NOAA, Palau to announce sister sanctuary agreement

December 10, 2020 Two islands in the Pacific – American Samoa and Palau – sit nearly 4,000 miles apart, but are united by the rich ocean waters that surround them. In September, NOAA’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries and Palau International Coral Reef Center signed a memorandum of understanding that honors this inherent connection and opens the door for international collaboration.
A shallow coral reef community in Palau National Marine Sanctuary.

The agreement establishes a sister site partnership between the NOAA’s National Marine Sanctuary of American Samoa and the Palau National Marine Sanctuary, as well as promoting regional cooperation on marine protected areas. This event celebrates this agreement and leaders from the United States and Palau will share their vision for this partnership.

Virtual event where representatives from NOAA and Palau will announce a Sister Sanctuary agreement between the two countries’ marine sanctuaries.

Tue., Dec. 15, from 9:15 p.m. to 10:15 p.m. ET


  • Retired Navy Rear Adm. Tim Gallaudet, Ph.D., assistant secretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and deputy NOAA administrator

  • Tommy E. Remengesau Jr., president of Palau

  • Kristina Kekuewa, regional director, Pacific Islands, NOAA Office of National Marine Sanctuaries

  • Atuatasi-Lelei Peau, superintendent, National Marine Sanctuary of American Samoa

  • Yimnang Golbuu, Ph.D., chief executive officer, Palau International Coral Reef Center

  • Doug Domenech, assistant secretary, Insular and International Affairs, U.S. Department of the Interior

Reporters can watch the event in real time and ask questions via an online chat. 

Register for the virtual event at link 

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar either by video or by phone. You can register the day of the event. Attendees will have an opportunity to submit questions by using the chat box in Go To Webinar.


National Marine Sanctuary of American Samoa

International Partnerships for Marine Protected Areas

Palau International Coral Reef Centeroffsite link

Media contact:
Vernon Smith, 240-638-6447