Saturday, December 25, 2010

Jamaican Blogger Award

FOM's friend Walt Goodridge has been nominated for a Jamaican Blog Award in the category of Best Jamaican Overseas Blog for his blog, Jamaican in China. Please take a moment out of your otherwise busy schedule to help Walt. Visit the Jamaican Blog Award website and vote for Jamaican in China.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Anthology Deadline Next Wednesday

Saipan, Northern Mariana Islands – There is one week remaining for local writers to put the finishing touches on their short stories, poems, and essays before the deadline to submit writing for the upcoming anthology of Mariana writers, Stories from Wild Bill’s: Life, Love, and Spicy Tofu.

According to Wild Bill’s editor Angelo Villagomez, “This is an opportunity for local writers to get published and have their work be available to an international audience.”

Villagomez added, “Our goal is to showcase local talent and in doing so tell some great stories.”

The deadline to submit is Wednesday, December 15, 2010. Submissions will be blind reviewed by a panel of editors and writers chosen for publication will receive two copies of the printed book. The first edition is scheduled for a Spring 2011 publication.

Please refer questions to Villagomez at
A message from APASEEM:

In early November the Asia Pacific Academy of Science, Education, and Environmental Management (APASEEM) issued a Call For Presentations and twelve groups of researchers have expressed their interest in speaking. Once again, this year’s conference will host speakers traveling here at their own expense from Hawaii and from Guam, as well as presentations by on-island scientists and science students. On this coming Wednesday, December 8th and on Thursday, December 9th, at the American Memorial Park Auditorium, APASEEM will hold its annual Science, Science Education, and Environmental Management meeting, as well as its Annual General Membership meeting. The time for the presentations will be from 3:30pm until 6:30pm, both days. As recommended, this year the Academy has moved the talks from the evening to a day-period time slot. Six to seven talks are scheduled for each day and each talk is planned for about a 20 minute period with another 5 minutes for questions.

Interested members of the general public and resource agencies are strongly encouraged to attend and ask questions following each talk. Note that Wednesday is a CNMI holiday, thus many interested government employees, as well as the general public and interested school students should be able to attend. The timing, from 3:30 to 6:30pm, is to further encourage public and private school science teachers to attend both days. Public resource management agency directors and private firm managers are encouraged to allow interested employees flexibility in work hours in order for them to attend and participate in this, our island’s sole science, science education, and environmental management best practices supportive body.

The APASEEM nonprofit organization was begun in April 2004. To date it has held 13 formal meetings with 54 formal and informal talks given by 96 individuals presenting their projects and findings, mostly involving studies and projects done here in our islands. General membership meetings are held just prior to or shortly following each day’s presentation.

Wednesday, December 8th, 2010 afternoon presentations, starting at 3:30pm, are planned to include:

1. - Dr. Gary Denton, University of Guam Water and Environment Research Institute, “Mercury and Lead Contamination Case Studies in Saipan Lagoon: Good News, Bad News!”

2. - Mr. James Stanford, US Geological Survey Biological Resources Division, “Preliminary Report on Small Non-Volant Mammals Surveys, Pagan Island.”

3. - Mr. Dave Bucher and Kagman High School Advanced Biology Organization, in cooperation with Dr. Robert L. Schlub, Extension Plant Pathologist, University of Guam and Dr. Dilip Nandwani, Plant Pathologist/Agronomist, NMC CREES, “Studies on the Decline of the Tree Species Casuarina equisetifolia in the Marianas Archipelago.”

4. - Ms. Judy Amesbury, Micronesian Archaeological Research Services, Inc., Guam, "Pelagic Fishing in the Mariana Archipelago: From the Prehistoric Period to the Present."

5. - Ms. Andrea Bruner and Dr. Phil Bruner, Brigham Young University (BYUH), “Who's Your Daddy? Extra-pair Paternity in Ruddy Turnstones (Arenaria interpres) and Black-bellied Plover (Pluvialis squatarola) at Woolley Lagoon, Nome, Alaska.”

6. - Mr. Richard Seman, “A Report on Three Year’s Work Re: Conducting Summer Camps on Marine Fisheries and Resources at Marianas High School.”

Thursday, December 9th, 2010 afternoon presentations, starting at 3:30pm, are planned to include:

7. - Mr. Michael Trianni, Mr. Michael Tenorio, CNMI DFW Fisheries Program and Mr. Steven McKagan, NOAA Pacific Islands Regional Office, “Evaluation of the Gill Net Fishery in the Saipan Lagoon”.

8. - Ms. Amanda Hansen, Mr. Daniel Scott, Mr. Mark Cannon, Dr. Roger Goodwill, BYUH. 2010. “Trace metal contamination in the sea anemone, Edwardsianthus gilbertensis (Carlgren, 1931).”

9. - Mr. Valrick Welch, San Vicente Elementary School, “A Short Report with Graphs of the Science and Math Improvements for San Vicente School as Well as the Specific Improvements from the Students Who Participated in the Summer Camp and the Highly Involved Students from the Young Farmers Club.”

10. - Mr. James Stanford, USGS, “Focus on the Brown Tree Snake (Boiga irregularis) Issue in the NMI (Causes for Concern, Recent Developments, Etc.).”

11. - Roger Goodwill. BYUH 2010. “Monsters without Backbones - the Strange Invertebrates Inhabiting the Saipan Reefs.”

12. - Ms. Lael Prince, Ms. Mollika Graham, Mr. Michael Schsenbaugh, Dr. Dave Bybee, and Dr. Roger Goodwill, BYUH, “Reproductive Studies on a Sabellid Polychaete (Sabellidae: Fabriciinae) from the Kahuku Reef Flat, Oahu Hawaii, 2010.”

13. - Ms. Lauren Fielding, Dr. Oscar Johnson (Montana State University), Dr. Roger Gold, Dr. Roger Goodwill, Ms. Lael Prince, Ms. Patricia Johnson, Mr. Paul Brusseau, and Ms. Nancy Brusseau, BYUH. 2010. “New Insights of the migration patterns of Pacific Golden-Plovers.”

APASEEM reserves the option to alter the order and days of speakers as circumstances warrant. We hope to see everyone who’s interested at the park auditorium from 3:30 to 6:30 on the 8th and the 9th.

For more information, contact John Furey via email at or by phone at 234-5103 (please leave a voice message after 7 rings).

Friday, December 3, 2010

Congrats, William Aila Jr.!

The Friends of the Mariana Trench Monument (from left to right): Mike Tripp, Ike Cabrera, William Aila Jr., Angelo Villagomez, and Ken Kramer.
Friends of the Mariana Trench Monument's good friend William Aila Jr. has been chosen by governor-elect Neil Abercrombie to be the next Director of Hawaii's Department of Land and Natural Resources. William is a pseudo-celebrity on Saipan. He made big news in 2008 when he traveled to Saipan to share his experiences with the creation of what was is now Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument. When he visited he appeared on local talk TV and radio, spoke to the Rotary Club and Chamber of Commerce, and met with a number of community and elected leaders.  William helped the leaders and people of Saipan make the decision to advocate for the creation of the Mariana Trench Marine National Monument.

On behalf of the Friends of the Mariana Trench Monument, Congrats William!

Friday, November 26, 2010

50% Off for Christmas

Our Northern Islands is available for 50% off the regular price for the next two weeks for shoppers who would like to give the book as a Christmas (or Hanukkah or Kwanzaa) gift. In order to receive the discount, the book must be purchased on and when prompted the following discount code must be entered: DPQ5DC28.

Our Northern Islands is a book about the first expedition to the Mariana Trench Marine National Monument and contains over 70 full color photos of the uninhabited islands north of Saipan. Written by recent high school graduate Dennis Chan, the book details the 10 day expedition taken to the newly created Mariana Trench Monument just months after its declaration by President George W. Bush on January 6, 2009.

Chan joined the expedition after winning an essay contest sponsored by the Friends of the Mariana Trench Monument, "Why I want to the visit the Mariana Trench Marine National Monument."

A portion of the proceeds from the sale of the book will support the educational programs of the Friends of the Monument and create more opportunities like the one given to Dennis.

What people are saying about Our Northern Islands:

"Youthful enthusiasm and neophyte adventure jumps out of the pages of this book.”
-Jaime Vergara
Saipan Tribune

"I am so proud of Dennis for putting this book together at such a young age."
-Delegate Gregorio Sablan
United States Congress

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Kudos to Kathy, FirstFridayFilms --- Sharkwater --- Reaching into the Heart of the Community

This post is dedicated to Kathy Lalaine Pagapular who took amazing next steps after watching FirstFridayFilms showing of Sharkwater at American Memorial Park! Kudos to the students who took the intiative to write the letters and look what happened!!! This is all so amazing...

Friday, November 5, 2010

Smithsonian Zoological Park: Project Blue Planet

Are you a teacher? Check this out: Grand prize is a trip for two adults and four students to fly to Washington, DC!

The Smithsonian Zoological Park is sponsoring a great program called Project Blue Planet.

You can get more information from their website here: Project Blue Planet.

A quick visit to their website gives lots of information --- we get you started here:

Help your middle school earn a “Seal” of Approval. One lucky group will win an exclusive look at the Zoo’s new seal and sea lion exhibit!

It’s easy to feel small in the face of large environmental problems, especially now with the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, but kids can make a huge difference. How? By starting an eco-team to educate classmates and inspire them to take action for marine life.

This new contest challenges kids nationwide to get their schools and communities involved to improve the environment for marine life. A healthy planet starts in your school (and school yard) even for people who live far from the ocean. We will provide the tools you need to get started, and National Zoo Green Team members will be on hand to help you along the way.

