On December 6, close to 100 guests came together to celebrate the end of Guam Year of the Reef at Splash at Underwater World.
Coral reef researchers, managers, government agencies, students and community members were among the many smiling faces. Guests were treated to behind the scenes tours of Underwater World’s coral propagation lab and access to the Marianas Trench Exhibit. Guests also competed in coral trivia for special prizes, and raffle prizes were awarded to those wearing their GYOR shirt or hat to the event.
Certificates of appreciation were presented to valued community members Eddie Tyson and Julie Nefczyk who filled out their GYOR passports attended trainings, and actively engaged with GYOR content on social media.
We also honored Marybelle Quinata, Outrigger Guam Beach Resort, and the Guam Hotel and Restaurant Association for their support throughout the year amplifying GYOR efforts.
A vision board was created to ask guests 1) what was your favorite thing about GYOR, and 2) although GYOR is ending, what should we do in 2019 to continue celebrating Guam’s reefs? Comments on favorite GYOR
characteristics included ‘builds awareness in a fun way’, ‘great energy’, ‘increased knowledge about reefs’, and ‘great outreach materials’. Ideas for continuing GYOR-related efforts in 2019 included ‘better
protect fisheries’, ‘training events and reef monitoring’, ‘talk about reefs on T.V.’, ‘continue to support UOG Marine Lab’, ‘take the reef pledge’, ‘have more family outreach events’. Thanks, everyone for your input!
We greatly appreciate the event sponsors who made the event possible and generously donated prizes: Calvo Enterprises Inc., Calvo’s Insurance, Coast 360, Micronesian Conservation Coalition, MDA, Fish Eye Marine Park, SeaGrant, Underwater World, SeaGrill, and GCMP. Thanks also to our hosts at Splash at Underwater World, it was great to celebrate GYOR with so many critters who call Guam’s reefs home.
Finally, a big thank you to all of our partners and community members who came out and participated! We hope you had as much fun as we did. Make sure to check out the Guam Year of the Reef Facebook page for more photos from the event (thanks to Tony and Sonia for the photos!), and more information on Guam Year of the Reef and it’s transition to Guam Coral Reef initiative.
Adapted from the Guam Year of the Reef Newsletter.