Saipan Tribune, Friday, September 29, 2006
Beautify CNMI! partners with DPL for litter project
by Marconi Calindas
Beautify CNMI! has partnered with the Department of Public Lands in celebrating National Public Lands Day today.
According to Reina Camacho, Division of Environmental Quality public information officer and Beautify CNMI! publicity chairperson, the coalition has started an anti-littering campaign that will first focus on publicly owned lands.
"This historic and comprehensive anti-litter campaign will kick off in October with educational campaign about littering on public lands, gearing up to enforcement actions in November and beyond," Camacho said.
She said the community could participate in this first-ever CNMI-wide anti-litter campaign by adopting a beach, road or park, planting trees, painting over abandoned or graffiti-plagued buildings, or just beautifying a residential or commercial area.
Beautify CNMI! is aiming to recruit 1,020 volunteers to conduct their first beautification activity on Oct. 20, dubbed as "1020 on 1020," which will be coordinated similar to previous islandwide cleanups by various government agencies, with garbage bags, gloves and other items provided by the coalition and its various partner agencies.
Camacho said the anti-litter campaign was originally planned for the first week of October, but was moved to coincide with DPL's event.
"As this will be the first year the CNMI will celebrate National Public Lands Day, Beautify CNMI! wanted to unite efforts and kick off the anti-litter activities on the same day. We hope that our cleanup and beautification actions speak loud and clear that litter does not belong on the ground and it does not belong in our public lands," said Camacho.
Other activities slated for October are beach patrols, where newly certified Litter Control Apprehending Officers will scour public beaches, citing litterers, and the Eyesore Photo Drive.
"The drive is a challenge to any person handy with a camera to submit a photo of an eyesore, including litter, solid waste, graffiti-plastered buildings, and others," she said.
Rep. Cinta Kaipat, Beautify CNMI! legislation chairwoman, said the heart of the anti-litter activities is to beautify the islands through litter reduction.
"It is the intent of Beautify CNMI! to infect the beauty virus to everyone in our Commonwealth. This is our home, we should take pride and work cooperatively to make it beautiful for us and for our visitors to enjoy," Kaipat said.
The Litter Control Apprehending Officers and Public Safety officers will not tolerate any type of littering activity to give new meaning to Zero Tolerance starting Nov. 1, added Camacho.
In the CNMI, the improper disposal of trash or garbage has a minimum fine of $200.
Camacho said that passersby could also report litter violations to Department of Public Safety or DEQ at 664-8500.
Beautify CNMI! is a coalition of concerned citizens, private groups, and government entities united to enhance the CNMI's natural beauty and foster community pride in its residents and visitors. For more information or to join any activity of the group visit www.beautifycnmi.com.