Depending on your school’s environmental priorities, there are four ways you can achieve a “Seal” of Approval. Form your team and follow easy instructions that will help you reduce waste, improve energy use, and create healthier environment for students and local wildlife.

Keep in mind that once your project is complete, you will need to submit the following:
  • Research on at least one marine species, showing how your project benefits sea life
  • Description of how the project educates others
  • Documentation of up to ten photos and/or a link to a video (five minutes maximum) showing the project from beginning to completion
To be eligible, projects must begin after September 1, 2010 and end by April 30, 2011 Winners will be announced in June 2011. Read More...

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Dennis Chan thanks Kilili with a copy of Our Northern Islands

Dennis Chan and members of the Friends of the Mariana Trench Monument presented Delegate Gregorio Camacho "Kilili" Sablan with a copy of Our Northern Islands, the new book written by Chan. The book is about Chan's experience aboard the 105-foot Lady Carolina during the first expedition to the Mariana Trench Marine National Monument. Last year's expedition was organized by the Friends, who provided funding for a local young person to take part. Chan won a space on the expedition with an essay "Why I want to visit the Mariana Trench Marine National Monument." A portion of the proceeds of the book will go towards supporting the educational programs of the Friends. The book was presented to Kilili in gratitude for his continued support of coral reef conservation and for providing funding to design a visitors center in the CNMI. Our Northern Islands is available on and the CNMI Musuem.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

The 10% Target: Where do we stand?

According to a recent report by IUCN (Toropova, et al 2010, Chapter Three):

• Current MPAs number 5878 and cover over 4.2 million km2 of ocean (1.17% of the global ocean surface).
• MPA coverage of continental shelf areas is now 4.32%, and 2.86% of waters within 200nm of coastlines.
• A few large MPAs have accounted for the greatest increase in coverage over the last 5 years.
• Only 12 out of 190 states and territories with marine jurisdictions have an MPA coverage of 10% or more of the areas under their jurisdiction.

Look at the list below (page 35 in the report). Notice that MARIANAS TRENCH MARINE NATIONAL MONUMENT is listed as the fourth largest MPA in the world. The world is showing that MPAs are important to all peoples around the world. So now, how can we get back to the top of this list? Would we want to?

Friday, October 8, 2010

Marine Turtle Conservation Fund 2011

Document Type: Grants Notice
Funding Opportunity Number: MTCF11
Opportunity Category: Discretionary

The purpose of this competitive grants program is to assist in the conservation of marine turtles by supporting the following activities: academic and technical training in the conservation and management of marine turtles; applied research on marine turtle populations and their habitat including surveys and monitoring; conservation education and community outreach for the protection of nesting and near shore foraging habitat; development and execution of marine turtle conservation management plans; habitat conservation and management; information exchange to promote international collaboration; projects to protect nesting females and eggs on important nesting beaches; promotion of networks, partnerships and coalitions that assist in the implementation of conventions, treaties, protocols and other international activities for the conservation and management of marine turtles; protected areas/reserve management of important nesting beaches; strengthening of local capacity to implement conservation programs on nesting beaches; and strengthening law enforcement capacity and forensic skills through training and equipment.

Due to the limited funding available and the desire to support diverse projects, preference will be given to proposals requesting $50,000 or less. Higher amounts may be requested with appropriate justification.

For more information about who can apply and how to make an application, please visit: Marine Turtle

Re-posted here from
contact: Derek Litchfield, International Affairs Specialist
phone: (703) 358 - 2634

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

First book about NMI marine monument is now available

Last summer, Dennis Chan, anchored to the shores of Saipan his entire life and freshly graduated from Marianas High School, entered an essay contest: Why I want to visit the Mariana Trench Marine National Monument. He won. Two weeks later he was on board the 105-foot Lady Carolina, skimming the surface of the Philippine Sea headed for Maug.

The story of Dennis' expedition, the first of its kind since the declaration of the Mariana Trench Monument on Jan. 6, 2009, is told in a new book, Our Northern Islands.

According to Saipan Tribune columnist Jaime Vergara, “Youthful enthusiasm and neophyte adventure jumps out of the pages of this book.”

Our Northern Islands also contains over 70 full color photos by Angelo O'Connor Villagomez. Villagomez was the Saipan coordinator of the campaign that led to monument's creation and is a director of the Friends of the Mariana Trench Monument, the organization that spearheaded the expedition.

“Since most people will never get to visit the Northern Islands, it is my hope and Dennis' hope that this book will bring the Northern Islands to the people living on Saipan, Tinian, Rota and around the world,” said Villagomez.

There are 10 mostly-uninhabited islands north of the capitol island of Saipan in the Marianas archipelago. They are collectively known as the Northern Islands. Five of the islands are wildlife refuges and the waters surrounding the northernmost three comprise the islands unit of the Mariana Trench Monument.

During the expedition Dennis visited Maug, Agrigan, Pagan, and Sarigan and circumnavigated Uracas, the northernmost point in Micronesia.

Our Northern Islands is available on and at Both companies ship books anywhere in the world, including Saipan. The book will be available at a location on Saipan soon.

A portion of the proceeds from the sale of Our Northern Islands will support the educational programs of the Friends of the Mariana Trench Monument and create more opportunities like the one Dennis had.

Dennis Chan and his Northern Islands

From Saipan Tribune editorialist Jaime Vergara:

Our Northern Islands is actually the title of a book produced collaboratively by Dennis Chan on text and Angelo Villagomez on editing, layout, graphics and publishing. The deft touch of the editor is obvious, but the youth and spirit of Dennis comes through. Subtitled The first expedition to the Mariana Trench National Monument, it chronicles a trip taken by Friends of the Monument after the declaration by GWBush of the surrounding area of Asuncion, Maug and Urucas-the northernmost islands of the Marianas chain-as a marine protected area.

One of the friends funded the trip with the caveat that a young person be chosen through an essay contest to experience the islands and return to tell of the experience to peers. Dennis Chan, 18-year-old Saipan born and bred, won the essay and this book is a coffee table conversation piece that chronicles the journey in words and pictures.

Dennis' staccato narrative from notes in a log/journal notebook handed him at the start of the trip, with the cadence and idiom of the classroom hallways, is given recognizable mainstream form by our erstwhile mayor of Saipan's watering holes, and Saipan's almost Matua with the Matachang service style of 2009 election, now within the beltway habitué of the nation's capital, Angelo Villagomez. The racy tone in the recollection like that of the two-day-old chaffy underwear is ordinary enough, but might in the telling have gotten an “R” rating from Hollywood's MPAA!

Not a few of the younger Chan siblings were in my class at SVES and their dad Norman is known for setting up refined gastronomic fan dian (restaurants, literally, rice shops). Dennis at the International School was once characterized as a “slick talker like a used-car salesman” (with no offense meant to the guys down the car lot, only to admire their marketing skills), and we did get the chance to see him perform in one of the island's debating events. He is an MHS grad.

What comes through loud and clear in the book is that Dennis is no country bumpkin. The urban comfort of globalized Saipan was not missed in his obvious upbringing and Dennis might know the principle of friction, but may not know how to kindle wood were he stuck on an island without any amenities, and his life depended on it.

A queasy stomach got him green by the gills as soon as the waves hit starboard on the navigatinal float Lady Carolina, and on the return from Maug and Uracus through Agrihan and Pagan, side-stepping the patty cakes on the ground and the buzz in the air from the bees and flies, our cosmopolitan dude bedrudgingly started fending for himself.

In one of the book's photos, Dennis holds a huge coconut crab with the mixed expression of “I would love to have this under my belly cooked and relished slowly, but do I have to hold this live one for a frigging picture?” His pose on Lady Carolina in Uracus from the southeast is priceless and would make an excellent resumé promo and an application supplement to an institution of higher education anywhere in the world!

Dennis is currently registered at the Northern Marianas College, our local and only community college. A colleague took exception to his remaining on island when his obvious talents could be challenged more thoroughly elsewhere. In a sense, the two-year associate liberal arts degree from NMC might not be a bad place for Dennis to exercise self-reliance and self-motivity in nurturing his own self-confidence for a larger field elsewhere.

Besides, the social networking that prestigious universities offer their studentry may be useful at spring break in one of the instant “student” towns, but only rarely, unless it is accompanied by aristocratic pedigree, does it lead to an apartment on Park Avenue, or a tenure at Cambridge.

On the other hand, Dennis should not be denied the resources to move elsewhere two years hence, should he so desires. SHEFA and the local Chamber of Commerce scholarship might not be a bad place to start. I would not recommend the poker house as an option!

The awe and wonder in Maug and the circumnavigation of the northernmost island Uracus (Farallon de Pajaros) is the heart of the trip: “There are so many places to see in the world, and I'm sure I'll always say I'll come back, but life, life's got so much to do and other places to go. I may never be in Pagan again or Maug or any of our Northern Islands. The thought is a sad one, but it makes the moment even more special” and the stopovers in Agrigan and Pagan, its humanness. “Pagan, the heights, the vistas, the beach, and all that beauty. I think beauty should be bought in the effort to see it, and so I did. I arrived at beauty; I roamed through it with blistered feet and sore groin.”

Youthful enthusiasm and neophyte adventure jumps out of pages of this book. Now, Angelo needs to get a sequel out from his adult and professional perspective (and encourage colleagues-two professional writers, a photographer, navigators and environmentalists-to produce their memories and recollections as well).

