The Ulithi community has raised concerns about the impact of plastic trash on the islands, most of which arrives as marine debris on ocean currents. The logistics of removing trash from the islands are difficult, and current options are expensive. We are working to document the problem and explore possible solutions.
In Summer 2018, Fuller Gerbl, at the time an undergraduate student at CSUMB, took part in the Ulithi Youth Action Project with a grant to study marine debris accumulation at 11 sites around the Atoll, training local students to conduct follow-up surveys on a quarterly basis. See Fuller’s poster and write-up for more details.
Fuller subsequently formed the Ocean Debris Management Initiative (ODMI), whose mission is to educate youth and community about marine debris through hands-on field research experience, in California and internationally. ODMI is continuing to collaborate with One People One Reef and Bluecology on this project.