Sunday, October 26, 2008

Press Release from the Friends of the Monument

Friends of the Monument Release Signature Advertisement

20 October 2008


Ike Cabrera:; (670) 256-5648 (h); 483-8426 (m)
Agnes McPhetres:; 670-235-2430 (h)

Saipan — Ike Cabrera, Chairman of the Friends of the Monument, today announced the publication of a 4-page “signature” advertisement in the Saipan Tribune and Marianas Variety with over 2500 people from the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI).

“The fact that so many local people are willing to speak out on this issue shows how important it is for the future of CNMI,” stated Ike Cabrera, chairman of Friends of the Monument. “We want this advertisement to demonstrate to the visiting federal officials the enormous public support there is for the proposed Mariana Trench Marine Monument.”

Friends of the Monument Vice Chair Agnes McPhetres said, "Signatures for the advertisement were gathered over the past four months by more than 60 volunteers. It’s been a real grassroots effort by many many people.”

The Friends of the Monument will be welcoming James Connaughton, Chairman of the White House Council on Environmental Quality, Lyle Laverty, Assistant Secretary of the Interior and Tim Keeney, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce.

A public meeting will be held in Saipan on Monday October 20, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. In addition the Washington DC delegation will meet with the Governor, the Legislature and many local groups.

The proposal for designating a marine monument in CNMI waters under the Antiquities Act of 1906 is under consider by the Bush administration. The proposal includes possible conservation and protection of the waters surrounding the northernmost CNMI islands and portions of the Mariana Trench, the deepest point on the globe.

Friends of the Monument formed in the spring of 2008 to express the voice of the local community in CNMI. Its membership is made up of a cross section of indigenous and resident people of the CNMI who are dedicated to the conservation, preservation and protection of marine life and geological features of nearby waters and the proper management of the proposed Mariana Trench Marine National Monument.

Friends of the Monument Web site:


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