Our Northern Islands
The first expedition to the Northern Mariana Trench National Monument
Dennis Chan

Monday, September 13, 2010

WANTED: Writers from the Northern Mariana Islands

Saipan, CNMI – A quartet of local writers from the Northern Mariana Islands is accepting submissions for an upcoming anthology of local writers they are tentatively calling Stories from Wild Bills Cafe: Life, Love and Spicy Tofu in the Northern Mariana Islands.

“A number of local writers have been throwing around an idea to create a compilation of local work for years now,” said Angelo O’Connor Villagomez. “A group of us have been meeting together over spicy tofu and chiliburgers at Wild Bills these last few months and we’ve finally decided to put it together.”

When asked how long the anthology would be and how many writers would be included, Villagomez said that the book would be “about 200 pages, which will probably fit about 15 -20 writers.”

The editors of Wild Bills Café are Jane Mack, Joe Race, Jaime Vergara, and Villagomez.

The inspiration for the name of the anthology comes from Wild Bills Café on Beach Road in Garapan.

“I talked to the owner Bill about the name, and he’s allowing us to use it,” explained Race, a local novelist and former police officer. “Our idea is to focus the attention on a physical place to ground all the stories.”

Race also said that the book would promote the Northern Mariana Islands and might even turn Wild Bills into a destination for tourists, readers, and writers.

“Saipan, Tinian and Rota are home to several dozen newspaper reporters, bloggers, novelists, poets and amateur writers,” said Mack, a novelist and lawyer. “There are also a number of writers from the Northern Mariana Islands living and working abroad, but who write about home. These are the people we want to include in this first edition of Wild Bills.”

Writers interested in submitting work for the anthology can contact the editors at Submission guidelines are available upon request. Writers whose work is chosen for submission will receive two (2) copies of Stories from Wild Bills Café.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Friends of the Monument praised for support of coral reef bill

Kilili acknowledges the Friends of the Monument in this week's E-Newsletter - Friday, September 10, 2010:

"The Friends of the Monument has joined 34 other environmental organizations asking for U.S. Senate action on legislation reauthorizing the federal government’s coral reef program. H.R. 860, the Coral Reef Conservation Act Reauthorization and Enhancement Amendments of 2009, of which I am an original cosponsor, was introduced in February 2009 and passed the House of Representatives in September. It’s been stuck in the Senate ever since. The reauthorization provides an increase in annual funding—up to $35 million in fiscal years 2013 and 2014, which is much needed to help preserve and protect our coral reefs. It is my hope that pressure from conservation groups, such as Friends of the Monument, will encourage the Senate to act."
Also in this weeks E-Newsletter - the Friends of the Marianas Trench MNM thank Kilili for his support of  PacIOOS. Of this Kilili writes:
"When the Pacific Marine Resources Institute asked me to write a letter of support for the Pacific Integrated Ocean Observing System (PacIOOS) program, the answer was a resounding “yes.” The Institute’s request is completely in synch with my support for the national program. In March of this year, I and several of my colleagues made a formal request to the House Appropriations Committee on Commerce, Justice and Science for $53 million in funding for the national program, the Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS). The PacIOOS is one of eleven regional observing programs around the country and includes the NMI. Just this past July, the PacIOOS program partnered with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Coral Program to install the world's first joint Integrated Coral Observing Network/IOOS station in LaoLao Bay to monitor water quality, sea temperature and salinity. The data that is collected will help our scientists improve the safety and efficiency of marine operations, improve predictions of coastal hazards, and better measure climate change impacts on our islands."

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Carnival of the Blue XL: The Saipan Blog

carnival of the blue 40Carnival of the Blue XL: Top of the Food Chain is now posted at the Saipan Blog. Carnival of the Blue is a rotating monthly compilation of the "best of" ocean blogging, bringing together ocean bloggers and readers and (hopefully) using new media to build a virtual community of ocean lovers.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Explore the Ocean on NPR

From NPR:
Marine environments around the Pacific Islands are receiving increasing global attention, thanks to the 'Explore the Ocean Layer' in Google Earth. HPR’s Kayla Rosenfeld sat down for a tutorial with former Hawaii resident and Ocean Layer curator, Charlotte Vick.
Micronesia Challenge is discussed at 1:30. If the link does not work, you can download the mp3 by clicking HERE.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Friends of the Monument join call for Coral Reef Conservation

obyan beach underwaterThe Friends of the Mariana Trench Monument are back in the news, this time calling for the US Senate to pass strong conservation-minded coral reef legislation:
September 3, 2010, Saipan, CNMI / Our coral reefs are in trouble. Almost 20% of the world’s coral reefs have been lost and an additional 35% are threatened according to the expert opinion of 372 coral reef scientists and managers from 96 countries who contributed to the latest Status of the Coral Reefs of the World, published in 2008.

In response, a coalition of non-governmental organizations and environmental stakeholders issued a letter today calling for the US Senate to pass strong conservation-minded coral reef legislation. The US House version of the reauthorization of the Coral Reef Conservation Act passed in September of last year. Further movement of the legislation now depends on the US Senate.

Thirty-five organizations signed the Senate corals letter. Groups represented include leading organizations such as the Coral Reef Alliance (CORAL), International Society for Reef Studies, Sierra Club, Natural Resources Defense Council, Surfrider Foundation, Greenpeace USA, Environmental Defense Fund, World Wildlife Fund, Coastal States Organization, and Friends of the Mariana Trench Monument.

The Coral Reef Conservation Act authorizes grants for coral reef conservation activities. Funds are awarded under six program categories: State and Territory Coral Reef Management; State and Territory Coral Reef Ecosystem Monitoring; Coral Reef Ecosystem Research; Projects to Improve or Amend Coral Reef Fishery Management Plans; General Coral Reef Conservation; and International Coral Reef Conservation.

The coalition expressed alarm about the declining health of coral reef ecosystems and the threats coral reefs face. Major threats noted include coastal runoff, overfishing and overharvesting, vessel impacts, invasive species, and coral bleaching, disease, and ocean acidification caused by unregulated greenhouse gas pollution.

Measures before Congress, supported by the coalition, include provisions to increase the status of protection for corals in all U.S. waters, increase funding for coral reef conservation efforts, provide support to better understand and manage the trade in coral reef wildlife, and support communitybased approaches to coral reef stewardship, among others.

“Coral reef ecosystems face growing threats from overfishing, habitat destruction, poor water quality and disease”, said Dr. Andrew Baker, a coral reef biologist at the University of Miami and a 2008 Pew Fellow in Marine Conservation. “When you add the devastating impacts of our carbon dioxide emissions, which lead to warmer and more acidic oceans, coral reefs worldwide are left reeling from the impacts. The decline of coral reef ecosystems worldwide underscores the need for Congress to pass coral reef legislation, while also renewing its commitment to reducing greenhouse gas pollution.”

“These valuable and fascinating ecosystems are disappearing within our lifetimes, and their loss will have significant economic, social, and environmental consequences in the United States and worldwide,” said Steven Lutz, Executive Director of Blue Climate Solutions, the group that organized the coalition effort. “The Senate has a fantastic opportunity to protect and conserve coral reefs by passing this important legislation.”
The text of the letter signed by Friends' Chairman Ike Cabrera is as follows:

The Honorable John D. Rockefeller IV
Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation

The Honorable Kay Bailey Hutchinson
Ranking Member
Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation

The Honorable Maria Cantwell
Senate Subcommittee on Oceans, Atmosphere, Fisheries, and Coast Guard

The Honorable Olympia J. Snowe
Ranking Member
Senate Subcommittee on Oceans
Atmosphere, Fisheries, and Coast Guard

September 3, 2010

Dear Chairpersons and Ranking Members:

As organizations and stakeholders involved with coral reef conservation, we are profoundly alarmed about the threats these unique and invaluable ecosystems face in the United States and around the world. We urge your support for a strong conservation-minded reauthorization of the United States Coral Reef Conservation Act.

Coral reefs provide many important services; they protect coastlines from the damaging effects of storms, and are vital to the economies of many coastal communities in the U.S. and around the world, through revenues generated in tourism and fisheries. The diversity of life they support establishes them as treasure troves of discovery for applications in medicine and industry.

However coral reefs are declining at an alarming rate. Almost 20% of the world’s coral reefs have been lost and an additional 35% are threatened according to the expert opinion of 372 coral reef scientists and managers from 96 countries who contributed to the Status of the Coral Reefs of the World: 2008 report. The major threats to coral reefs include coastal runoff, overfishing and overharvesting, vessel impacts, invasive species, and coral bleaching, disease, and ocean acidification caused by unregulated greenhouse gas pollution.

These valuable and fascinating ecosystems are disappearing within our lifetimes, and their loss will have significant social, economic, and environmental consequences in the United States and worldwide.

We commend the positive steps taken in the reauthorization of the Coral Reef Conservation Act by the Senate. We respectfully ask you to adopt the strongest possible language for the conservation and protection of coral reef ecosystems in the reauthorization of this important legislation. Measures we support include provisions to:

• Increase the status of protection for corals in all U.S. waters;
• Support community-based approaches to coral reef stewardship;
• Enable management to effectively address the threat of vessel groundings and seek appropriate liability for such
incidents (with narrowly defined exceptions);
• Support cooperative relationships with universities and other academic bodies, and non-governmental
organizations in promotion of coral reef conservation;
• Enable all relevant federal agencies to effectively participate in coral reef conservation;
• Provide additional accountability for federal funds used for coral reef conservation efforts;
• Provide support to better understand and manage the trade in coral reef wildlife;
• Strengthen U.S. international coral reef conservation efforts; and
• Authorize increased funding to protect these extraordinary habitats.

