Angelo wrote an artical about this program today in the Saipan Tribune here.
Who's at the table. DFW, CRM, DEQ, NOAA, John Gonzales, Marians Dive, The Zoning department, The Nature Conservancy and RC&D.
That's Vanna Fran looking for a vowel!
As Angelo has pointed out, thankfully, the Coral Reef Initiative Policy Committee has chosen Laulau Bay as the highest priority conservation site on Saipan. This is a huge undertaking. Planning (and some action) has been going on for this site at various times in the 5 plus years I've called Saipan home. Unfortunately, there has been little success or movement in the right direction.
BCNMI and RC&D have done re-vegetation projects in the highlands aimed at reducing run off and sediment on the reef below. The bottom line is this project will take a lot of money, effort and creative solutions to solve the problems that exist. The overall importance of the Bay to everyone can not be overstated. For divers, fisherman, tourists, local medicinal products and endangered species (among others) the successful implementation of a solid plan is essential for survival. It's that simple! The plan and getting it done is not so simple.
A working mission / vision
Lau Lau Bay provides unique cultural, historical and environmental benefits and values: therefore, we pledge to restore and sustain its aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems and resources above and below the waves
After the first morning alone I am very happy that I've attended this working group. Without a divers perspective this process would be much more difficult to get it right. At least that's how this diver sees it. Lau Lau Bay to the dive industry here is very important and the dive industry provides one of the biggest revenues to the tourism industry the current economic engine. Having said that it is also a very important fishing and traditional cultural area so balance is the key. That's why this must be a group effort that brings together ideas and efforts from everyone.
It has been a fun morning working and listening to others who are devoted, for one reason or another, to the success of Lau Lau Bay.
For a taste of what Lau Lau offers underwater check out this and this video!