Those who are pining for information on what’s happening with the Marianas Trench Marine National Monument don’t have to wait any longer as the monument’s advisory council will have a meeting next month on Saipan.
The meeting of the Marianas Trench Monument Advisory Council, or MTMAC, will be held on Sept. 12, from 8:30am to 4pm at the Hyatt Regency Saipan’s Chamolinian Room.
The public is invited to attend the meeting and will have an opportunity to comment from 4pm to 5pm.
Members of the MTMAC and agency representatives from National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will be available to answer questions and provide more information on the planning process for the monument.
In Jan. 6, 2009, President Bush issued Presidential Proclamations 8335, 8336, and 8337, collectively creating the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument, Rose Atoll National Monument, and the Marianas Trench National Monument.
The monument includes no dry land, but protects 95,216 square miles (60,938,240 acres) of submerged lands and waters in various places in the Mariana archipelago.
The U.S. government was able to act under international law and U.S. law to create this marine national monument, since the U.S. controls the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands and Guam, which act as the land (island) boundaries of the oceanic zones which form the monument’s protected areas of ocean waters and submerged lands (ocean beds).
The Secretary of Commerce, through the NOAA, has primary management responsibility for fishery-related activities in the waters of the Islands Unit.