Friday, September 19, 2008

If You Could Design Your Own Monument!

What would you want it to look like?

This is the question that the Friends of the Monument are being asked now that the feds are here to open up the dialogue.

For a long time the opposition has been suggesting that the people of the CNMI will have no say in the monument and that it will be a unilateral set of rules imposed by the feds. My understanding is that nothing could be farther from the truth. Representatives from the federal agencies involved with assessing the appropriateness and viability of the CNMI monument are now on Saipan in an attempt to ensure the best possible result and that local concerns / needs are addressed should the monument concept move forward.

Friends of the Monument are now being asked to draft a wish list of things that MUST occur in order for us to support the monument as well as a list of things YOU WOULD LIKE TO SEE.

I’ll take a stab at a start here but would like to get your thoughts too so please leave a comment with any additions.

I would NEED:
*Federal funds
*A visitor’s center on Saipan
*A ban on commercial fishing and mineral extraction
*A Co-management regulatory body with representatives from the CNMI (including but not necessarily limited to DFW, CRM and DNLR) and the NOAA Sanctuaries program.
*A mechanism that would allow limited, regulated access including sustainable fishing for indigenous peoples and the opportunity for limited ecotourism including diving charters.
*A federal funded Mariana Trench marine science curriculum within the public school system (for grade 7 students as an example).
*The boundaries to be drawn based on the best available science that will ensure the greatest opportunity for success of ecosystem based management.

I would LIKE TO SEE:
*A visitor’s center or satellite center on every island
*A federally funded cultural summer camp.
*Creation of informative advertising and educational collaterals for use by the Marianas Visitors Authority and the public / private schools.

How about you?



scubatripp said...

Lil Hammerhead,

I messed up and published your comment over on my blog. Can you repost it or should I just cut and paste it into this comment section?


Saipan Writer said...

I have a different way of looking at this: I would NEED only
• Protection for the entire eco-system/monument area, including no-take restrictions.

This would be enough to make me support the project, no matter what else happened (I think).

Everything else is a want.

I've sent my list to Angelo. fwiw.

Lil' Hammerhead said...

I'll repaste it here Mike. Thanks!

Lil' Hammerhead said...

Hi Mike! Good to see you in the full swing of things.

Well.. I would need:

1. Federal funds in the form of programs, projects, monitoring and staffing.. not federal funds paid to the CNMI government directly. These would be for:
a.Substantial visitor's center, preferably with an aquarium.
b.Appropriate Center Staffing
c.Regime for monitoring/patroling monument
2.Ban on commercial fishing and mineral extraction
3.NOAA and local comanagement (with a clearly defined and rock-solid agreement)
4.Access to the monument permitted for residents and tourists with limited regulations for such. (The monument should also be a potential future tourism benefit)
5.Allowance for resident fisherpeople to fish noncommercially and for family consumption.

Not necessary, but it would be nice to see:
1. Promotional funds (at least for the first two years) Ads on CNN international, discovery channel, learning channel, etc.
2. The PSS curriculum and associated materials/supplies makes sense. (We want to bring up a generation proud of their monument)

Out on a limb stuff that would be neat:
1.A walkthrough Aquarium
2.A boat or transport to bring at reasonable cost, residents and tourists to the monument.
3.Long range patrol boats manned and operated by local Fish and Wildlife officials.