A plan to build a protective barrier at the Garapan Fishing Base to reduce erosion and improve water quality in the Saipan Lagoon began yesterday with a groundbreaking ceremony at the site across the Kristo Rai Church.
Heavy rain showers briefly cleared for the groundbreaking ceremony, which was attended by many dignitaries, including Gov. Ralph DLG Torres, who said the groundbreaking is “another day of success, another day of progress with the administration…another day for the CNMI.” He noted that the project will be beneficial for residents and tourists alike.
The project will take place from the south side of the boat launching ramp and will cover over 300 feet of the shoreline. Federally funded by the National Marine Fisheries Services for $646,000, the Garapan Fishing Base Shoreline Project will involve the construction of a 380-foot rock revetment along the land-lagoon interface of the Garapan Fishing Base. The rock revetment will help prevent both natural- and catastrophic-caused erosion, and protect one of the best commercial and recreational fishing spots on island.
The Department of Lands and Natural Resources is handling the project. “This is part of our future plans…of what we are building in this area,” said DLNR Secretary Anthony Benavente yesterday.
Benavente said there are plans for an open market in the area, as well as a possible marina. The governor also believes the site would be ideal for an amusement park.
Noting future developments in the area, Benavente also expressed the importance of efforts to preserve certain on-site landmarks, including the existing pier.
The project’s main contractor is USA Fanter Corp. Ltd.
Steve Qian, the owner of USA Fanter Corp., who was also present at the groundbreaking ceremony, told the press that the contract had been signed for over a year now, but had been on hold due to processing permits, but now, with that complete the project is ready to begin. Qian said the estimated time is about 300 days. The completion date for the project is set for May 21, 2023.