WRRC 2023 Spring Seminar

March 24, 2:00pm - 3:00pm
Mānoa Campus, Zoom Meeting Add to Calendar

Envisioning Water Security and Resilience in the Pacific: Lessons from Integrated Ridge to Reef Studies in American Samoa

by 1Ms. Mia Comeros and 2Dr. Chris Shuler

University of Hawaiʻi 1WRRC and NREM, and 2WRRC

Enhancing actionable science links to management of natural resources in island communities is critically important given the strong land-sea connection, intrinsic vulnerability to terrestrial runoff and climate change impacts, and high dependencies on highly valued natural capital in nearshore coastal environments. Thus, science that translates and is operationalized into policy to protect watershed and reef ecosystems is needed to address challenges of economic, water, and food insecurity. On-top of this, Hawaiʻi and the U.S. Affiliated Pacific Islands have heightened vulnerability to interacting local and global stressors because of historical and current chemical contamination from Department of Defense activities. Addressing these challenges requires enhanced understanding of land-sea-people linkages and the processes underpinning nearshore coral reef ecosystem function and services. Here we draw on lessons from multiple ridge to reef studies in American Samoa in the last 10 years and highlight the highly collaborative nature of research, partnership-building, and knowledge sharing. We discuss the complexities of capturing the multiple and interacting drivers affecting coral reef function and services at the island-scale, important hydrologic information needed to support program planning, implementation, and evaluation at appropriate local context, and some of the challenges to effective multi-level water resource management decision-making. We suggest ways of increasing water science partnerships between American Samoa and Hawaiʻi to address the broader challenges of water security preparedness and resilience in the Pacific.

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Event Sponsor
WRRC, Mānoa Campus

More Information
Keri Kodama, 956-3174, kodamak8@hawaii.edu

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