Episode 1204: American Samoa's Resilient Coral Reefs
Far out in the South Pacific, there’s a tropical island paradise. Known as the “Islands of Sacred Earth,” the territory of American Samoa is one of the United States’ most remote outposts. Its waters are home to stunningly beautiful coral reefs, including two of the world’s oldest and largest coral colonies on record. Many of these sites are protected inside America’s only National Marine Sanctuary and National Park south of the equator.
Coral reefs around the world are in serious decline, but American Samoa’s reefs have so far been relatively resilient in the face of local and global stressors. To better understand and protect the corals, the National Marine Sanctuary of American Samoa’s science team is setting up a multi-faceted monitoring program to document the reefs’ condition and any changes that might occur over time.
Together with their partners from the Coral Reef Advisory Group and the National Park of American Samoa, the scientists are trying to figure out what makes the territory’s coral reefs more resilient than others, and how lessons learned locally might help corals that are in decline elsewhere.
Meet the experts featured in this episode.
Changing Seas would like to thank the following individuals and institutions who kindly allowed their footage, images and other media to be used in this production:
Richard Vevers /The Ocean Agency
Lauao P Too
Va'amua Henry Sesepasara
American Samoa's Valley of the Giants
The tropical South Pacific island paradise of American Samoa is home to some of the largest documented coral colonies in the world.
American Samoa's Ofu Pools
Venture to the heart of the South Pacific and discover the National Park of American Samoa’s stunningly beautiful shallow lagoon known as the “Ofu Pools.”
National Marine Sanctuary of American Samoa: Fagatele Bay
The National Marine Sanctuary of American Samoa is located south of the equator, in the cradle of Polynesia’s oldest culture.
Visit the Ofu Pools of American Samoa in 360 Degrees
Take a dip in the beautiful Ofu Pools, a tropical coral paradise found in America’s only national park south of the equator. Located in the heart of the South Pacific, the National Park of American Samoa is home to some 950 reef fish and 250 coral species.