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Mechesil Belau’s Rock Island field trip is the biggest ever hosted by PICRC

 Bilung, along with over 70 Mechesil Belau members visited some of Koror State’s most unique and special sites in the Rock Islands last Thursday, March 22.  The field trip was co-hosted by Palau International Coral Reef Center (PICRC) and Koror State Government to showcase a couple of unique Rock Island areas, including Ngederrak Conservation Area, Ngeremdiu, Milky Way and the famous Ngermid Bay, an area with strong resilient corals that survive in waters with low pH and high temperature.

“Ngermid Bay is an anomaly in our current understanding of coral reefs’ survivability in these harsh conditions, because not only are the corals growing there, they are actually thriving in these conditions.  This is contrary to what has been shown in experiments and field studies from other places,” explained Dr. Yimnang Golbuu, CEO of PICRC.

The purpose of the field trip was to provide an opportunity for Mechesil Belau to witness some of these unique natural and cultural heritage of Koror State and the whole Palau; to highlight the work that PICRC and Koror State Government (KSG) are doing to support conservation and management of the Rock Islands Southern Lagoon area; and to have fun out on the water.  With over 70 women leaders from all over Palau joining the trip, this event became the biggest field trip that PICRC has ever hosted or co-hosted.

After the trip, Dr. Golbuu reflected, “It was an honor for us to co-host Bilung and the Mechesil Belau on this field trip.  We have been trying to arrange this event for a while so we were thrilled when it finally happened.   Special thanks to Governor Franco Gibbons, along with KSG’s Department of Conservation and Law Enforcement, as well as Department of State and Cultural Affairs for joining us in hosting this field trip and making it a memorable and educational experience for the Mechesil Belau and all of us who joined in the event.”