Preparing for departure

Time is flying, and the One People One Reef team is working hard to prepare for the science and Youth Action Plan teams’ visits to Ulithi. Countdown: Just under two weeks to go!

Here in California, the members of the Youth Action Plan team met last week to get to know each other and start discussing ideas for this summer. The team plans to work with local students in Ulithi to help them create an action plan for youth leadership. It’s the first trip of its kind (being led in conjunction with Bluecology), and we’re so excited to work with such an awesome group of participants! Take a few moments to meet them here.


Photo courtesy of David Decher

(Check out the t-shirts Sam and Rick are rocking! We’re bringing a bunch with us to Ulithi to share.)

Meanwhile, in Ulithi, everyone is super busy with recovery efforts from the devastation caused by Super-Typhoon Maysak, which hit Ulithi on March 31 and destroyed most of the buildings on the island. Fortunately, no one was hurt, but unfortunately, Ulithi has been in the path of a couple other storms since, which have delayed the cleanup’s progress and blew away some of the community’s limited supplies. Junior says that the 75-mph winds from recent Typhoon Dolphin was nothing compared to the 130-mph winds they endured during Maysak. Still, Ulithi is hoping for some calm weather soon.

Speaking of the typhoon, if you’re wondering how you can contribute to recovery efforts, please visit this GoFundMe page set up by Youth Action Plan team member Cole Charlton. You may have seen a number of other ways to donate online, and there are certainly a bunch of great organizations out there doing valuable work to support Ulithi communities — but most of those efforts are raising money to buy specific items which are then donated to fill immediate needs, rather than giving the funds straight to the communities. The funds raised by Cole’s efforts will go directly to the Ulithi Falalop Community Action Program (UFCAP), so the communities will have complete control over how to spend them. We hope that this way, the combined fundraising efforts from various sources will mean that all the needs of Ulithi communities are being met.

We’ll continue to post updates on our work this summer here, so stay tuned!