AMP unveils marina improvement plans in open house

Posted on May 20 2021


The American Memorial Park hosted a virtual open house over Zoom to share with government agencies and the public its plans to renovate portions of the Smiling Cove and Outer Cove Marina.

The proposed plan involves removing currently damaged shoreline barriers along the entrance channel between the two marinas, installing rock revetments along the entrance channel and east causeway, and adding more sidewalks flanked with native plants. June Nakamura, professional engineer from the Hawaii-based architectural and engineering firm Kaula AE, LLC is the project manager.

Representatives from the Department of Lands and Natural Resources, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries, Bureau of Environmental and Coastal Quality, Division of Coastal Resources Management, Office of Insular Affairs under the Department of the Interior, Indigenous Affairs Office, and the U.S. Delegate Office attended the meeting.

It was shared at the meeting that the plans are currently in the development phase, but of the three proposed shoreline barrier types, the installation of rock revetments—a structure composed of various layers of large stone and geo-textiles—was deemed most favorable. The two other ideas were the installation of a sheet pile wall, which is a large barrier of thick sheet metal that extends along a shoreline, and a concrete retaining wall, which would be a newer version of what has been in place at the marinas for 30 years. Both ideas were eventually ruled out.

As shared at the meeting, advantages of rock revetments include providing a more sustainable habitat for marine life, having low initial and future maintenance costs, being most capable of absorbing wave energy that hits the shoreline, and being adaptive and resilient as sea levels are expected to rise in the future.

“We are pleased to present this project to the public and believe it will significantly improve the safety and experience of visitors and boaters using the marinas. We appreciate the active participation of DLNR Secretary [Anthony T.] Benavente throughout the planning and design process and look forward to continued coordination with his and other agencies as we move forward,” said National Park Service superintendent Barbara Alberti.

The project, which is slated to begin construction in early 2022, will be federally funded through resources allotted for repairing infrastructure and disaster recovery. When searching for and awarding a construction company a contract, the park will follow procedures outlined by the Federal Acquisitions Regulations. According to Alberti, disclosure of specific costs of the project prior to awarding a contract is prohibited, but was able to share an expected price range of $1 million to $5 million.

Joshua Santos | Reporter
Joshua Santos is a Mount Carmel School AlumKnight and University of Florida Gator Grad with a passion for writing. He is one of Saipan Tribune’s newest reporters. Josh enjoys golf, chess, and playing video games with friends in his spare time. Reach out to him @rarebasedjosh on all socials.

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