UOG Sea Grant is awarded $250K to support watershed restoration and outreach efforts

Posted on Jul 22 2021

Volunteers of the University of Guam Sea Grant’s GROW Initiative work to restore Guam’s southern watershed during a reforestation event. (University Of Guam)

The University of Guam Sea Grant Program has been awarded two new grants worth $250,000 to support its watershed restoration project and community outreach efforts. 

The United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service awarded UOG Sea Grant with a $199,849 Landscape Scale Restoration Grant. The funds will go towards their Guam Restoration of Watershed (GROW) Initiative’s ongoing restoration work in Inalåhan. 

“This grant will help us continue our Ugum watershed project,” said Austin Shelton, director of UOG Sea Grant. “We will continue to restore the watershed adjacent to the rivers and streams that supply most of the water to southern Guam.”  

A watershed is a catchment area between the divides of mountains where water collects, flows through the land into rivers and streams, and eventually discharges into a body of water. Managing watersheds is important in preventing erosion and pollution from smothering coral reefs and harming marine wildlife.  

UOG Sea Grant Outreach coordinator Phil Cruz gives a lesson from the Tasi Outreach Trailer at an underwater cleanup event at Merizo Pier. (University Of Guam)

The grant will fund the restoration project, which aims to improve the health of Guam’s watershed and coastal ecosystems through June 2023.  

UOG Sea Grant was also awarded a $50,000 grant from the National Sea Grant office. The funds will help keep the flow of information moving as it will support the program’s communication and outreach extension efforts. The grant also supports their Tasi Outreach Trailer, which will bring educational lessons about marine safety, biology, and preservation to villages throughout the island.  

“The need for resources and information has increased during the pandemic,” said UOG Sea Grant associate director Fran Castro. “Our response to this increase is to rapidly grow the online resources webpage; create and share research and extension products and information through monthly newsletters; develop guidelines and procedures for successful virtual outreach; and implement previously developed knowledge tools.” 

UOG Sea Grant is one of 34 programs within the National Sea Grant College Program—a partnership among universities and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration that seeks to enhance the practical use and conservation of coastal and marine resources to create a sustainable economy and environment. The Sea Grant network includes more than 3,000 scientists, engineers, public outreach experts, educators, and students.  

For more information on the UOG Sea Grant Program, visit www.uog.edu/seagrant. (UOG) 

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