Please join the effort to conserve our coral reefs by supporting the reauthorization of the Coral Reef
Conservation Act.

Sincerely yours, (signed by the following thirty-five organizations and stakeholders)

Blue Climate Solutions - Steven J. Lutz, Executive Director, Miami, FL

Center for Biological Diversity - Andrea A. Treece, Senior Attorney, Oceans Program, San Francisco, CA

Coastal States Organization - Kristen Fletcher, Executive Director, Washington, DC

Coral Reef Alliance (CORAL) - Rick MacPherson, Director, Conservation Programs, San Francisco, CA

EarthEcho International - Philippe Cousteau, CEO and co-founder, Washington, DC

Environmental Defense Fund - Cara Cooper, Coral Specialist, Saint Petersburg, FL

Fauna & Flora International - Katie Frohardt, Executive Director, Washington, DC

Friends of the Mariana Trench Monument - Ignacio V. Cabrera, Chairman, Saipan, CNMI

Greenpeace USA - Phil Kline, Senior Ocean Campaigner, Washington, DC

International Society for Reef Studies (ICRS) - Richard Aronson

Natural Resources Defense Council - Lisa Suatoni, Senior Scientist, Oceans Program, New York, NY

NAUI Worldwide - Jed Livingstone, Vice President, Riverview, FL

Nova Southeastern University National Coral Reef Institute (NCRI) - Richard E Dodge, Dean, Wendy Wood-Derrer, Assistant Director of Development, Ft. Lauderdale, FL

Ocean Conservation Research - Michael Stocker, Director, Lagunitas

Ocean Defenders Alliance - Kurt Lieber, Founder and President, Scott Sheckman, Acting Executive Director, Huntington Beach, CA

Oceanic Defense - "Educate. Activate" - Samantha Whitcraft, Director, Conservation Biology, Miami, FL

Palm Beach County Reef Rescue - Ed Tichenor, Director, Boynton Beach, FL

Project AWARE Foundation - Jenny Miller Garmendia Director, Rancho Santa Margarita, CA

Reef Check Foundation - Gregor Hodgson, Ph.D., Executive Director, Reef Check Foundation, Pacific Palisades, CA

Sailors for the Sea - Dan Pingaro, CEO, Newport, RI

Save Our Seas - Capt. Paul Clark, President, Hanalei, HI

Sea Turtle Conservancy (formerly the Caribbean Conservation Corporation) - David Godfrey, Executive Director, Gainesville, FL

SeaWeb - Dawn M. Martin, President, Silver Spring, MD

Sierra Club - Bruce Hamilton, Conservation Director, San Francisco, CA

South Carolina Coastal Conservation League - Dana Beach, Charleston, SC

Surfrider Foundation - Chad Nelsen, Environmental Director, San Clemente, CA

The Humane Society of the United States / Humane Society International - Teresa M. Telecky, Ph.D., Director of Wildlife, Washington, DC

The Interfaith Council for the Protection of Animals and Nature - Lewis Regenstein, President, Atlanta, GA

The Ocean Foundation - Mark J. Spalding, Ph.D., President, Washington, DC

The Ocean Project - Bill Mott, Director, Providence, RI

The Snorkel Bob Foundation - Robert Wintner, Executive Director, Kihei, HI

Urban Environment League - Fran Bohnsack, President, Miami, FL

Urban Paradise Guild - Sam Van Leer, Executive Director & Founder, North Miami, FL

WIDECAST (Wider Caribbean Sea Turtle Conservation Network) - Karen Eckert, Ph.D., Executive Director, Beaufort, NC

World Wildlife Fund - Roberta Elias, Senior Program Officer, Marine and Fisheries Policy, Washington, DC

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Coming Next Week: Carnival of the Blue!

carnival of the blue 40In seven short days, the Saipan Blog will play host to the 40th rendition of Carnival of the Blue. Carnival of the Blue is a rotating monthly compilation of the world's "best of" ocean blogging, bringing together ocean bloggers and readers and (hopefully) using new media to build a virtual community of ocean lovers. The theme for Carnival of the Blue 40 is Top of the Food Chain.

Click HERE to submit your post for next week's carnival. While you wait (hopefully not with bated breath), dig through the Carnival of the Blue archives:

Carnival of the Blue 1 - Blogfish
Carnival of the Blue 2 - Blogfish
Carnival of the Blue 3 - Malaria, Bedbugs, Sea Lice, and Sunsets
Carnival of the Blue 4 - The Saipan Blog
Carnival of the Blue 5 - Shifting Baselines
Carnival of the Blue 6 - Cephalopodcast
Carnival of the Blue 7 - The Natural Patriot
Carnival of the Blue 8 - [ I'm a chordata, urochordata! ]
Carnival of the Blue 9 - The Other 95%
Carnival of the Blue 10 - Kate Wing's Blog
Carnival of the Blue 11 - Zooillogix
Carnival of the Blue 12 - The Island of Doubt
Carnival of the Blue 13 - Blogfish
Carnival of the Blue 14 - Deep Sea News
Carnival of the Blue 15 - Sea Notes
Carnival of the Blue 16 - The Saipan Blog
Carnival of the Blue 17 - 10,000 Birds
Carnival of the Blue 18 - Deep Sea News
Carnival of the Blue 19 - Water Notes
Carnival of the Blue 20 - The Biomes Blog
Carnival of the Blue 21 - The Oyster's Garter
Carnival of the Blue 22 - Malaria, Bedbugs, Sea Lice, and Sunsets
Carnival of the Blue 23 - Deep Sea News
Carnival of the Blue 24 - Sea Notes
Carnival of the Blue 25 - Blogfish
Carnival of the Blue 26 - Southern Fried Science
Carnival of the Blue 27 - Oh, For the Love of Science!
Carnival of the Blue 28 - The Saipan Blog
Carnival of the Blue 29 - Cephalopodcast
Carnival of the Blue 30 - Oh, for the Love of Science!
Carnival of the Blue 31 - Observations of a Nerd
Carnival of the Blue 32 - Sea Notes
Carnival of the Blue 33 - Deep Sea News
Carnival of the Blue 34 - Southern Fried Science
Carnival of the Blue 35 - Oh, for the Love of Science!
Carnival of the Blue 36 - The Thoughtful Animal
Carnival of the Blue 37 - Blogfish
Carnival of the Blue 38 - Water Words That Work
Carnival of the Blue 39 - Arthropoda

Coming next week: Carnival of the Blue 40!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

First congressional earmark award – $220,000 - reaches DLNR

The $220,000 earmark for marine education and outreach in the Northern Mariana Islands, which Kilili had placed in the fiscal year 2010 Commerce, Justice, and Science Appropriation (see House Committee Report 111-149, accompanying H.R. 2847), was awarded to the CNMI Department of Lands and Natural Resources this week. Fiscal budget 2011 will also provide $500,000 to be used for the Marianas Trench Marine National Monument Visitors Center in the Northern Marianas. Kilili directed these funds to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to be certain they are used in a manner that is consistent with national standards for visitors centers. (Kilili's Friday E-Newsletter, 08/20/10)

Here is the breakdown approved by NOAA for the first $220,000:

Statement of Work for CNMI Grant Request
Total Funds Requested: $219,780

Items 1-2 will be completed by the CNMI Coral Reef Initiative Program.

The Department of Lands and Natural Resources (DLNR), which is the sole recipient of this grant, will transfer the amount of $13,000 to complete these tasks.

1. Coral Bleaching and Resiliency Response: Global climate change and coral bleaching were nominated top issues of concern for the CNMI during the CRI scoping meetings lead by the Lighthouse Consulting group during the summer of 2009. Coral bleaching was also declared a priority issue by the Directors of DEQ, CRM and DFW in September of 2009 in response to the mild bleaching event that was observed along some reefs in Saipan. Despite being a priority, all three agencies admitted that capacity and funding issues currently made generating a formal and direct response to bleaching events impossible. Funding for this project will be used to:

Contract researchers to respond to bleaching events and/or set baselines in key habitats around Saipan, Tinian and Rota Develop outreach protocols and resources for release during bleaching events and to educate the public

Contract for field/data/report support 10 days field/data
development 6 days analysis/report writing                       $5,500
Boat rental (10 days at $200/day)                                      2,500
Supplies: dive survey supplies, in-water GPS units
for broad-scale surveys, gas reimbursement for
personal vehicle use and other meeting supplies.                  750
Outreach supplies (airtime and
ad space)                                                                        1,250
                                                                      TOTAL $10,000

2. Printing for A-Z Coral Reef Activity Book : This booklet (for grades 2-6) is ongoing but needs additional funds (for an artist and for printing) to get finished up.

Artist                                                                              $   600
Printing for Guide                                                              2,400
                                                                        TOTAL $ 3,000

DLNR PROJECTS: Items 3 and 4 will be completed by DLNR.

3. Marine Protected Area Workshops: The CNMI government has several local marine protected areas with varying levels of restricted activities: Managaha Marine Conservation Area Forbidden Island Marine Sanctuary Bird Island Marine Sanctuary Sasanhaya Fish Reserve Tinian Marine Reserve (from Southwest Carolinas Point to Puntan Diablo)

The workshops will include outreach and education presentations on the existing locally marine protected areas, as well as discussion of how the Office of National Marine Sanctuaries can work with the government and the people of the CNMI on a possible role/partnership to assist with the management (education, research, enforcement, etc.) with these areas. Workshops would be held on Rota, Tinian and Saipan. There will be a final summary report of meetings with conclusions and findings. Suggested timeframe: Fall 2010 or Winter 2011.

