The Cook Islands consist of 15 islands scattered over 1.2 million square miles in the Polynesian triangle of the South Pacific. Mangaia is the second largest island in the Cooks. At an estimated age of 18 million years, it is thought to be one of the oldest islands in the Pacific.
Lake Tiriara, in the southern part of the island, opens into a cave in the makatea, a raised terrace of coral limestone. Poor agricultural practices and lack of proper management have put the biological diversity of the lake and the surrounding environment at risk.
The village has promised to protect the lake by barring pesticides, dumping, tethering of livestock, and construction within 50 meters of the shoreline. Seacology will provide funds for a boardwalk around the lake, a public restroom, and some signage.