The Global Reef Expedition: Palau

Aerial view of Seventy Islands or Ngerukewid Islands, Palau. The Ngerukewid Islands or Seventy Islands are Palau's iconic island landscape symbolizing pristine beauty.  The Seventy Islands (literally translated from Palau's name Ngerukuid meaning seventy).   These islands are part of the Rock Islands an archipelago that includes approximately 250 to 300 islands in the group.  The Islands were in part formed from limestone of accent coral reefs and coral uprisings.  The Rock Islands are a World Heritage Site since 2012.

This article is brought to you by the International League of Conservation Photographers (iLCP). Read our other articles on the National Geographic Voices blog featuring the work of our iLCP Fellow Photographers all around the world.

Text and photos by iLCP Fellow Keith Ellenbogen

Aerial view of Seventy Islands or Ngerukewid Islands, Palau. The Ngerukewid Islands or Seventy Islands are Palau’s iconic island landscape symbolizing pristine beauty. The Islands were in part formed from limestone of accent coral reefs and coral uprisings. The Rock Islands are a World Heritage Site since 2012.

Palau’s Archipelago — A Nation of Islands and Reefs
As part of the third iLCP Expedition organized with the Khaled Bin Sultan Living Oceans Foundation (KSLOF), I joined a team of scientists to explore the marine environment in the Pacific archipelago of Palau. The KSLOF is conducting currently one of the largest coral reef studies in history. Called the Global Reef Expedition, it is circumnavigating the globe surveying some of the most remote reefs on the planet, and iLCP photographers have joined them on a few keys stops to help document their finds. Recently iLCP’s Michele Westmorland joined them in French Polynesia, and Jürgen Freund in Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. It’s now my turn to hop aboard the M/Y Golden Shadow to explore the reefs of Palau.

Palau is an archipelago located within the Western Pacific Ocean and is part of the Island group called Micronesia. Palau’s Islands are made of limestone and covered by a mosaic of tropical plants that highlight the landscape with a luminous green. Beneath the surface (from an aerial point of view) tinted in shades of blue are vibrant coral reef communities that are teaming with life.

The scientists conducted environmental research and data collection to assess the —> Read More

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail