Since 2004, Oceanic Society has been assisting the community on Falalop at Ulithi Atoll in Micronesia in their effort to sustainably manage local marine resources. Initially, our focus was solely on a sea turtle research and conservation program led by Jennifer Cruce (and now by John Rulmal, Jr.), as well as a small ecotourism program to provide supplemental income to the community.
More recently, the community asked us to expand our role in Ulithi to support a broader marine conservation effort. Over the past three years our senior conservation scientists Nicole Crane and Michelle Paddack have been leading that effort, and their work was recently featured by Good Times Weekly in Santa Cruz. The article, titled "Saving Paradise," details the history of the project, discusses the opportunities and challenges related to marine conservation in Ulithi, and shares some preliminary results.
Brian Hutchinson is Oceanic Society's vice president of outreach, co-founder of the State of the World's Sea Turtles Program, and program officer of the IUCN-SSC Marine Turtle Specialist Group. Brian holds a B.A. in zoology from Connecticut College, and has been working to advance global marine conservation for more than a decade.