The village of Rang is located on beautiful Yap, one of the four island states that make up the Federated States of Micronesia. Most of the Rang’s 200 residents make a living from very small-scale farming and fishing. Many of the younger people have left to find jobs abroad.
Next to the village is a mangrove forest, which serves as a crucial storm barrier and nursery for reef fish. The community will protect the mangroves, forbidding tree cutting. No fishing or crabbing will be permitted, and no clams, birds, or bats will be hunted. The community will strictly enforce these rules through the local traditional rulers, who make the final decisions on all community-wide actions.
Seacology is funding a community water system. It will serve the community as climate change, and a severe drought driven by this year’s strong El Niño, make the freshwater supply more precarious. The village will repair the main water tank and install 1,000-gallon tanks at the village’s 11 households. Two community buildings will also get tanks.
Village residents will also erect large signs at the protected mangrove area, setting out the rules of the area. The community also plans to reach out to neighboring communities, letting them know about the new protected area, and to schoolchildren. Our project partner, the local nonprofit organization YapCAP, has successfully helped communities with other Seacology projects on the island.