For the last three years, a group of students from California has travelled to Ulithi Atoll, Federated States of Micronesia to participate in the One People One Reef Youth Action Project. They spend three weeks working in collaboration with local youth on a mixture of coral reef science, conservation, and community projects.

Both groups benefit enormously, and the Youth Action Project is an integral component of One People One Reef’s capacity-building strategy. We are now developing a scholarship fund to support this work.

One People One Reef, in collaboration with Bluecology, is inspiring and developing future leaders in ocean sustainability. Our Summer 2020 fundraising goal is $26,000. Help us meet it by end March 2020

The message that will stay with me for years to come is to value nature and what it has given us to live on…The life in the water depends on the land and so does the land depend on the water

–Ulithian student

The students gain an appreciation of the importance of both scientific methods and traditional practices in coral reef management. The Ulithian students also see their reefs from a new perspective – through the eyes of newcomers in their own age group. They engage in new ways with questions of reef management and conservation, and their individual role in the reefs’ and their community’s future. The visiting students learn about the small, close-knit, traditional community that has lived from these reefs for millennia, and the wealth of knowledge they possess as a result. They see first-hand the challenges the community faces because of global issues like climate change, and local issues such as changing fishing practices and local impacts on reefs. They return home impassioned about sharing this story and working for a more sustainable future.

I learned way more applicable skills than I could ever learn in a classroom. Being in the field with our group of impressive scientists was a tremendous honor and amazing learning experience.

–Californian student

Need for a Scholarship Fund

We are developing a scholarship fund to support the Youth Project, and its mission of developing future leaders in ocean sustainability. To build continuity and foster leadership in Ulithi and on the mainland US, it is important for students to mentor other students. A scholarship fund will allow students from previous seasons to return to Ulithi Atoll in leadership roles. Involving youth in this way – actively engaging them in critical aspects affecting the future of their natural and cultural environments – will ensure development of strong, knowledgeable, leaders. The scholarship fund also will also extend the benefit of this exceptional learning opportunity to deserving students whose families have limited finances. In addition, experience has shown that the impact of the Youth Project would be enhanced by extending the duration of the summer program so that local students have received enough training to continue monitoring the reef and fisheries independently during the rest of the year.

For 2020, we are seeking to raise $26,000 to fund:

  • 3 half scholarships of $3,000
  • 1 full scholarship of $6,000
  • $5,000 to support the program leader and assistant
  • $6,000 to cover direct costs such as boat and fuel expenses

Scholarships will be awarded according to financial need, student career goals and demonstrated academic and social responsibility.

Donations to Bluecology on behalf of One People One Reef are tax-deductibleDonors may choose to support specific activities, and they may choose to remain anonymous. Students funded under the scholarship will provide an account of their work and experiences, which will be available to donors. 

Donations are needed by end March 2020.

Thank you

Students learn reef monitoring techniques

Ulithi Atoll is 400 miles southwest of Guam

I think I have contributed to expanding the knowledge of Ulithi to the rest of the world, so the world will know and remember Ulithi, and then when they make decisions globally, they will consider our small island.

–Ulithian student