Welcome to One People One Reef!

We are a group of communities and scientists working together to keep the reefs, culture and people of the Micronesian Outer Islands healthy.

One People One Reef is a unique solution to ocean management and conservation.  We work in collaboration with 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 and Chuuk 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 reef health, along with human health challenges. 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. Explore our website to learn more about our program’s history, approach, and what makes us unique.

One People One Reef works closely with Bluecology, whose mission is to preserve marine wildlife and ecosystems through community-based programs which foster informed choices that will reduce adverse human impact on the marine environment.

Your donation to One People One Reef will help us continue and expand our unique type of ocean conservation across the Micronesian Outer Islands and beyond.One People One Reef works in collaboration with Bluecology to handle donations.  Your donations will be directed to the One People One Reef programs!

For it is true that the ocean unites us and brings us together, but the reef sustains us in so many ways.

-Sabino Sauchomal

Our Projects

We are implementing a unique approach to advance adaptive management and conservation in Micronesian outer islands.

We combine modern science, education and human services to assist the communities of the outer islands achieve their goals of self-sufficiency and to protect their marine resources.

Here are a few of our projects:

Youth Action Project

The Youth Action Project was created in response to community’s view that  an education focus  on sustainable ocean management  should include their youth.  In partnership  with Bluecology,  the Youth Action Plan Project was developed in 2015 and  the first youth team arrived shortly after Typhoon Maysak hit the Ulithi Atoll.

Each summer we bring a dynamic team of students, educators, and adventurers with us to Ulithi. We work together to assist community leaders, local students and the One People One Reef team with the development of an action plan for youth leadership.

Learn more about our work and how you can join the team here!

Cabrillo College Class – Genetics of Micronesian Marine Organisms

We are linking Cabrillo College students to the One People One Reef Program by involving them in research opportunities. In Fall 2016, we started with a small cohort of students, that extracted coral DNA to build a next-generation sequencing library. The coral project was to understand the mode of dispersal of Montipora, an aggressive, weedy species that is overgrowing entire reefs and converting them in monospecific stands in Ulithi atoll.

Future projects include population genetics of sea cucumbers of the Yap outer islands, and to continue with the Montipora project, to reveal its evolutionary history and past population expansions and reductions.

This unique opportunity allows community college students to gain experience, skills and understand in an undergraduate setting!

Read more about the program and how you can take part, here!

Ulithi ROV Project

In October of 2012, Underwater technologist Steve Moore and undergraduates Josh Ambrose and James McClure from Cal SUMB’s Ecosystem Electronics lab were invited to join the Ulithi Marine Conservation Project. Their unique contribution to this collaborative effort was to develop an ROV that could extend the accessible depth range beyond where the scientists had previously been able to collect data.

Over the next several months, Josh, James, and Steve, worked at a feverish pace to develop a workable prototype of an ROV capable of being transported by air to Ulithi and, once there, diving to a depth of 150 meters to record high-definition videos of that previously unseen deep-reef world. Learn more here!

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Recent Posts

Message from Jon Rumal Jr. (June 1st)

I am humbled by how welcoming the communities are for our team. Even though I expected not to be turned away, it’s so moving to experience being received the outer island style. I am especially encouraged by the interest from these communities so far.

Science Expedition: May 27th, 2017

Here, the sun has not quite broken the horizon, obscured at our exposed anchorage by the low green island. The place looks like a post card: a narrow strip of white coral sand topped by coconut palms, breadfruit, ironwood and other trees, fronted by slightly ruffled waters, pale green here, but extending to dark blue out over the depths. I’ve little doubt that we’d be surrounded by brightly painted wooden canoes filled with kids already if their parents hadn’t forbade them from hassling us this early.