Laolao Bay sediment chambers cleared out

The Bureau of Environmental and Coastal Quality’s Division of Coastal Resources Management partner up with Micronesia Islands Nature Alliance’s Tasi Watch rangers, the Saipan Mayor’s Office, and the Department of Public Works to remove sediment from the sediment chambers at Laolao Bay. (Contributed Photo)

The Bureau of Environmental and Coastal Quality’s Division of Coastal Resources Management partner up with Micronesia Islands Nature Alliance’s Tasi Watch rangers, the Saipan Mayor’s Office, and the Department of Public Works to remove sediment from the sediment chambers at Laolao Bay. (Contributed Photo)

Last Thursday, the Bureau of Environmental and Coastal Quality’s Division of Coastal Resources Management partnered with the Micronesia Islands Nature Alliance’s Tasi Watch rangers, the Saipan Mayor’s Office, and the Department of Public Works to clean the sediment chambers near Laolao Bay.

According to Jihan Buniag, coral reef initiative education and outreach coordinator, the teams were able to remove a total of six cubic yards of sediment.

In a statement, Buniag noted that natural and anthropogenic activities such as littering, air and water pollution, pesticide use, construction, sewage, or natural debris can enter coastal ecosystems through runoff.

This sedimentation, Buniag said, has harmful effects capable of smothering the reef, preventing new growth and can ultimately lead to coral death and loss of habitat for fish.

Coastal ecosystems provide many important benefits, Buniag said, and protecting the coral reef is vital to island life.

As the division tries to address issues affecting the ocean and near-shore areas, Buniag said that everyone must consider and take responsibility for what is happening on land.

The BECQ has been engaged in regular cleanups of these chambers to ensure they fully function, catching sediment and preventing sediment from entering the reef.

If you’d like to make a difference and protect the CNMI’s natural resources both on land and in the sea, BECQ invites the community to incorporate sustainable practices to prevent erosion and reduce land-based pollution and incorporate new, ecosystem saving habits as resolutions for the New Year ahead.

For more information on coastal resource management activities, call CRM at 664-8513.

Daisy Demapan | Reporter

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