Marine Monument featured on NPR

December 9, 2008

NPR featured an interview with Ike Cabrera and Andrew Salas concerning the 
Marine Monument. You can listen to the interview here.  In part:
The waters are rich with undisturbed sea life and home to some of the world's most majestic underwater geology, including the deepest canyon in the ocean, the Mariana Trench. But all is not perfect in paradise. While locals like Cabrerra support a marine preserve, their elected officials do not.

So Cabrerra traveled to Washington to lobby for the protected area. His traveling companion, Andrew Salas, said the politicians don't object to conservation, but they are upset with the federal government. It seems Uncle Sam recently took control of immigration policy for the Northern Marianas and also instituted the federal minimum wage.

"So this awesome idea to protect those islands came in at the wrong time, and everyone thought, 'Oh, another federal intervention,' " Salas said.

Salas and Cabrerra went to the White House this week to plead for complete protection for an area the size of Arizona. They brought with them petitions signed by businesses, schoolchildren and 6,000 local residents. The island only has 10,000 voters.

Salas said a protected area isn't just good for the environment, but tourism could boost local businesses like his. He owns the Hawaii Bar and Grill on Saipan.
In May 2008 another NPR radio said this about the monument:
The Bush administration is considering launching one of the biggest conservation programs in U.S. history.

If implemented, President George W. Bush could, with the stroke of a pen, protect vast stretches of U.S. territorial waters from fishing, oil exploration and other forms of commercial development. The initiative could also create some of the largest marine reserves in the world — far larger than national parks like Yellowstone or the Grand Canyon.


The Saipan Blogger アンジェロ・ビラゴメズ said...

Thanks for posting this. Bush is in office for only 36 more days. We'll know soon if it is going to happen.