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I am the outcome of decisions made,

So a few people can get well paid.

You want your golf courses to be perfect, green, and neat.

The water is the only thing I can hear,

The stream is whispering things in my ear,

Telling me secrets only the plants and animals know.

I was Beautiful and Blue.

Then I felt the explosions deep within me,

And crude, dark oil spread thru my beautiful blue water.

Don’t you understand?





So many words for the absence of light.

Light on.





My favorite most enriching part of SEAL 2022 was our circle up moments on trail, because we were able to share love, and feel empowered to share with one another, learn from one another and connect more with the beautiful nature around us and our new friends from across the world.

I was so empowered I felt like I could do anything by the end.

I learned how to make a fire kit, how to make and sustain good fire for warmth and food, and how to be one with the woods, various ways to sustain our planet, new languages and cultures, leadership skills, and so much more. 

Participants at SEAL 2022 circle up to process the activities and take-aways of the 1st day on trail.

During my trip to Thailand, I along with six other Heirs from around the world took a masterclass in reef restoration taught by Reef Ecologic.

We learned about the reproductive cycle of corals as well as different ways to help boost the revival of coral reefs. I had the opportunity to take a look at different techniques that would be exceptional for use in Palau, one of these methods being coral reef nurseries. In a coral reef nursery, you have sets of coral fragments set in various positions to excel growth. Once the coral fragments have reached a certain size they are placed onto the reef and set in place to grow into large corals. Building nurseries provides a larger survival rate for the corals which, in turn, leads to a larger likeliness of all of the fragments surviving. 

With the opportunity to dive in Thailand came the saddening experience of seeing how dire the situations of other ocean-dependent countries really are, but I want to see it as a wake-up call for all countries because we all need a healthy ocean. It is our lifeline and without it we are nothing. Palau as a small nation needs to take a stand for its lifeline. As a youth as well as a citizen of Palau I want my nation to be a role model for other countries to take a stand and save our ocean.

Setting up coral reef nurseries in Palau and spreading coral growth to places where the coral population has died down would help Palau before the problem of coral decline arises.  Also, communication about ocean issues is also very important. Being able to speak to people about the problems our oceans face is the first step to ocean conservation.

Participants at Reef Restoration Masterclass in Thailand.

I felt honoured to be offered the opportunity to go, with sponsorship from H2OO, to Valdes Peninsula in Patagonia, Argentina, and to represent Heirs To Our Ocean (H2OO) there.  This was my first time representing H2OO on an excursion and I was privileged doing so alongside Rakau and the other Heirs.

It was an amazing experience and I got to do things that I have never done before like spending the day with elephant seals and Penguins. Being still for long periods of time observing what was around me was really interesting.  I enjoyed learning how to imitate the elephant seals in order to be able to move closer to them.

I enjoyed living alongside the local scientists and visiting scientists like Dr. Ingrid Visser from New Zealand and learning what they do. 

What I noticed is that we need to keep the oceans and the beaches clean.  I saw a sea lion with a plastic strap around its neck and there was nothing we could do. It would die…this is sad! 

I would like to know more about Ngati Kuri’s (my tribes) connection to seals as they are our symbol animal. I also what to know more about my local iwi/ tribes thoughts and views on our environment so I can share this knowledge with others when I travel.

My personal goal is to grow in confidence in my ability to write and speak in front of others so that I can share my ideas and learn more from those around me. (as my first language is not English)  

I would like to say thank you to H2OO for giving me this experience and I look forward to continuing to grow in this space into the future.

Heirs work with researchers on Valdes Peninsula in Patagonia, Argentina.

The Policy Advocacy Retreat was so much fun and an incredible experience.

I loved every second of it and everyone was very understanding and supportive.

This was so awesome, I learned so much about building strong arguments to take to lawmakers so that we youth can make change in our communities and nationally.

Living in Guam has made opportunities like this rare as we do not have a voting member of Congress and live thousands of miles away from the U.S. Capitol so I am so grateful for the chance to be an advocate and learn how to speak to lawmakers across the nation.

Participants at H2OO’s Policy Advocacy Retreat 2021.

I am so grateful to have been given the opportunity of traveling to Thailand to learn coral restoration techniques with my fellow Heirs and other people who care about our ocean. Overall it was a really great experience. Throughout Reef Ecologic’s course, I learned many new things that we could do in Palau and how to help preserve coral reefs around the world. 

I was so happy that we were able to first learn in the classroom and then be given the opportunity to actually do the work in the ocean. We learned different techniques on how to properly plant corals to help restore a reef.  We also learned to collect coral data including their health, their sizes, and how they are doing in their environment.  I learned that it’s really easy to do and that we could do this anywhere, but the only thing that’s preventing us to is the lack of resources. 

I think the best restoration technique that we could use in Palau would be the tray technique because we can easily install and maintain them and also monitor how the corals are doing, and we have the locations to do it. Overall I’m really thankful for this once-in-a-lifetime experience that was given to me, and no doubt I will forever cherish this memorable experience. And I will do everything that I can to help educate other people about all that I learned in this course and to help restore our beautiful ocean not just for us but also for future generations to enjoy.

Carlos in Thailand for Reef Ecologic’s Coral Restoration Masterclass.

The journey to Koh Tao, Thailand, this summer was very exciting, and inspirational and has motivated me, even more, to take action to protect our oceans and corals.

Through this hands-on class, I was able to understand that there are many ways to protect the oceans and that there’s always hope when it comes to drastic effects of climate change to our small islands. As I was doing this work, I felt relieved and comforted. 

Having this opportunity in Thailand — training, observing, practicing new techniques, and working with professionals — has expanded my knowledge about the ocean and the importance of protecting it.

I’m most thankful to Heirs To Our Ocean for providing me with this opportunity. 

Uldekel at the coral restoration class in Thailand.