ASCC-ACNR Forestry Completes Landscape Scale Restoration Project in Pago Pago

By Daniel Helsham, ASCC-ACNR

Published on June 12, 2019

The American Samoa Community College (ASCC) - Agriculture, Community and Natural Resources (ACNR) Division’s Forestry Program completed another watershed restoration activity as part of the Landscape Scale Restoration (LSR) Watershed Restoration project with the village and churches of Pago Pago in May. This is the second LSR Watershed Restoration project completed by ASCC-ACNR Forestry, the first being with the Nuuuli village.

“The LSR Watershed Restoration project in Pago Pago was a major success”, said Forestry Program Manager Denis Sene Jr. “The village and church youth groups were educated on watershed conservation and had the opportunity to work with the Forestry Program and other environmental partner agencies in promoting good environmental stewardship activities.”

The LSR grant program, under the Forest Service of the US Department of Agriculture, provides financial and technical assistance to locations in need of restoration, protection, and conservation. Three stream cleanup activities were scheduled for the watershed restoration project in Pago Pago on May 17, 18 and 25. The restoration activities took place in the coast area of Pago Pago Harbor, the Vaipito stream and other adjacent streams.

Over 170 youth group volunteers from the churches participated in the stream cleanups. Student volunteers from the Samoana High School (SHS) – Finafinau Environmental Group and the ASCC Student Government Association (SGA) along with representatives from the Department of Marine and Wildlife Resources (DMWR) and the National Park of American Samoa (NPAS) also assisted with the cleanups.

Before each cleanup, ASCC-ACNR Forestry LSR student interns Angela Iopu, Tuimalata Puletiuatoa, and Inny Mareko gave a presentation on the importance of watersheds and the impact they have on people, forests, and marine species. During the cleanup, four Fetau trees were planted along the harbor coast, along with two Ifilele and Malili trees in the village’s riparian zones for soil stabilization purposes. A combined total of 5.25 tons of solid waste debris was removed from the streams during the three cleanups.

ASCC-ACNR acknowledges the support of ASCC President Dr. Rosevonne Makaiwi-Pato, American Samoa Environmental Protection Agency Director Fa‘amao Asalele, Secretary of Samoan Affairs Mauga Tasi Asuega, DMWR Director Va‘amua Henry Sesepasara, NPAS Superintendent Scott Burch, Sabrina Mahuka and the SHS – Finafinau Environmental Group, and Ashley Felise and the ASCC-SGA for their assistance with the LSR project. ASCC-ACNR extends its appreciation to all those who participated in the Pago Pago Watershed Restoration event.

The ASCC-ACNR Forestry Program consists of three divisions: Forest Health Protection - Invasive Plants, for forest health activities, monitoring, and reporting on the health of all forest lands; Forest Stewardship, for assisting landowners with forest and wetlands management; and Urban and Community Forestry, for management of trees and forests within populated areas from small villages to large cities, community outreach, and tree planting. Each program is dedicated to the protection, conservation and restoration of forests in American Samoa.

For more information on the LSR project or the ASCC-ACNR Forestry Program, call 699-1575 ext. 249.