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 Carey.Morishige@noaa.gov 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: www.mvariety.com

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."