16 Feb 2018
- By Maria Lumauag – Variety Junior Reporter
THE Division of Coastal Resources Management’s CNMI Coral Reef Initiative plans several activities, programs and events in the months ahead.
The CNMI Coral Reef Initiative was founded in 2003 in partnership with NOAA’s Coral Reef Conservation Program. The CRI is a cross-agency initiative between the Division of Coastal Resources Management, the Division of Environmental Quality, and the Division of Fish and Wildlife. These agencies work together to protect and preserve CNMI’s coral reef ecosystems and ensure responsible management of these resources. This work is achieved through biological monitoring, habitat restoration, research, enforcement, and education and outreach.
The International Coral Reef Initiative declared 2018 as the third International Year of the Reef. The International Year of the Reef 2018 is open to any individual, organization, government agency and non-governmental organization that wishes to be involved. This past quarter, the communications team partnered with NMC-CREES 4H Riptide Program to provide coral reef and watershed education to all the youth centers on island. We have reached over a 100 students through this program.
In light of International Year of the Reef, the CNMI Coral Reef Initiative will have numerous outreach and education events throughout the year ranging from presentations at schools, expos, fiestas, and other community events, to coordinating Ridge to Reef Summer Education Camps on Saipan, Tinian, and Rota. There are more ways to participate in International year of the Reef and here are some events and programs to get involved in the upcoming months!
MINA’s School for Environmental Conservation
DCRM’s Coral Reef Initiative in partnership with the Micronesia Islands Nature Alliance, participating schools will enjoy a full day of coral reef education and field based learning activities. Started in 2007, MINA has been working with the school community to encourage teachers to integrate environmental issues into their lesson plans. The program provides opportunities for students and teachers to learn about and work on a project that focuses on a specific environmental issue. This year, we are working with schools to “Learn About, Interact with, and Actively Conserve Saipan’s Coral Reefs”. Through experimental learning from these natural laboratories, students and teachers will not only learn about the importance of coral reefs, but also can help promote and encourage environmental stewardship throughout the island. For more information, contact Miki Kautz at 233-7333.
April is Environmental Awareness Month. Show your love for the environment and keep an eye out for activities that will be announced soon. For more information, contact BECQ at 664-8500.
International Year of the Reef Rain Barrel Art Contest
BECQ invites all community members to participate in a rain barrel painting contest in April. The theme is “International Year of the Reef: From Ridge to Reef.” Winners receive cash prize. Rain barrels will be installed in public places. Anyone is free to enter; classes or groups can work together. Rain barrels are limited. Designs will be judged on creativity, neatness, and theme. The top four design ideas will receive rain barrels and painting supplies. The final painted barrel will be on display at the Flame Tree Arts Festival, where the public will vote on their favorite. Submit design idea by March 16, 2018. Top four designs will be notified on March 19, and can pick up painting supplies at that time. The final painting must be finished by April 23, for display at the Flame Tree Arts Festival. Submit design and pick up supplies at the BECQ main office in Gualo Rai or by email: [email protected], Attn: Katie Graziano. For more information, contact Katie Graziano at 664-8500.
Coral Reef Initiative Summer Internship Program (June-August)
Since 2002 the CRI Post-Secondary Summer Internship Program has worked to raise student awareness of coral reef issues, threats, and the efforts underway to protect them. Participants are provided with opportunities to gain hands-on experience in resource management as well as outreach, and are encouraged to pursue an education and career in an aspect of coral reef resource management. The internship is a ten-week paid summer program. We are looking for passionate high school graduates and college bound students. For more information, contact Mallory Muna or Jihan Younis at 664-8500 or email [email protected]
Ridge to Reef Summer Camps (June-July)
The CNMI Coral Reef Initiative works with numerous agency and non-profit partners to host free environmental camps for 4th and 5th grade students across the CNMI. Each camp has between 20 and 45 participants. Exciting educational activities such as snorkeling, hiking, bird watching, geo-caching, visits to dumps, dry litter piggeries and cattle ranches, tree plantings and more. Partner agencies included Division of Fish and Wildlife, NOAA, the Coastal Resource Management Office, Forestry, the National Park Service, Rota office of Commerce, the Public School Systems of Tinian and Rota, Department of Public Safety, Tinian NMC CREES, Tinian Cattlemen’s Association, Rota Crow Project, and many others. For more information, contact Mallory Muna or Jihan Younis at 664-8500 or email [email protected].
Reef Report mobile app
The Bureau of Environmental and Coastal Quality and Commonwealth Utilities Corp. have launched a new smartphone app, the Reef Report, so you can keep watch over our precious natural resources.
Available now on Android and web, and coming soon to iPhone, Reef Report allows you to send a signal to BECQ or CUC when you observe environmental issues like trash dumping, chemical spills, illegal discharge, coral bleaching, and utility issues like leaking pipes or sewage breaks — and much more. The app uses smartphone technology to immediately notify government agencies with a report, map, and photograph of the incident. The app may be accessed by searching for “Reef Report” on the Google Play store for Android, or by visiting the publications page of the BECQ DCRM website (dcrm.gov.mp). The app is also available in Chamorro and Carolinian translations. Be sure to visit our YouTube Channel (“BECQ CRM” Channel) to learn more about using the app. If you have suggestions or questions, let us know at [email protected].
“We are committed to encouraging our residents and the next generation to care about our coral reefs and understand the connection between land and sea” says Mallory Muna, DCRM communications specialist.
Jihan Younis, DCRM’s coral reef education and outreach coordinator, stressed the importance of the range of benefits healthy coral reefs provide for us.
Visit www.cnmicoralreef.com to learn more about the CNMI Coral Reef Initiative and our efforts.
Source: Marianas Variety : http://www.mvariety.com/cnmi/cnmi-news/local/102301-dcrm-lines-up-environmental-activities-programs-events