The island of Parem is located about a mile from the capital island of Weno. It was a Japanese base during World War II, and remnants of aircraft, heavy artillery, anti-aircraft guns, and bunkers are still common sights in the tropical underbrush. There are seven villages, each of which has its own traditional authority structure headed by a chief or samon. With limited employment opportunities on the island, many community members look for jobs in Weno. Those who don’t work on Weno make a living by subsistence fishing and farming.
In 2011, concerned community members in Parem asked the Chuuk Conservation Society and its local partners to help them develop a community-based resource management project. The plan included establishing a permanent 665-hectare (1,644-acre) marine reserve. This site contains a high diversity of soft and hard coral, and is as a giant clam conservation area.
In return, Seacology is funding Parem’s first public water system. Community members will install water catchment units at the island’s traditional meeting halls. Seacology is also providing sponge farming and monitoring equipment for the protected area.