Travel to Rota and Tinian from Saipan
for 3 DLNR staff
(airfare: 6 RT @ $213/RT, 6 days
@ per diem $120/day)                                                    $  2,000
Workshop Costs (facilitator, room rental,
set up, printing)                                                                 13,000
                                                                          TOTAL $15,000

4. Engineering Assessment of the CNMI Garapan (Navy Hill) Lighthouse facility: DLNR will conduct an engineering survey and cost analysis of the Garapan (Navy Hill) Lighthouse (Lighthouse), to determine its potential as a future Marianas Trench Marine National Monument Visitor Center, or a visitor/education center for another type of marine or environmental program. The work will include analysis of structural integrity, electrical, plumbing, safety, security of site etc, as well as cost estimates of how much is needed to enable lighthouse to functional to receive visitors. Outstanding issues such as property ownership, parking, neighborhood concerns should also be examined. A final report on the safety and viability of the Lighthouse, estimated renovation needs (including a detailed cost estimate, and an assessment of needed work) will be due to NOAA/ONMS by May 31, 2011.

History of site: Built in 1934. Inactive since 1941(?). The structure is an approximately 15 m (50 ft) concrete tower rising from a 1-story concrete keeper's quarters. The Lighthouse, now abandoned and open to the elements, is one of several built by Japan to guide its ships to its bases in the central Pacific prior to World War II. The building was renovated and expanded in the early 1990s as a restaurant, but it has been abandoned since 1995 and is in increasingly poor condition. Island residents have formed the Saipan Lighthouse Historical Society to work for its restoration. Nothing substantial has happened yet, but volunteers meet regularly to clean up the lighthouse and fix what they can. The Lighthouse was placed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places in 1974. The Lighthouse is located on the highest point of Navy Hill behind the town of Garapan, the capital of the Northern Mariana Islands, on the western side of Saipan. Site and tower open.

Contractual services to conduct engineering
assessment and product detailed report                                                    TOTAL $191,780

[Note: Original link and budget/scope of work document can be found by clicking here.]

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Our Northern Islands

our northern islandsThe release date for Our Northern Islands, Dennis Chan's book about the first expedition to the Mariana Trench Marine National Monument, is September 14, 2010. Advance copies will be made available at a discounted price to fans of Our Northern Islands' Facebook page.

Our Northern Islands | Promote Your Page Too

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Contribute to Carnival of the Blue XL: Top of the Food Chain

carnival of the blue 40Next month the Saipan Blog will be the host of Carnival of the Blue 40, or as I prefer to call it, Carnival of the Blue XL. COTB XL promises to be the biggest, baddest COTB EVER. Why? Well, not only is COTB turning 40, but the theme of next month's carnival is going to be Top of the Food Chain.

COTB XL is going to be all about predators, baby.

Please use this online article submission form to submit your contribution to COTB XL. Please try to make your post about predation (¿cómo se dice de tiburón en Inglés?), but if the predation bug doesn't hit you this month, COTB XL will still publish your ocean blog. If you have any questions you can email me at angelovillagomez at gmail dot com.

By the way, this will be the fourth consecutive September the Saipan Blog has hosted Carnival of the Blue. The Saipan Blog has previously hosted Carnival of the Blue IV, Carnival of the Blue XVI and Carnival of the Blue XXVIII.

*A big thanks to underwater photographer and dive instructor Harry Blalock for letting me use his photo. If you ever find yourself on Saipan in need of a dive guide:

Saturday, July 24, 2010

$500,000 for Marianas Trench Marine National Monument Visitor’s Center

Taken from NMI Congressman Kilili's weekly newsletter:

Appropriators approve $500,000 for Marianas Trench Marine National Monument Visitor’s Center -The House Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment & Related Agencies unveiled its fiscal 2011 spending bill yesterday. Included in the markup bill was my request for funds toward the construction of a Marianas Trench Marine National Monument Visitor’s Center in the Northern Mariana Islands. The $500,000 earmark will be added to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service construction budget and may be used for site planning, architectural engineering, and the design of the Monument Visitor Center. I am very grateful to Chairman Jim Moran and the members of the Subcommittee for their help in fulfilling the commitment the White House made in establishing the Monument—that it would benefit the people of the Northern Mariana Islands. I also very much appreciate the support of Congresswoman Bordallo, who asked the Subcommittee for Monument funding for the Marianas. We can be sure that expanding public awareness and knowledge of the Monument's geologic and marine wonders will be beneficial to the entire Marianas region. As with the other $1.475 million in earmarks I requested, which have already been approved in committee, the latest $500,000 is just the beginning of the formal legislative process. Having these requests included in the bill is a major step, but not a guarantee of final approval. [emphasis added]

Friday, July 23, 2010

Guam researchers warn against threat of spear-fishing

Good article in the Marianas Variety this morning on scuba-spearfishing. Nice work Janela Buhain!

"Data which has tracked fishing patterns on Guam since 1985 attributes 85 percent of the recorded atuhong and tanguisson catch to fishermen using scuba."

To read the article, click here: Guam researchers warn against threat of spear-fishing

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Deep-sea Mining update

The Chinese are set to begin a deep-sea mining project in the Indian Ocean.

From the Independent
The Chinese government has just lodged the first application to mine for minerals under the seabed in international waters, in this case on a ridge in the Indian Ocean 1,700 metres (more than 5,000ft) below the surface.
The feasibility and cost involved in deep sea mining is one concern, the environmental concerns, especially considering the Gulf of Mexico oil spill disaster, is another.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Mariana Trench in Outside Magazine

According to Outside Magazine, I am an "up-and-comer with a strong marketing instinct." Those eight words will be in every job application and every cover letter I write for the next 20 years. Thank you, Outside Magazine!

On Saturday I received my July 2010 issue of Outside Magazine. This is an issue I have been waiting for for almost a year. This is the issue that contains the story on last year's expedition to the Mariana Trench Marine National Monument.

Patrick Symmes, Outside Magazine contributing editor and the writer of this article, did a fantastic job. I thought the story was going to focus mostly on the trip we took to the monument, but he took it to the next level and interviewed Sylvia Earle and officials from the US Fish & Wildlife Service. What could have simply been a story about going to a far off place turned into a great retelling of some of the best conservation that has taken place during the last decade.

The story starts before the creation of the monument in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands and carries us through the creation of Papahanaumokuakea and the creation of Mariana Trench Marine National Monument.

I have to say, it literally hurts when the story of the monument campaign, something that took so much effort and caused so much stress, is cut down to a few paragraphs, or as in the case of MSNBC, a single sentence. One day I'll be able to let go of that; perhaps after my book is published.

The Outside Magazine website says that the magazine will be available on newsstands June 29, but I was able to find it online. I'd love to hear your reactions to the story, so please feel free to leave comments.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Saipan World War II Marine Heritage Trail

Saipan's Underwater Heritage:
Developing an Underwater WWII Heritage Trail

A public lecture by:
Jennifer McKinnon, PhD
Flinders University, Lecturer in Maritime Archaeology

Friday, June 25, 2010, 6:30 p.m.
Visitors Center Theater - American Memorial Park

Dr. McKinnon will provide an end-of-fieldwork report on a project to develop a World War II underwater heritage trail in the waters of Saipan Lagoon funded in part by a grant from the American Battlefield Protection Program.

The project involved completing an underwater survey supervised by marine archaeologists to locate, assess and document objects associated with the World War II battle for Saipan. Sites documented during the project include three tanks, four airplanes, two landing craft, a possible sub-chaser, a freighter and an LVT (Landing Vehicle Tracked).

The planned heritage trail will consist of individual site brochures, diving and snorkeling guides, and a website that tourists and divers can use to learn about the history of the sites. The trail will promote sustainable heritage tourism and stimulate the economy of Saipan while showcasing historically significant heritage sites in the beautiful Saipan lagoon. Dr. McKinnon will also discuss management strategies to ensure the long-term protection of these significant historic resources. The lecture will be illustrated by photographs and videos taken during the project.

This presentation is sponsored by the NMI Council for the Humanities as a part of its Community Lecture Series. Please contact the NMI Council for the Humanities at 235-4785 for more information about this upcoming event.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Off Topic, but The Next Generation

Robert Rudolph (Rudy) came to Saipan and worked as the Executive Director of Costal Resource Management. He eventually married Emelita (Miles) Guance and they had two children born in Saipan. At some point he turned to running a pizza restaurant and bar, but always remained dedicated to the environment. He worked as a consultant here in Saipan, and then returned full time to environmental work when he moved the family to Florida and then Hawaii and back to Florida.

His older child, Mara, is a college student (or recent graudate?). And she continues the focus on environmental concerns. It's just exciting to see our children growing up and continuing in whatever ways they can to keep our planet green.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010


SAIPAN – Every first Friday of the month, starting in July, a free environmental film will be shown to the community at American Memorial Park Theater.

“First Friday Films” was inspired by the exceptional turnout and response to the films played during Environmental Awareness Month in April. Hundreds of people came out to see the Lorax, HOME and The End of the Line. The overwhelmingly positive reaction to the films illustrated the power of cinema to educate and inspire a wide variety of people.

Each month a film will represent a month-long theme of activities aimed at inspiring the community to become actively involved and make environmentally friendly choices.

