Marine debris washing up on beaches in the CNMI have ended up here from as far as China and Hawaii and this is especially concerning to the Bureau of Environmental and Coastal Quality
Speaking at a recent Rotary Club of Saipan meeting at the Hyatt Regency Saipan, BECQ-Coral Reef Initiative’s Mallory Muna and BECQ-Coastal Zone’s Collen Flores said that the east side of Saipan has been experiencing a lot of marine debris washup and even remote beaches like the Old Man of the Sea have not been spared from the entry of these garbage, many of which are not from Saipan.
“We have been seeing different marine debris from China and Hawaii,” they said.
“Marine debris isn’t just a local problem but it is an international problem. Small islands like the CNMI carry the burden of responsibility of bringing awareness too and changing the way we deal with marine debris because we are the main ones that are impacted,” said Muna.
Muna said there have been many setbacks due to the COVID-19 pandemic. “Many have resorted back to using non eco-friendly products because of the lack of options to dine-in at many restaurants, forcing them to use single-use plastic containers.”
To inform the community more about this issue, BECQ is conducting an outreach campaign called “Plastic Free Marianas.” Launched last January, Plastic Free Marianas is an education outreach campaign to educate the community about the impacts of marine debris and single-plastic use. (Chevy Alipio)