To understand the future, we have to go back in time
The future of this park, in theory, could be discussed and hypothesized upon, but in reality, is highly unpredictable. All we can rely on is what we have experienced in the past. Many of the aspects that are a common part of the park, such as volcanoes and hurricanes, are sporadic and as much as technology has advanced and scientists have studied them, Mother Nature often does not follow logic. Every time a cyclone occurs, it causes massive coral reef damage. It takes a full 10-20 years for the islands to recover from such storms, depending on the intensity. Although they are able to rebound somewhat readily, there is really no telling when the next cyclone will hit and when the strain will be too much. With respect to endangered species, if the conservation efforts that are underway are not taken seriously and enforced, species such as the Samoan flying fox and sea turtles will no longer grace the islands. This will wreak havoc on the ecosystem and cause a negative domino effect.
On the bright side, there has been an incredible and continuous recovery in the rainforests. After the controlled removal of a particular invasive species, the islands’ endemic species are experiencing a rapid regrowth that is predicted to continue. This invasive species was the Falcataria moluccana tree. Because American Samoa is a series of islands, and therefore isolated, it is very difficult for foreign species to be introduced by chance, but when the Falcataria moluccana tree was introduced, it stubbornly fixed itself on the island. The rapidly growing, nitrogen fixing tree became a very invasive species. It eventually made up a majority of the plant life in the forests of American Samoa, fiercely outnumbering native species. The tree was treated with herbicides and other seed inhibiting processes in hopes of reigning in this uncontrolled growth. This soon led to a vast decrease in the Falcataria moluccana population and allowed for a rapid regrowth of native species that are still on the rebound.
Conversely, as the population growth decreases in an ongoing trend, the positive effects on the environment increase, such as a parallel decrease in the loss of wetlands. The American Samoa Environmental Protection Agency is ever present and continues to do what it can. Check out their website to find out more take a look at their most recent project: