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2010 Annual Report

 

Chair’s Report:

 

Welcome and thank you for attending the MINA Annual Membership Meeting.  We have been granted stewardship responsibilities for our natural resources and along with the hard work and effort that we put forth in recycling, cleaning our beaches, planting trees, voicing we are also due a celebration.  We are celebrating our environment to remind us of our natural heritage and ecological beauty.  We celebrate our natural resources to remind us that our actions today are connected to our environment tomorrow.  We celebrate nature to remind us that we are part of this one earth.   Therefore, as stewards of our earth and our island resources, our involvement – whether through business, school, families and concerned citizens does not cease today.  I believe that all of us present can continue to take small steps every day so that we can preserve our natural resource environment.   As we celebrate tonight, let us not forget that our job as stewards persists.   MINA has successfully accomplished its 3-year goal in helping to reduce solid waste management and promoting the Micronesia Challenge (MC). 

 

MARINE DEBRIS

The Marine Debris Project has come to a close.  Our Adopters are:

  1. Wing Beach - Marianas Trekking and the Visitor's Channel
  1. Garapan Fishing Basin - The Rotary Club of Saipan
  1. 13 Fishermen Monument - Brabu Pharmacy &Wellness Center
  1. 13 Fishermen Monument - Docomo Pacific
  1. Kilili Park - US Rep. Gregorio Kilili C. Sablan & Susupe Hi-5
  1. Ada Gym North entrance - IT&E
  1. Ada Gym South entrance - IT&E and Shell Marianas
  1. Susupe Park - CTSI & Tan Holdings
  1. Sugar Dock - Ideal Signs & Saipan Computer Services
  1. Obyan Beach - Ericco Enterprises
  1. Laolao Dive site - Marianas Visitor Authority
  1. Laolao Picnic area - Ericco Enterprises
  1. Marine Beach - Docomo Pacific & Kagman Marine Biology Club
  1. Mt. Tapachao - Fiesta Resort, Saipan Grand, and Century Hotels
  1. PauPau Beach – Coastal Resources Management 
  1. San Isidro Beach - Coastal Resources Management 
  1. Coral Ocean Point - Coastal Resources Management 

 

 

The Goal : reduce litter by 70% -  Goal exceeded by 9% with litter reduced from 240 lbs in April to just 50 lbs in September, a 79% reduction.

 

Pounds of trash removed from Adopt-a-Bin (17) sites – Cleanups have yielded over 30,581 lbs of trash or 13.8 metric tons being removed in the past nine months since the bins were installed March 2010.  Goal – 3500 lbs or 1.6 metric tons/6 mos;  Goal exceeded –1.7 metric tons removed in 6 months. Clean-up Total to date:  380 volunteers provided 778.50 man hours

 

Outreach presentations were conducted at schools, night market on Tuesdays and Thursdasy, and other venues throughout the year, all over the island of Saipan.  64 volunteers provided 275.5 man hours 

 

MINA has also deputized over 500 students as Litter Patrol Officers to assist MINA; so beware MINA members, there are now 1000 eyes out there! 

 

This project officially concludes in June 30th

 

FIRST FRIDAY FILMS

 The Mariana Islands Nature Alliance together with the Division of Environmental Quality (DEQ) is sponsored the First Friday Films, which launched July 2, 2010 at the American Memorial Park Visitors Center. The first feature film will be Black Wave, a film about the 20-year legacy of the Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska.  MINA also sponsored the “End of the Line” - The world’s first major documentary about the devastating effect of overfishing. 

A RECEPTION FOR CORAL REEF TASK FORCE

MINA hosted Coral Reef Task Force members and joined in conversations regarding their current visit to the island and the events that had been taking place.   Visitors remarked on how fascinating the museum was due to the ancient latte stone sketches, gold acquired from the sunken ship The Concepcion, and other art forms displayed that depicted the past that once lived in the Marianas.  MINA and Pacific Marine Resources Institute conducted presentations. 

 

TURTLE WATCH OUTREACH

Assisting Pacific Marine Resources Institute, MINA executed various

 

INT’L COASTAL CLEANUP

The Coastal Cleanup Day was celebrated on September 24th and 25th.  MINA partnered with Coastal Resources Management and received outpour of support - 19 groups of individuals from three islands, totaling over 1000 volunteers and participated for one to four hours. 1,000 volunteers averaging 2,000 man hours.  CNMI's Most Littered Items Top Five - 1.) Cigarettes   2.) Aluminum Cans 3.) Plastic Food Wrappers  4.) Plastic Bags   5.) Plastic Bottles.   MINA also provided recyclable bags, as a means of promoting an Island Culture of Recycling via B.Y.O.B.--Bring Your Own Bag.

 

MICRONESIA CHALLENGE.

To date, MINA wishes to continue its efforts to promote the goals of the Micronesia Challenge by bringing awareness to the CNMI's endangered species within the marine and terrestrial ecosystems. Every month, this section of MINA's website will feature endangered species of the month. Through this awareness, we hope to capture your compassion for these vulnerable creatures of our islands and help us save them, save our culture, and save our environment.  You can also visit http://micronesiachallenge.org  to learn how the five (5) different jurisdictions - the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the Republic of Palau, and the U.S. Territory of Guam are progressing to effectively conserve at least 30% of the near-shore marine resources and 20% of the terrestrial resources across Micronesia by year 2020. 

 

Answering the call to climate change activism, MINA took part with 350.org's 10/10/10 Global Work Party event and gave away 350 free plants and vouchers to the local community. Why 350? Scientists say that 350 parts per million CO2 in the atmosphere is the safe limit for humanity. As trees grow, they help stop global warming by removing carbon dioxide from the air, storing carbon in the trees and soil, and releasing oxygen into the atmosphere.

 

TEACHER CAMP

MINA is in its 4th year in organizing the Teacher Camp.  A total of 20 teachers participated in November 2010, short discussions, presentations, and field trips to Saipan's wetland, watershed communities, and marine protected areas. MINA is sincerely grateful for our Teacher Camp volunteers - Brooke Nevitt, Rachel Zuercher, Lisa Eller, Jon Igitol of MINA and of course, MINA Executive Director, Sam Sablan for their commitment to save our environment and to all the participants for their willingness to bring environmental awareness to their class, as well as promoting the Micronesia Challenge and raising awareness of our limited island resources. 

 

Projects initiated in 2011:

No need bag campaign was officially launched in February 2011, but was inspired or should I say born from the alarming results from the Coastal Cleanup day.  Did you know that plastic – plastic bags #4 and #plastic bottles were #5 most collected debris? Did you know that in the CNMI, 1 vendor brings in 1 container (20 ft) full of plastic shopping bags every six months? The campaign aims to raise awareness to the next level - Begin with yourself - don't use plastic bags, wherever, whenever! And then ... encourage others; Start small - say "no" to plastic bags when purchasing 2-3 small items only or carry what you can without plastic bags.

Upcoming Projects:

TASI WATCH.

MINA believes that by fostering Community Guardianship, we can continue to expand our collective efforts to heighten public awareness on environmental issues impacting Laolao Bay.  Impacts include storm water pollution, solid waste management problems, and other Non-Point Source (NPS) toxic pollution issues. MINA hopes that this project will highlight its outreach strategies through collaborations with government agencies, businesses, NGO’s, the Laolao Bay Community, and other Stakeholders.   MINA aims to provide top-notch education and outreach campaign and has received a small grant from the Coastal Resources Management Office.  MINA will soon start its volunteer recruitment, and develop its campaign strategies, On-Site Visits, Presentations, publicity activities.

 

And now…enough about MINA.  Let us hear from our Champions – our young Micronesia Champions…

Every year throughout the islands, the Micronesia Challenge selects conservation champions between the ages of 17 and 25. Meet our young champions and follow them as they spend a year taking the challenge.   

Kid Brel Cabrera is pursuing an AA and AS Liberal Arts and Natural Resource Management at the Northern Marianas College.  In his family, he’s is known as the “Quiet yet funny guy with musical skills.” 

Also a student at Northern Marianas College, Natural Resource Management program is David Sablan, Jr.   He says he likes to make everyone laugh by doing silly things. And boasts he’s really good at playing the guitar and ukelele.
 

We’re going to have both David and Kid provide us with entertainment tonight! But before the music begins, Let us welcome Kid Cabrera and David Sablan, Jr.