Fautasi Coastal Challenge Leads Stewardship Efforts

A canoe race creates a platform for islanders to learn about coastal challenges. The effort was established by American Samoa’s coastal management program.

In the American Samoa islands, the traditional way of life includes dense coastal villages with open, thatched-roof homes that are highly vulnerable to damage from cyclones and tsunamis. These villages exist near beaches and coral reefs that are vulnerable to pollution from waste and agricultural chemicals as well as marine debris. To inspire action and awareness, the American Samoa Coastal Management Program established the Fautasi Coastal Challenge—a canoe race that includes an environmental stewardship component.

With this program, community unity and pride is harnessed and steered toward cyclone and tsunami preparedness, land management, resource conservation, and youth engagement. The community also adopts a coastal area to monitor throughout the year. The challenge has triggered a larger regional discussion about waste management and prevention. (2016)

Partners: American Samoa Coastal Management Program, NOAA Office for Coastal Management