Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Conservation projects in Saipan visited during field trip

Maintaining a tradition that started during the very first MIC retreat, participants took a day off from the meetings to visit conservation projects in the host country. Mariana Islands Nature Alliance (MINA) representatives led them to Saipan’s Lake Susupe, Obyan beach, and Managaha Island.Obyan beach is a turtle nesting area and the site of MINA's next conservation project. Through a grant from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Pacific Islands Coastal Program, MINA will work with the Coastal Resources Management Office to protect the turtle nesting habitat. MINA and CRM will hold a series of public forums for nearby residents and users of the beach – one of Saipan’s most popular recreational areas – to solicit input on closing the beach to vehicle traffic. Managaha is a tiny island located in the Tanapag Lagoon. With white sand and clear waters, Managaha is one of Saipan's best beaches and a good place to snorkel. It is also a no-take Marine Protected Area, but conservation is deeply affected by mass tourism and development.

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