Sponsored by the Mariana Islands Nature Alliance (MINA), the first film to be featured on Friday, July 2nd at 7 p.m. is Black Wave, a documentary about the 20-year legacy of the Exxon Valdez oil spill. In the early hours of March 24th 1989 the Exxon Valdez oil supertanker ran aground in Alaska and discharged millions of gallons of crude oil into sensitive Artic waters. The incident became the biggest environmental catastrophe in North American history.

Given the recent oil spill disaster in the Gulf of Mexico and the allowance of further drilling by the Obama administration, “Black Wave” is a timely and relevant feature that will educate the community about the risks associated with offshore oil exploration. Following the film, local oil spill responders will discuss the Gulf of Mexico spill and the response plans in place for the CNMI.

“First Fridays” is coordinated through a partnership between the Division of Environmental Quality and American Memorial Park, with the generous support of organizations such as MINA.

Friday, May 21, 2010

A Step Back

The KSPN news reported last night (Thursday, 5/20/2010) that Kilili's bill, which was expected to be passed in the House, got pulled.

There's been a 'last–minute' setback in congress for the Marianas Trench Marine Monument Visitor Center. Just minutes before Congressman Greg Kilili Sablan's bill was about to be debated, the bill was 'pulled' from the House calendar. Sablan's office says the Congressional Budget Office which routinely estimates bill costs, 'scored' kilili's bill at almost 19–million dollars over the next five–years. The deficit issue is highly–sensitive during this election cycle...and a top aide to Sablan says the House Natural Resources Committee, fearing a republican objection, pulled the bill "moments before" it was to be debated.
KSPN news blurb

It's too bad, but we should keep supporting this bill, H.R. 3511. Kilili said he will keep working on this. Nothing is up on his website, yet, though. Perhaps he needs to hear from us that we want him to go forward.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Students Visit to NOAA Vessel

The MHS students' visit to the NOAA research vessel Oscar Elton Sette has a two page spread in the May issue of Beach Road Magazine.

(c) Glimpses of Saipan

Nice coverage, good photos--thanks Alexie Zotomayer and Beach Road Magazine!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

White is new FWS chief for 3 marine national monuments

USFWS Press Release
(Susan White - Photo credit USFWS)

Continuing her 21-year career in the management of marine protected areas, Susan White has been named the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's new project leader for the Pacific Reefs National Wildlife Refuge Complex, which overseas the three newest marine national monuments in the Pacific.

She will be transferring into her new role on May 9 after serving for the past three years as the FWS Superintendent for the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument in Hawaii.

“We are fortunate to have someone with Ms. White's experience to lead out expanded opportunities for managing the Rose Atoll, Pacific Remote Islands, and Marianas Trench Marine National Monuments,” said Barry Stieglitz, project leader for the Hawaiian and Pacific Islands National Wildlife Refuge Complex. “These vast areas-more than 125 million acres-are the nation's last frontiers for the wildlife conservation and scientific exploration.”

In her new role, White will be working with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the governments of American Samoa, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and Guam, as well as partners from private organizations, universities and the public, to implement the presidential proclamations establishing the three marine national monuments.

As a Papahanaumokuakea superintendent, White worked with her co-managers from NOAA, Hawaii's Department of Land and Natural Resources, and the Office of Hawaiian Affairs to develop and implement the Papahanaumokuakea Monument Management Plan and nominate the monument as a World Heritage site. She directly supervised management and operations of the two National Wildlife Refuges (Midway Atoll and Hawaiian Islands) within the monument, focusing on conservation of the 14 million seabirds, 23 threatened or endangered species, native habitats, sacred cultural sites, and iconic World War II historic resources.

Prior to going to Hawaii in 2001, White helped supervise managers of 28 refuges in Florida, Mississippi, and southern Alabama and also coordinated marine conservations initiatives. From 2002 through 2005, she was the deputy project leader at J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge in coastal southwestern Florida.

She served as the national marine protected area and coral reef program coordinator at the headquarters of the FWS National Wildlife Refuge System between 2000 and 2002, leading FWS and the Department of the Interior in interdepartmental implementation of the executive orders on coral reef protection and marine protected area. She also served as the department's staff point of contact for the Coral Reef Task Force and the National Commission on Ocean Policy. She has been a member of the IUCN's World Commission on Protected Area since 1990. Prior to her Washington, D.C., responsibilities, White has had a long history of working on islands, including the Florida Keys and Saba Marine Park in the Dutch West Indies.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

CONTEST ENDS June 1, 2010!

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Marine Debris Program would like to know how marine debris impacts you and what you are doing about it. The winning artwork will be showcased in a 2011 planner that will help in raising awareness about the global problem of marine debris. Additionally, the winners will be featured on the Program’s website and in their newsletter, reaching over 200,000 people each month!

About the NOAA Marine Debris Program - Established in 2005, the NOAA Marine Debris Program supports national and international efforts to research, prevent, and reduce the impacts of marine debris. The Program’s goal is to protect and conserve our nation’s natural resources, oceans, and coastal waterways from the impacts of marine debris.

Eligibility - All students in grades K-4 and 5-8 from all U.S. states and territories–recognized public, private, and home schools are eligible to participate. Schools, including home schools, must be in compliance with federal and state civil rights and nondiscrimination statutes. Students must work individually.

Criteria for Art & Description - Each entry must be composed of a piece of artwork and a description (on entry form). All must meet the requirements below. Students are highly encouraged to check out the rest of the NOAA Marine Debris Program website for information about marine debris.

  1. The entries must be on 8.5” x 11” paper.
  2. Use white, non-glossy paper; do not laminate.
  3. Any art medium may be used (e.g., colored pencils, crayons, paint); however computer graphics will not be accepted. Artwork must be hand-drawn by the student.
  4. Artwork must be flat (e.g., no glued pieces) and able to be scanned.
  5. A description of no more than 50 words must accompany the artwork (space provided on the entry form).
  6. Teachers may send in as many entries as they would like to; however selective screening would be greatly appreciated.
  7. Label each entry (artwork) on the back with student’s name, age and grade, along with the teacher’s name, school name, address, and telephone number.
  8. Entry Form - There should be one entry form filled out per student. Please ensure that the entry form is filled out completely and legibly. All entries (entry form + artwork) must be submitted via mail (postmarked) no later than Tuesday, June 1, 2010.

Download entry form here.

Competition Process - A NOAA awards panel will collect all entries and select six from each grade category (K-4 and 5-8) and one overall winner. Entries (artwork and description) will be judged on the creativity, artistic presentation, and relevancy to the theme.

Time Frame
June 1, 2010 - Deadline for postmark of completed entry form + artwork.
July 1, 2010 - Winners will be notified.

Entries (entry form + artwork) should be mailed to:

Art Contest
ATTN: Megan Forbes
NOAA Marine Debris Program
1305 East-West Highway
SSMC4, 10th Floor
Silver Spring, MD 20910

*Please note that entries will not be returned.

If you have any questions, please contact Carey Morishige at or (808) 397-2651 x256.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Want to buy some deuterium?

I remember Senator Louis Crisostimo telling me some time during 2008 that he opposed the creation of the Mariana Trench Marine National Monument because the trench contained a special kind of water that could be used in fuel cells. I thought he was out of his mind.

I came across a blog today that linked to the story that put the idea into his head (I have reposted the entire article because the Marianas Variety does not have it archived):
by Agnes E. Donato
October 31, 2003

SAIPAN, CNMI (Marianas Variety, ) – The world’s largest deposit of deuterium, which can replace most forms of fuel in powering engines, can be found in the Marianas and Philippine trenches, according to a research by a local group.

Former Rep. Manasses S. Borja and Melqui Pacis, of Western International Corp., said the Marianas and the Philippines have a deuterium deposit 868 miles long — 52 miles at its widest point, and 7 miles at its deepest point in the Marianas.

This deposit, they added, is "replenished by nature 24 hours a day" through the north equatorial current tidal flow which carries deuterium all the way from Central America.

Deuterium, a form of concentrated hydrogen, is used in the production of natural gas now utilized in Canada, America, Germany and Sweden, to provide fuel for cars, trucks and jet planes, said Pacis and Borja, who is running for a Precinct 2 seat in the House of Representatives.

"Deuterium can replace gasoline, (liquefied petroleum gas), (liquefied natural gas), Avgas, etc. in powering all types of internal combustion engines. It does not emit pollutants or any harmful carbon monoxide and does not cause any environmental problems because it is in the water family," they said.

They added, "Deuterium as hydrogen fuel can also be used for cooking, lighting, and heating, and as heavy water fuel for reactors in electric power generation. (Aside from the CNMI), only the Philippines can supply all the requirements in deuterium as hydrogen fuel and as hydrogen for food, chemical and metal industries worldwide for the next two centuries."

Borja and Pacis are urging the governments of the CNMI and the Philippines to promote the deuterium deposit to investors.

Borja and Pacis reported that prospective investors from the U.S., Japan and Saudi Arabia had expressed interest in the project.

"The rule of thumb investment estimates is about $200 million for every 1 million barrels daily production capacity — a very much lower investment-capacity ratio than petroleum production," they said. "At 12 million barrels per day capacity, the estimated total investment is $2.4 billion."

Marianas Variety:

Copyright © 2003 Marianas Variety. All Rights Reserved
I'm thinking that their thinking went something like this:

"This deuterium stuff can be used to create something called heavy water."

"Yeah, I bet because it's heavy it sinks."

"Hey, isn't the Mariana Trench really deep?"

Who knows? Maybe in 100 years I'll have to eat my words. Maybe the Mariana Trench has the largest deposit of deuterium. And maybe Manasses S. Borja and Melqui Pacis are the the Michael Faraday and Benjamin Franklins of our our time. Maybe. But not likely.

