Wednesday, March 6, 2013

New Owner!!

New Owner: Jody Barnes

Providing Solutions....personally!
Dive Micronesia Today has been newly purchased by Ms. Jody Barnes of Cheyenne, Wyoming. Jody has excellent knowledge and experience in traveling in Micronesia, the Caribbean, throughout the United States and Canada.  She is also the owner of Move Planning Pros Inc. and Dive Micronesia Today will be a great addition to her already established business.  Move Planning Pros Inc is known for their professional relocation services, corporate contract evaluations and corporate / leisure travel.

Move Planning Pros will be expanding their corporate travel destinations in 2013. Full packages for groups, individual, family and corporate travel will be developed. Look for new destinations on our webpage: www.divemicronesiatoday.com and on Facebook.

Friday, December 28, 2012


Residents asked to be on alert for Pacific Man of War during times of steady, onshore winds 

December 28, 2012 - The Guam Environmental Protection Agency, in partnership with biologists from the Guam Department of Agriculture, are encouraging residents to be on the lookout for Pacific Man o' War this weekend on all beaches. 

Man of War can be identified by a floating blue bubble with blue tentacles. Tentacles can reach six feet or longer. Man o' War are dangerous when floating in the water or washed on shore. There have been several reports of Man o' War in Guam's waters during the past 24 hours.  

Residents are reminded never to touch these animals as their sting can be very painful, even after the animal has perished. 

Anyone stung by a Man of War should rinse the area with large amounts of water, not vinegar, and try to remove as many tentacles as possible using a stick, credit card or other flat object. If the sting is severe, or the victim has an allergic type reaction, residents are encouraged to seem medical attention immediately. 

"These animals are passive but can cause a very painful sting. They are drifters and go wherever the wind blows them," said Guam Department of Agriculture biologist Brent Tibbatts. "They can easily be pushed toward our shores with steady onshore winds. During this type of weather pattern we can see them show up in large numbers. This year we have seen them several time in different locations around the island."

The Guam Department of Agriculture keeps a record of Man of War sightings. If jellyfish or Man of Wars are seen, residents are asked to notify the Department of Agriculture by calling 735-3987, 735-3955/6, or call the NOAA Guam office at 671- 646-1904.  Residents can also email b_tibbatts@hotmail.com and indicate if the sighting was a jellyfish or a Man of War. Messages can also be sent to Guam EPA using Facebook.

For more information about Man of Wars and jellyfish, please contact the Guam Department of Agriculture at 671-735-3987.

###


Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Palau's Green Fee increases


The Green Fee supporting conservation efforts in Palau

lakengardok_collinjoseph
Pictured: Lake Ngardok Nature Reserve, Palau© C. Joseph
Currently, the Green Fee is 15 US dollars and is funneled towards financing local community conservation efforts under the Protected Areas Network in Palau. This initiative began in November 2009 and has since raised approximately 2.26 million US dollars.
The increase in the Green Fee is committed to improving the water and sewerage system of Palau.
"This is a success story for Palau," said Vainuupo Jungblut, SPREP's Ramsar Officer.
"A sustainable financing mechanism for protected areas, including wetlands, is something we all aspire to achieve, to see the advancing steps made by Palau with the Green Fee and how it can help generate community action is to be congratulated, this is a very good model for others to follow."
To date half a million dollars of the Green Fee revenue has been allocated towards supporting 11 community conservation efforts. In 2001 a Rapid Ecological Assessment of Palau was conducted, fortunately the requests for support under the Green Fee initiative are from those conservation sites that were identified as rich biodiversity habitats.
"This is helping communities manage protected area sites in Palau," said Joe Aitaro the Protected Areas Network Coordinator of the Ministry of Natural Resources, Environment and Tourism of Palau.
"There is a process that each community must go through. This includes the completion of a nomination form, a review of the site and the management plan before we award the funds."
joeaitaro_CBDCOP10
Pictured: Mr. Joe Aitaro at the UNCBD COP 10
The money raised through the Green Fee also contributes to the Endowment Fund which will help Palau achieve their promise under the Micronesia Challenge. This challenge is a commitment by the Chief Executives of the Federated States of Micronesian, the Marshall Islands, Palau, the Northern Mariana Islands and Guam, to effectively conserve at least 30% of the near-shore marine resources and 20% of the terrestrial resources across Micronesia by 2020.

"Each country under the Micronesia Fund has an endowment fund to help raise further fund for which a board invests funds raised to seek low, middle and high income returns. We hope through those investments, the money we earn can be used to support the Micronesia Challenge."
To date Palau has raised six million dollars in the Endowment fund which was raised through the Green Fee as well as a pledge of one million dollars from partners The Nature Conservancy.
"The success of such a project really requires the political will to support this. Political will as well as a community that is really aware of the funds and how they can help drive conservation efforts. Your community becomes your biggest champions."
The Micronesia Challenge and the Palau Green Fee was presented during the 5th Oceania Regional Wetlands Meeting this week.

Are you missing Empanada's!!


If you have ever visited Guam you must have experienced the Empanada's! Here is an easy recipe that will make you remember the island. Makes 24 shells.

