Environment group beats tree planting’s target number

Posted on Jul 03 2019

The Micronesia Islands Nature Alliance held the final stretch of its “Bring Back Our Trees” campaign at the Sugar Dock last Saturday, surpassing its original goal of planting just 50 trees.

Thanks to the help of over 50 volunteers, MINA was able to plant a total of 144 trees.

On top of that, MINA also surpassed its initial overall goal of planting 300 new seedlings, as they were able to plant a total of 486 trees with the help of more than 200 volunteers.

Last Saturday’s tree planting campaign featured Precinct 2 Reps. Tina Sablan (Ind-Saipan) and John Paul Sablan (R-Saipan).

“It was a terrific being part of a project that we hope will be of great benefit to our community and environment for years to come,” said Rep. Tina Sablan.

She said the participants also felt good about taking part in the event.

She thanked MINA for their leadership and collaboration in the BBOT campaign, and its partners.

BBOT was developed in response to Typhoons Soudelor in 2015 and Super Typhoon Yutu last October, where much of the coastal vegetation was destroyed. Areas that lost much vegetation to the typhoons and were most vulnerable to erosion were identified and the overall goal is to prevent erosion, sedimentation, and runoff into the lagoon and further reef degradation.

MINA kicked off the BBOT campaign last May 18 at the Garapan Fishing Base and 13 Fishermen’s Monument with athletes competing in the 2019 Pacific Games.

The goal of BBOT is to plant native species trees and plants, as well as some introduced varieties that have grown to become valuable resources for the islands.

Sites that have been introduced for the BBOT project included Tanapag Beach Park, Lao Lao Bay, San Antonio Beach Park, San Isidro Beach Park, and Sugar Dock. The many community volunteers who came out to the planting events were organized through the Northern Marianas Sports Association and the Pacific Games Teams, Talabwogh StaRs, Bureau of Environmental and Coastal Quality, Youth Ministry of the Diocese of Chalan Kanoa, Lions Club International District 204, Region 2, and the Office of the Representatives of Precinct 2.

Partnerships established for the program include CNMI Forestry and NMC-CREES, who provided seedlings and access to their nursery inventory. The campaign also received seedling donations from Camia Garden, Saipan Plant Center, and Coconut Bungalow, and a water buffalo from the Ecology of Bird Loss Project. Watering services were provided by the Saipan Mayor’s Office and DFEMS.

Due to the outpouring of community support, BBOT is expanding from the initial seven targeted sites to now include Susupe Beach Park, PauPau Beach, and Kammer Beach on Tinian, with planting dates to be announced.

MINA requests that the public be aware and cautious when driving at the beach sites where the trees are planted. The seedlings are in a vulnerable stage of development and were strategically placed in areas to benefit the people of the islands and future generations.

For those interested in participating in future MINA events, follow their Facebook page, email minaoutreach@gmail.com or call (670) 233-7333 (REEF) for more information.

Marc Venus
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