For four years, cutting-edge marine biologist, Nicole Crane, and her science team: Michelle Paddock, Giacomo Bernardi, Peter Nelson, Avigdor Abelson, Kristen Precoda, and Sara Cannon have been crossing the western Pacific Ocean in a series of plane flights and boats to work with the outer islanders to manage their reefs. Their project, One People One Reef, combines tradition with modern science to reverse the decline of fish in the outer islanders. One People One Reef has galvanized the outer islanders as a community in the face of drastic climatic changes and culture disintegration.
The making of Hofagie Laamle (or "One People One Reef" in Ulithian) took place over the month of June in the year of 2015 in the outer islands of the fourth largest atoll in the world, Ulithi, Micronesia (located in the Western Pacific Ocean near Guam). The event of Super Typhoon Maysak, which hit the Ulithi Atoll on March 31st, 2015 - just a few months before the science team's arrival - severely damaged the island and provided a great challenge as well as an opportunity for One People One Reef. The outer islanders' homes and land was not only greatly altered, but more importantly so were their reefs-their main food source and livelihood.
Due to the gravity of their research and the need to share their findings with the outer islanders and with the world, environmental documentary filmmaker, Kelsey Doyle, joined their team at Crane's encouragement to capture their science team's project. This documentary was filmed along side the outer islanders who were still determined to have the project continue despite the damage and hardship they were facing. First launching a video for their Indiegogo campaign in 2014, Doyle helped One People One Reef garner enough funding for this year's expedition, one they plan to continue.
Even amidst great environmental turbulence such as increases in storm frequency and intensification, conservation and management efforts are not lost. Leaving the outer islands does not have to be option. One People One Reef is a testament to what can be done all over the world in places facing similar conditions.
This short documentary captures the harmony of marine biology and anthropology though the work the team and the outer islanders are conducting in the forms of ecological surveys of the reefs, community meetings, training of the youth, and data collection of the local scientists.