There is a story in the Marianas Variety today regarding the Marianas Trench. I've noticed that over the years the archives of the local Saipan newspapers tend to get deleted, so I'm posting it here in its entirety, both for your reading pleasure and posterity's sake:
As this story develops, I encourage you to watch and share this video of the 20 minute poster session for the Marianas Trench Marine National Monument from the IUCN Congress in Honolulu, Hawaii back in September. It features several speakers from the federal management of the monument and Angelo Villagomez from The Pew Charitable Trusts talking about the culture of the monument:Rota lawmakers ask US to designate marine sanctuary process for Marianas Trench monument
MEMBERS of the Rota Legislative Delegation have introduced a resolution asking the U.S. to develop a marine sanctuary process that will strengthen protections for the Marianas Trench Marine National Monument.
Signed by Rep. Glenn Maratita, Sens. Teresita Santos, Paul Manglona, Steve Mesngon, Rota Legislative Delegation Commemorative Resolution 19-10 states that the monument, which was created by President George Bush in Jan. 2009, provides permanent protection for approximately 95,216 square miles of submerged lands, waters and deep sea in the Pacific Ocean.
The Marianas waters have been scientifically determined to be the single greatest marine priority for conservation in U.S. waters, the resolution says, adding that the threat of climate change makes protection of the monument a priority for the CNMI.
According to the resolution, the monument’s protection would benefit Northern Marianas residents who rely upon an intact and preserved marine ecosystem for cultural uses such as ocean voyaging.
“The president of the United States has been asked to initiate a marine sanctuary designation by Gov. Ralph Torres and Delegate Gregorio Camacho Kilili Sablan. [But] the existing management structure of the Mariana Trench Marine Monument does not prioritize educational programs and a visitor center….
“The Rota Legislative Delegation respectfully requests that sanctuary management plans include and highlight research, education, enforcement and visitor center elements particularly on the island of Rota.”