I call shenanigans on this one.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Yes to Marine Monument on Rota and US troops' relocation to Tinian

From the Saipan Tribune:
Marine Monument on Rota

S.R. 17-16, which expresses the Senate's support to the establishment of the Marianas Trench Marine National Monument visitors center on Rota, also saw the clash of opinions between Crisostimo and all the other senators.

Crisostimo wanted the Marine Monument visitors center to be built on Saipan, or both on Saipan and Rota. He said Saipan is a more economically viable location for the center, because Saipan has direct flights to and from other destinations, and that it would be cheaper for tourists to come to Saipan than Rota.

Ayuyu, co-author of S.R. 17-16 along with Taimanao, said putting the visitors center on Rota is a better option because of the island's eco-tourism industry and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife plans to designate about 400 hectares of land on Rota for fish and wildlife habitat conservation.

“You make me feel that Rota is not part of the Commonwealth. Don't deny us something that is positive for us,” Ayuyu told Crisostimo. Ayuyu is also chairman of the Rota Legislative Delegation.

Senate President Paul A. Manglona (R-Rota) clarified that funding for the Marine Monument visitors center will come from the federal government.

Eight senators voted “yes” on S.R. 17-16, while Crisostimo voted “present.”

Friday, April 16, 2010

CNMI works on Lighthouse report for possible visitors center site

Reposted from the Saipan Tribune - a 04/16/10 article by Haidee V. Eugenio

Until an engineering survey and cost analysis of the Lighthouse on Navy Hill are completed, other sites may still be considered for the Marianas Trench Marine National Monument visitors center.

The Lighthouse was placed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places in 1974. It is located on the highest point of Navy Hill behind Garapan on the western side of Saipan.

Press Secretary Angel Demapan said the Department of Land and Natural Resources will conduct an engineering survey and cost analysis of the Garapan or Navy Hill Lighthouse to determine its potential as a future Marine Monument visitor center or a visitor/education center for marine or environmental program.

“The work will include analysis of structural integrity, electrical, plumbing, safety, security of site, etc., as well as cost estimates of how much is needed to enable said lighthouse to function as an education or visitor center. Outstanding issues such as property ownership, parking, neighborhood concerns, etc. should also be examined,” he told Saipan Tribune.

Demapan said a final report on the safety and viability of the Lighthouse, estimated renovation needs, including a detailed cost estimate, and an assessment of needed work, will be due to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration/Office of National Marine Sanctuaries by May 31, 2011.

Delegate Gregorio Kilili C. Sablan (D-MP) requested a member directed appropriation of $220,000 for Fiscal year 2010 to be used for educational programs on marine sanctuaries.

He said this could be used for scoping work on the monument visitors center, including conducting public hearings on where the public wants to see the visitors center. He said it would have been better if the visitors center is near the ocean, but the Fitial administration said the Lighthouse also has a historical and maritime significance.

Sablan introduced last year a bill to put up the Marine Monument visitors center in the CNMI instead of Guam. The bill is still with the U.S. House Subcommittee on Insular Affairs, Oceans and Wildlife chaired by Guam Delegate Madeleine Bordallo, who wants the center to be built in Guam.

Sablan, in a submission to the U.S. House Appropriations Committee, also asked $1 million for the planning and design of a Marine Monument visitors center to be built in the CNMI.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Whale and Dolphin Identification Training Workshop


The Coastal Resources Management Office (CRMO) will be hosting a whale and dolphin identification training workshop focused on identifying cetaceans from boat or shore. The public is welcome to attend this free workshop to learn more about CNMI's cetaceans and how to identify them.

The workshop will be held at the CRM conference room on Tuesday, April 13 at 2 p.m.

Please note: the CRM office has moved to its new location on Middle Road in Spring Plaza, which is just south of and on the opposite side of Ace Hardware or just north of and on the same side of the street as XO market.

For additional information please contact John Starmer, CRM, at 664-8303.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Monumental Letters

In an effort to inform the general public about the conversation that took place in our community for over one year, I went ahead and put together a list of all the letters to the editor and opinion pieces on the proposed Mariana Trench Marine National Monument (I had a lot of help).

I realize that this list is probably missing a few items, and I would be much obliged if you would forward them on to me, but from what I have compiled here, the running total of letters FOR is 117 versus 50 AGAINST. There were 50 unique writers in support vs 19 writers against. Greg Cruz holds the distinction of being the only person to write letters in support and against the monument.

I'd also like to point out that Ken Kramer was the most prolific writer for the Friends of the Mariana Trench Monument writing 17 (of 117) support letters, while John Gourley wrote only 13 (of 50) non-support letters.

Those are some pretty amazing numbers to me. Thanks to everyone who wrote a letter of support.

Happy readings!

