Ailinglaplap Atoll

February 2016

Conservation benefit: 121-acre marine protected area for 10 years

Community benefit: Basketball court and solar lighting

Buoj Island is one of 56 islands that make up Ailinglaplap Atoll. The community there has proposed making 121 acres of ocean a no-take zone for 10 years. This area, at one of the passes in the atoll, is home to many fish species, including the endangered Napoleon wrasse, as well as dolphins, sea turtles, rays, lobsters, crabs, and sea urchins. The island’s leadership have stated a strong commitment to the proposed MPA.

The community seeks a grant for a combined basketball and volleyball court, lit by six solar-powered lights. Although basketball is very popular across Micronesia, there is no court on Ailinglaplap Atoll. The community plans to organize tournaments for island youth and for teams from neighboring small islands.

Building a court is a creative and much-needed way to tackle obesity and related diseases such as diabetes, which are a scourge in the South Pacific. The region has the highest rate of diabetes in the world–in the Marshalls, it affects almost half of the population over age 35. A lighted court will encourage valuable exercise, especially among boys and girls. The space will also serve as a site for community meetings and celebrations.

Full or partial funding for this project provided by
Project Updates
May 2018
An official opening event was held with government officials (some of whom flew in from Majuro), traditional leaders, and members of all the local communities in attendance. The ceremony began...
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January 2018
A full-sized basketball court and six solar street lights have been constructed and installed next to Buoj Elementary School. Following Marshallese tradition, an opening ceremony will soon be...
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May 2017
The solar lighting units for the court arrived recently. The two basketball backboards have arrived in Majuro (the main island) and will be shipped to the atoll soon.
January 2017
Building supplies, including cement, blocks, rebar, and wire mesh for the basketball court are already on Ailingalaplap. Solar lighting and basketball backboards have been ordered but have not...
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