Empanada Shell
1 5lb bag of corn meal                  1 box cornstarch
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil                 2 oz achote seeds**
5 cups water                                  wax paper

Directions: Soak achote seeds in the 5 cups of water for 30 minutes. Rub achote seeds together until water turns velvet red in color.  In a large bowl combine cornmeal and cornstarch. Add in vegetable oil, achote water and mix well. Roll out golf ball sized pieces. Place on wax paper and press down to flatten the ball. Use rolling pin to flatten dough further. Set aside. Make filling.

Empanada Filling
8 cups white rice                           1 package bacon
6-8 cloves garlic minced                1 medium green bell pepper minced
2 tablespoons black pepper           1 large onion chopped
2 tablespoons sea salt                    2 tablespoons Ms. Dash or Accent
1 tablespoon vegetable oil              2 oz achote seeds**
5 cups water                                 12 fresh red chili peppers minced

Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a baking sheet, spread rice and toast for 10 minutes or until lightly brown. coll rice and grind in a coffee grinder or food processor  Soak achote seeds in the 5 cups of water for 30 minutes. Rub seeds together until water turns velvet red in color. Drain water into a separate bowl. Fry onions and bacon in vegetable oil over medium high heat until bacon is slightly cooked. Add achote water, half minced garlic, salt, chili peppers, black pepper and Mrs. Dash/ Accent. Add rice. When mixture thickens add remaining garlic, bell pepper and remove from heat. Let stand for 10 minutes before adding into shells. 

Spoon filling onto shell, fold into a half-circle. Crimp the outer edge with a fork to seal. Heat the oil in a heavy skillet. Add the empanadas and brown lightly on both sides. Drain on paper towels. Serve warm.


**Where can you find the seeds? 
Mama Sita's Achote Seed
Dive Micronesia Today.
Local Guam grocery stores and markets carry Achote Seeds. You can find Mama Sita's packets.  Not on Guam...there are several websites you can order Achote Seeds from and you may also look in your local specialty markets.

**What is Achote Seeds?? 
Food Lovers Companion : The slightly musky-flavored seed of the annatto tree is available whole or ground in East Indian, Spanish and Latin American markets. Buy whole seeds when they are rusty red color: brown seeds are old and flavorless. Achiote seed is also called Annatto which, in it's past and powder form, is used in the United States to color butter, margarine, cheese and smoked fish.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Peleliu State Diving Permit will increase in Palau


The Palau Peleliu State Diving Permit will increase effective September 25, 2012. The new rate is a slight increase to the existing $25.00 permit.  This permit will continue to be required for any guests wishing to dive in Peleliu State.  The new permit costs are as follows:
  • Peleliu State Diving Permit will increase to $30.00 per person and be good for 10 days
  • The “One Day” permit ($10.00 per person) will no longer be available as of September 25, 2012

This permits will be valid for 10 days and all guests participating in an activity such as diving, snorkeling or kayaking within Peleliu State waters will be required to purchase one.  Visitors to Sam’s Tours will be able to purchase these permits at the dive center upon arrival as is currently the case.


Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Yap Canoe Festival 2012

Canoe Festival 2011
4th Annual Yap Canoe Festival:

A three-day event occurring on Nov. 11, 12, & 13, 2012. This event includes water activities: bamboo raft races, kayak races, totang races, youth swimming, traditional canoe fishing competition and much more. 



At the opening ceremony there will be speeches from Yap’s leaders, a traditional voyaging chant,  cultural dance with the entrance of the canoes. 


Cultural Dancing
Dive Micronesia Today
There will be rope making demonstrations, live music, wrestling, and the awards for the races. Demonstrations on kite fishing, sail weaving and cooking local food. 

This is a great way to experience the cultural of Yap and getting to know their people, scuba diving, snorkeling, hiking and kayaking.  More more information on the island of Yap or how to book your Yap trip email Dianne@DiveMicronesiaToday.com 

Friday, July 6, 2012

Disabilities are not holding back Scuba Divers


Diveheart Photo
I met an amazing group while in San Diego....They are reaching out to anyone with disabilities and encouraging them to become scuba divers. With my interest in youth divers...this group very much caught my attention and I wanted to pass along the wonderful work they are doing. 


WHAT DOES DIVEHEART DO? In our mission statement you discovered that Diveheart helps build confidence and independence in children, adults and veterans with disabilities through the sport of scuba diving... But the Diveheart vision & activities encompass much more… 
  • Facilitate new disabled dive programs around the word.
  • Act as a referral service to exiting disabled dive programs
  • Consult, support and build new disabled dive programs
  • Promote disabled diving to the world
  • support  other existing disabled dive programs
  • Facilitate dive trips and other activities for disabled divers
Diveheart Photo

THE DIVEHEART VISION... 
It is our hope to bring the disabled dive industry up to the level of the disabled ski industry by 2020. For example: fifty or more years ago if an individual in a wheelchair rolled up to a ski resort in Colorado and wanted to downhill ski, there were no opportunities. Today, many ski resorts and operators around the world 
cater to skiers with disabilities, giving them the opportunity to experience the excitement of Alpine skiing. We believe that as individuals with disabilities discover that scuba diving is an activity that they can easily participate in, the tide will rise and the growing demand will necessitate that dive retailers, manufacturers, instructors, operators and resorts recognize and meet the need. http://2www.diveheart.org/

For more on Diveheart:
Click here to watch the PBS documentary Turning Point, about Diveheart Movie Star Lauren Hutton narrates Diveheart documentary Free Fall Leaders with Heart on CNN