  1. March 20, 2008. Angelo Villagomez “Practicing My Culture
  2. March 24, 2008. Jacinta M. Kaipat. “Give PEW a chance:
  3. April 3, 2008. Greg Cruz. “Taotao Tano supports idea of National Park.”
  4. April 17, 2008. Ignacio V. Cabrera. “Many benefits from national monument:”
  5. April 17, 2008. Ken Kramer. “In defense of the national park proposal:”
  6. April 22, 2008. Jaime Vergara. “The dream of the Earth:”
  7. April 25, 2008. Ken Kramer. “Marine Monument.”
  8. April 28, 2008. Ken Kramer. “Bye bye marine monument!:”
  9. April 28, 2008. Jane Mack. “Arguments against Pew proposal are political and economic:”
  10. April 28, 2008. Wesley Bogdan. “A brilliant idea, a gift from heaven:”
  11. April 28, 2008. Tami L Hunter. “Awesome.
  12. April 29, 2008. Brad Doerr. “Our Marine Monument:”
  13. April 30, 2008. Donald Cohen. “This is what your senators are doing today.
  14. April 30, 2008. Greg Cruz. “To Mr. Joe Cabrera of Dandan.”
  15. April 30, 2008. Angelo Villagomez. “Only of the people want it:”
  16. April 30, 2008. Laurie Peterka. “My motives for supporting Pew's proposal:”
  17. April 30, 2008. Chuck Sayon. “MINA wants open dialog to continue:”
  18. May 01, 2008. Cinta M. Kaipat. “Marianas Trench Marine National Monument:”
  19. May 1, 2008. Ignacio Cabrera. “A Great Opportunity for NMI.”
  20. May 2, 2008. Ignacio Cabrera. “To Governor Fitial.
  21. May 02, 2008 David Khorram. “Movies, Power, Federalization, and Pew.
  22. May 02, 2008. Dr. Cooper Schraudenbach. “A chance to be a steward of the ocean:”
  23. May 02, 2008. Ed Propst. “CARE: Change, Action, Reform, and Excellence:”
  24. May 02, 2008. Eli Bueneventura. “Support for marine monument:”
  25. May 05, 2008. Ruth Tighe. “A lot of mis-, dis-, and non-information on proposed Trench monument:”
  26. May 06, 2008. Ken Kramer. “Need I mention pozzolan?:”
  27. May 08, 2008. Brad Doerr. “Our marine monument II:
  28. May 8, 2008. Chuck Sayon. “Mina wants open dialogue to continue!
  29. May 09, 2008. Ken Kramer. “Why WESPAC wants a Marianas Trench Marine National Monument:
  30. May 09, 2008. Angelo Villagomez. “The governor says no, others say yes:
  31. May 9, 2008. Jay Nelson. “Upcoming Reports on marine park proposal.
  32. May 13, 2008. Jane Mack. “Make the devastation of our natural world stop!
  33. May 13, 2008. Mike Tripp. “Personalities and politics of a marine monument:
  34. May 17, 2008. Ken Kramer. “Wespac's History Speaks:”
  35. May 20, 2008. Mike Tripp. “Marine monument-Let's talk eh!:”
  36. May 21, 2008. Mike Tripp. “Marine monument-the benefits (it's not all about the fishing):”
  37. May 22, 2008. Peter Houk. “What does science tell us about our Northern Islands coral reef ecosystems?:
  38. May 23, 2008. Fred Hovnaton. “Save the Islands’ Trees.
  39. May 27, 2008. Brad Doerr. “Keep your eyes open:”
  40. June 02, 2008. Ruth Tighe. “'Overfishing is destabilizing the marine environment':”
  41. June 10, 2008. Fred Hovnaton. “Asking for nothing and getting nothing:”
  42. June 16, 2008. Elizabeth Deleon Guerrero. “Support the marine monument!:
  43. June 17, 2008. Ruth Tighe. “'Accentuate the positive':”
  44. June 23, 2008. Ken Kramer. “Pew spew? Or more Wespac sputum?:”
  45. July 04, 2008. Ruth Tighe. “What's at stake in the marine monument proposal:
  46. July 08, 2008. Bryan Jones. “What a shame!:”
  47. July 18, 2008. Jay Nelson. Opinion. “The Pew Charitable Trusts: Committed to ocean conservation:
  48. July 28, 2008. Editorial. “Marine Monument: Good for the CNMI, good for the environment:”
  49. July 29, 2008. Ignacio V. Cabrera. “Kudos:”
  50. August 04, 2008. Chailang Palacios. “Don’t Stoop to their level
  51. August 6, 2008. Ruth Tighe. “Golden Opportunity.”
  52. August 08, 2008. Ken Kramer. Thanks, Alexie!
  53. August 08, 2008. Herman Villagomez. No Need.
  54. August 11, 2008. Ignacio V. Cabrera. “Another indigenous point of view:
  55. August 15, 2008. Agnes McPhetres. “Another option to address budget shortfall:”
  56. August 15, 2008. Ken Kramer. “A Dog and His Shadow:”
  57. August 18, 2008. Angelo Villagomez. “About the marine monument proposal
  1. August 22, 2008. Ruth Tighe. “Clarification:
  2. August 25, 2008. Bryan Jones. “Environmental Victory.
  3. August 26, 2008. Richard Dela Cruz. “A Hotdog for a Signature:”
  4. August 26, 2008. Jesus Cruz Cabrera. “Recognition for the Marianas:
  5. August 27, 2008. Ken Kramer. “An achievement in conservation:”
  6. August 27, 2008. Mylene Balisalisa. “Proud of the CNMI:
  7. August 28, 2008. Ron Hodges. “Chamberonomics…the Marine Monument.”
  8. August 29, 2008. Belinda Norita. “Make the Monument a Reality.
  9. September 1, 2008. Brad Doerr. “Thar She Blows.”
  10. September 1, 2008. Ken Kramer. “win-win
  11. September 2, 2008. Jane Mack. “Marine Sanctuaries Work.”
  12. September 2, 2008. Chuck Sayon. “MINA Supports Creation of Marine Preserve.”
  13. September 2008. Josh Reichert. “Our Oceans: Our finite, fragile and valuable resources.
  14. September 4, 2008. Leisha P Camacho. “Let’s Give it a try.”
  15. September 5, 2008. Aleth Kae Atalig. “Young Indigenous in Support of Monument.”
  16. September 5, 2008. Andrew Sablan Salas. “A Legacy Truly Worthy of the CNMI’s children.”
  17. September 8, 2008. Ken Kramer. “Commercial Fishing Remains Irrelevant in the CNMI.”
  18. September 8, 2008. Jay Nelson. “Let’s Focus on Opportunities, Benefits of Monument.”
  19. September 11, 2008. Chuck Sayon. "A Marianas Trench Marine Monument: The Year is 2029."
  20. September 12, 2008. Ken Kramer. "Lawmakers worth voting for."
  21. September 19, 2008. Karl T. Reyes. "Constitutional Intent."
  22. September 19, 2008. Andrew Salas. "Together let's make monument a reality."
  23. September 22, 2008. Jaime Vergara. "Let there be light."
  24. September 23, 2008. Wes Bogdan. "Law of the Sea."
  25. September 25, 2008. Jane Mack. "The concept behind the proposal."
  26. September 25, 2008. Brad Doerr. "This week's special."
  27. September 26, 2008. Ken Kramer. "A great thing for the CNMI."
  28. October 2, 2008. Leticia Camacho. "Read the economic impact report."
  29. October 2, 2008. Ruth Tighe. "High cost is natural barrier."
  30. October 3, 2008. Brad Doerr. "Thank you, Mr. McCue."
  31. October 7, 2008. Jean Michel Cousteau. "A national treasure worth protecting."
  32. October 9, 2008. Emelaine Fejeran. "Monument will benefit education."
  33. October 13, 2008. Cinta Kaipat. "120 on 10/20."
  34. October 20, 2008. Agnes McPhetres. "Welcome to the CNMI."
  35. October 20, 2008. Ken Kramer. "Thanks to the Humanities Council."
  36. October 21, 2008. Ignacio Cabrera. "Thanks for supporting marine monument plan."
  37. October 21, 2008. Lee Taitano. "The awakening of the world."
  38. October 21, 2008. Rosalia Duenas. "Amazed and Proud."
  39. October 21, 2008. Jaime Vergara. "The WOW for MMM."
  40. October 21, 2008. Ken Kramer. "DFW arguments for marine monument."
  41. October 23, 2008. Friends of the Mariana Trench Monument. "Open letters to President Bush."
  42. October 23, 2008. Jose Ayuyu. "Open letters to President Bush, Part 2."
  43. October 24, 2008. Jaime Vergara. "Along the Paseo de Marianas."
  44. October 24, 2008. Ed Propst. "New rules of engagement for the marine monument proposal."
  45. October 24, 2008. Ruth Tighe. "Mutually Exclusive? Not!"
  46. October 24, 2008. Andrew Salas. "Mutual Respect."
  47. October 27, 2008. Saipan Tribune Editorial. "Compromise on the marine monument plan."
  48. October 31, 2008. Ruth Tighe. "Don't throw the baby out with the bath water."
  49. November 14, 2008. Ben Deleon Guerrero. "Making myself clear."
  50. November 14, 2008. Maegan Agulto. "No coercion."
  51. November 20, 2008. Ignacio Cabrera. "Monument momentum."
  52. December 1, 2008. "Ruth Tighe. "A biased view of the matter."
  53. December 2, 2008. William Aila. "Aha Moku who?"
  54. December 29, 2008. Jaime Vergara. "The great work of the planet earth."
  55. January 8, 2009. Jane Mack. "Thank you."
  56. January 8, 2009. Ken Kramer. "A great day for Earth."
  57. January 8, 2009. Benigno Fitial. "Statement on designation."
  58. January 9, 2009. Jeffrey Flores. "Message of Appreciation."
  59. January 12, 2009. Andrew Salas. "Moving Forward."
  60. January 19, 2009. Emlaine Fejeran. "Si yu'us ma'ase."

Letters to the Editor/Opinion/Editorials AGAINST the Marine Monument

  1. April 11, 2008. John Gourley. Reason 1 why I oppose the PEW National Monument:”
  2. April 14, 2008. William Bamboo McCue. “Be aware of the futurity of your actions:”
  3. April 15, 2008. John Gourley. “Why I oppose the PEW National Monument: Reason 2:”
  4. April 23, 2008. Jim Davies. “Letter.”
  5. April 24, 2008. John Gourley. “CNMI as co-manager of proposed monument: How real is it?:”
  6. April 29, 2008. Joe Cabrera. “To benefit a certain few.
  7. May 01, 2008. William McCue. “Don't give up control:”
  8. May 2, 2008. Juan I. Tenorio. “Problematic.”
  9. May 05, 2008. John Gourley. “We're talking-PEW isn't listening:”
  10. May 09, 2008. John Gourley. “More misconceptions about the Pew monument:
  11. May 9, 2008. Rosemary Camacho. “My Reason for not Supporting the Pew Proposal.”
  12. May 11, 2008. Lino M. Olopai. “Why I resigned from MINA:
  13. May 14, 2008. John Gourley. “Pew, why won't you talk about the monument?:”
  14. May 15, 2008. Benigno Sablan and Manny Duenas. “No need to federalize protection of Northern Islands:
  15. May 23, 2008. John Gourley. “Pew, outsiders, and online petitions:
  16. May 23, 2008. Richard B. Seman. “Leave all conservation measures to the people of the CNMI:
  17. May 23, 2008. George T Sablan. “Mr. Tripp.”
  18. June 06, 2008. John Gourley. “Interesting regulatory exemptions likely to be adopted for the proposed Pew monument:
  19. June 20, 2008. Jim Davies. “Pew spew:
  20. July 10, 2008. Candy Taman. “Pew’s proposed conservation up north.”
  21. July 18, 2008. Candy Taman. “Honoring our forefathers wisdom.”
  22. July 30, 2008. Candy Taman. “Indigenous Land and Sea.
  23. August 01, 2008. John Gourley. “We are not alone in our opposition:”
  24. August 01, 2008. Dr. Ignacio T. Dela Cruz and Benigno Sablan. “Who's lying now?:”
  25. August 29, 2008. John Gourley. “Betrayal Day: August 24, 2008
  26. September 3, 2008. Candy Taman. “Pew’s plans on NI Monument
  27. September 5, 2008. Michael Trianni. “Clarifications: An Achievement in Conservation.”
  28. September 12, 2008. John Gourley. "Pew is as Pew does."
  29. September 18, 2008. Stanley Torres. "Sales Hype."
  30. September 23, 2008. James Davies. "A Pew solution to the problem."
  31. September 26, 2008. William McCue. "How much a trip to the monument will cost."
  32. October 1, 2008. William McCue. "Monument will heal little, if anything."
  33. October 17, 2008. John Gourley. "Misinformation, Deception, Lies - Another Perspective."
  34. October 22, 2008. John Del Rosario. "In search of MM."
  35. October 23, 2008. Greg Cruz. "Taotao Tano's position on the marine monument proposal."
  36. October 23, 2008. Juan Lizama. "Resolve submerged lands, EEZ issues first."
  37. October 23, 2008. William McCue. "Monument-al fallacies."
  38. October 24, 2008. Juan Tudela. "A perspective on the Pew proposal."
  39. October 28, 2008. Edward Guerrero. "No to the proposed national marine monument."
  40. October 28, 2008. Greg Cruz. "Taotao Tano's position on the proposed marine monument: Part II."
  41. October 28, 2008. Pete Reyes. "Clarification on leaked letter."
  42. October 29, 2008. Edward Guerrero. "No to the proposed national marine monument II."
  43. October 31, 2008. Candy Taman and Alex Sablan. "Mutual agreement."
  44. October 31, 2008. Stanley Torres. "I don't believe."
  45. November 4, 2008. Juan Tenorio. "Marine monument."
  46. November 21, 2008. Stanley Torres. "Devil child."
  47. November 25, 2008. John Del Rosario. "Our right to decide."
  48. December 3, 2008. Juan Tenorio. "Thank you."
  49. December 3, 2008. John Del Rosario. "Birthright."
  50. January 5, 2009. John Gourley. "The grand illusion."