Coral Reef Rehabilitation Project deploys 240 corals near Ngerchong Island

Since 2018, the Palau International Coral Reef Center (PICRC) has been partnering with the Koror State Government (KSG) and Palau Visitors Authority (PVA) on a coral rehabilitation project.

On June 15 and 16, PICRC Aquarist, McGee Mereb and Eveline van der Steeg, a Ph.D. candidate from the CoralAsssist Lab from Newcastle University, joined the Koror State Rangers to plant corals at Ngerchong Inside. They outplanted 240 substrates with coral recruits, in hopes to increase coral cover at the site. Ngerchong Inside was selected as the pilot site as the coral reef was severely damaged during super typhoon Bopha in 2012. A baseline survey conducted in December 2018, found a coral cover of 10% and 44% bare substrate. A high density of coral recruits indicated the reef had started to recover; however, this is a slow process and can take decades. The site was visited just before the outplant. The coral reef has recovered drastically since the baseline survey in 2018 and the coral cover has increased visibly. We are very excited to observe this natural increase of coral cover at a typhoon damaged site. For the coral outplant, a shallow area with less coral cover was chosen. read more

PICRC launches “Berius el Chais” talk show on Palau Wave Radio

On Tuesday, June 29, Palau International Coral Reef Center (PICRC) launched its Talk Show with the Palau Wave Radio, a local radio station owned by Mr. Salvador Tellames. The show’s name is “Berius el Chais”, which literally translates to “current” (Berius) “news” (Chais). Like the current that spreads animals and plants throughout the ocean, Berius el Chais will spread the news and ideas about the ocean and PICRC to everyone. Current also means the latest happening or what is being done now, so it is a fitting name of the show since it will feature the latest news about the ocean and the work of the Center. In addition to the live broadcast on Palau Wave Radio, Berius el Chais will also be shown in Palau Wave Television, in Palau Wave Radio Facebook page and YouTube Channel.  read more

Australian Ambassador Visits the Classroom at the Center

On June 23, Australian Ambassador Richelle Turner visited the Palau International Coral Reef Center (PICRC) and toured the newly renovated student laboratory and classroom.  The Government of Australia’s Direct Aid Program (DAP) awarded a 10,000 USD grant in December 2020 to PICRC to purchase equipment and materials for the PICRC’s newly developed school program. The resources awarded by the DAP fund was used to support PICRC’s newly developed school program, with the purchasing of equipment such as microscopes, tablets, Lego kits and various teaching tools to better implement the program using the Student Laboratory and classroom. read more

Project on Palau National Marine Sanctuary officially launched

On June 10, Palau International Coral Reef Center (PICRC) held its Inception Workshop at the Tommy Remengesau Jr. Building at the center. The inception workshop was the official project launching for strengthening management of the Palau National Marine Sanctuary (PNMS), funded by the Global Environmental Facility (GEF). The meeting was a way to raise awareness and increase the support for the PNMS project among stakeholders, understand the current management and challenges, and explain the management arrangements, roles and responsibilities of the implementing agencies and all parties involved to ensure the success of the PNMS. There were about 51 attendees from partner agencies as well as members of the PNMS Advisory Committee. The workshop was organized by PICRC, Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Environment (MAFE), and Ministry of Justice (MOJ), in which they were able to give a brief management overview for the project. read more

Recent publication by PICRC and University of the Ryukyus shows potential adaption of corals in Ngermid Bay to Ocean Acidification

Ocean acidification (OA) is a reduction in the pH of the ocean over time, caused primarily by uptake of carbon dioxide (CO2) from the earth’s atmosphere. OA reduces the amount of the calcium carbonate available, which marine organisms need to build their shells or skeletons. Marine organisms such as corals, clams, crabs and other shellfish may be threatened as OA continues to increase due to high concentrations of CO2. Therefore, our livelihood, economy, and culture will eventually be affected by OA as we are dependent on our ocean and the marine life. read more