President Barack Obama withheld today the conveyance or return to the CNMI of submerged lands surrounding five of its 14 islands – Farallon de Pajaros (Uracas), Maug, Asuncion, Tinian and Farallon de Medinilla.
This means the CNMI will still not have control over these islands’ submerged lands, three of which are part of the Marianas Trench Marine National Monument that has yet to have a co-management agreement. The last two islands are under lease to the U.S. Department of Defense.
Obama signed a Jan. 15 proclamation (Jan. 16, CNMI time) withholding the conveyance of the five islands.
This, despite CNMI officials’ request to delay withholding of conveyance.
Full story on Friday’s paper.