Blue Legacy

January 5, 2009

Congratulations to Pew Charitable Trust, Angelo Villagomez, Ike Cabrera, Ken Kramer, Ruth Tighe, Jane Mack, and all of the CNMI Marine Monument supporters. The Washington Post reports that today President George W. Bush declared three areas in the Pacific Ocean as protected marine national monuments. The article states:
Two of the areas encompass a region known as the Line Islands, a relatively isolated and uninhabited string of islands in the central Pacific. The third area, in the western Pacific, includes the waters around a few islands in the northern Marianas chain and the Mariana Trench, the deepest ocean canyon in the world.
Both regions boast enormous biodiversity: Kingman Reef and other islands in the central Pacific area teem with sharks and other top predators as well as vibrant, healthy corals; the Mariana Trench and its nearby islands are home to several species of rare beaked whales and the Micronesian megapode -- an endangered bird that uses the heat from volcanic vents to incubate its eggs -- and also boast mud volcanoes, pools of boiling sulfur and the greatest microbial diversity on Earth.
The National Marine Monument should place the CNMI on the map in a positive way. The reefs and waters that embrace the Northern Mariana Islands feature breathtaking beauty and an ecosystem that is the treasure of the CNMI. It will now be preserved for future generations.
The monument will help preserve not only the environment and natural resources, but also the cultural heritage of the CNMI.

The declaration of the establishment of the Marine Monument will not only bring recognition to the islands, but should provide a much-needed economic boost as well. It will attract tourists and environmentalists to the islands and should result in the creation of jobs.

The marine ecosystem is in danger world-wide from effects of global warming, pollution, over fishing and destruction of marine habitat. This declaration will result in a no-take marine preserve around the waters of Asunsion, Maug and Uracas making a huge section of Maianas waters a national park of the sea. The CNMI should celebrate the blue legacy and the international attention it will bring.

Josh Reichert, managing director of the Pew Environmental Group was quoted by the Washington Post as saying:
"With the designation of these new marine monuments in the Marianas Islands, American Samoa and the western pacific, George Bush has ushered in a new era of ocean conservation in the United States and the world at large. It has taken 137 years, since the creation of America's first national park in Yellowstone in 1872, to recognize that unique areas of the world's oceans deserve the same kind of protection as we have afforded similar places on land. And none too soon."
For updates and more information go to the Pew Global Ocean Legacy Web site.


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the scribe said...

The federalization of labor and immigration and the honor of this enormous marine park in a one year time period signals a bright new future for the Marianas Islands.

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

woo hoo!

Saipan Writer said...

According to Angelo, the Marianas Trench portion of the monument will be 95,000 square miles--with some of the trench itself, some portion around Uracas, Maug, and Asuncion, and some other bits around sea vents and other features.

We had originally hoped for 115,000 square miles of EEZ around the three northernmost islands, so this is a bit less than we wanted.

It will also be somewhat difficult to manage if it involves small spots of "protected" areas in a vast ocean.

But it is still a step forward.

wendy said...

Angelo -congratulations!

Jane, we can still reach out to the Obama Administration to expand the monument to the original plan, right?

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

heck yeah!