People One Reef’s exciting summer 2015 plans!

One People One Reef will be working in Yap and Ulithi June 8 through June 28. We have some exciting plans in the works, and we’re delighted to share them with you!

The science team will be continuing to work with communities in Ulithi. They will be meeting with the local science teams to review the data they’ve collected and help to interpret it, as well as collecting some data of their own through surveys, and meeting with the communities to share what they’ve found and answer any questions. If you haven’t already, take a few moments to get to know the members of the science team: Nicole Crane, Project Leader and Professor of Biology at Cabrillo College; Jon Jr. Rulmal, Local Project Manager and Community Liaison; Giacomo Bernardi, Ecology & Evolutionary Biology Professor at the University of California Santa Cruz; Avigdor Abelson, Professor of Marine Biology in the Department of Zoology at Tel-Aviv University in Tel Aviv, Israel; Peter Nelson, fisheries biologist; and, Michelle Paddock, Assistant Professor of Marine Sciences at Santa Barbara City College, and Senior Conservation Scientist at the Oceanic Society. The One People One Reef team will also be joined by rockstar statistician, Kristin Precoda. And don’t forget to read about the local science team of Ulithi community members! The work these guys are doing is really incredible.

This year you have two chances to join the One People One Reef team. We are working with two fantastic organizations to support unique volunteer and community service opportunities in Ulithi. They are both wonderful opportunities to support our work, while contributing to the efforts of the community.

First, BluEcology is organizing a trip for high school and college students to work with the youth in Ulithi (June 8 – 20). This is an incredibly unique opportunity, and the first of its kind! The trip is being led by Sara Cannon, who has worked with the One People One Reef team for the past four years, with the support of Nicole Crane and Jon Jr. Rulmal. For more information and to sign up, check out the BluEcology website.

Also, the Oceanic Society has been leading volunteer vacations to the Ulithi Atoll for many years. Join them June 16 – 28, and you could work with the One People One Reef team to help them in their data collection efforts.

For more information, visit the Oceanic Society and BluEcology websites, or you can contact Nicole by sending an e-mail to

Thank you for your support, and we hope to see you in Ulithi this summer!


Upcoming events!

We have a lot of exciting events coming up for those in the Santa Cruz, California and around the Bay Area.
Jan 28th

Project Leader, Nicole Crane, is January’s special speaker at the UC Santa Cruz Science on Tap series.

It is at 7 pm Jan 28 at the Crepe Place in Santa Cruz, California.More information can be found at the UC Santa Cruz Science on Tap website: From the Science on Tap series website:

Nicole Crane will discuss her team’s unique approach to supporting ocean management in one of the most bio-diverse coral reef systems in the world-–the outer islands of Yap State, Federated States of Micronesia.   They are working closely with outer islanders to better understand traditional management and fishing, and using that knowledge to inform ecological data collection efforts.  What is learned from the reefs is integrated with what is learned from the people to better understand the problems, and help frame solutions.  Ultimately the management planning is up to the people of the outer islands – the science team helps inform them, and can assess the management impacts. Nicole will discuss the culture and traditions of the Outer Islanders, and present the results of the research they have been conducting there.  This unique Project has sparked a movement across the outer islands for people to take action for cultural and ecological stability.  Visit their website at

Project Leader, Nicole Crane will be giving a seminar at Moss Landing Marine Labs. It is open to all. More details will follow!
One People One Reef will be presenting at two conferences in the Bay area this spring:
Feb 12th in San Jose at the Citizen Science Association meetings, in association with AAAS.  here is a link:
March 29th in Oakland at the 2015 George Wright Society Conference on Parks, Protected Areas, and Cultural Sites

Recent Posts

All the hard work pays off!

Day 8: We had high hopes of a second deep dive today, but we’ve discovered more problems with the ROV circuitry and/or software. Voltages in several places aren’t what they should be.  While diagnosing and fixing those problems, we’re also trying to complete some unfinished features. For example, the ROV has a depth sensor, compass, […]

 Modern Science: Rekindling ancient ways.

he success of modern science in many areas has spread the notion that ever-advancing technology will enable us to solve all of our most pressing problems.  And yet, on the remote outer islands of Micronesia, it is the rekindling of age-old traditional wisdom that could hold the key to sustainable ocean management.  The people of the […]

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