Mariana Islands Nature Alliance was recently notified that it has been awarded a grant to fund debris removal in the CNMI.
In a statement yesterday, MINA said the grant award is sourced from a special fund established by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation in partnership with NOAA’s Marine Debris Program specifically for Hurricanes Michael and Florence in Florida and North Carolina, and Typhoon Yutu in the CNMI. In total, the grant amounts to $8.2 million to be split into six for the assessment, removal and disposal of marine debris that resulted from the devastation left in the wake of these storms.
“Our own human wellbeing and economic prosperity depend upon the health and resilience of natural and social systems,” said retired Navy Rear Adm. Tim Gallaudet, Ph.D., deputy NOAA administrator. “These grants will help communities recover from storm damage by assessing, removing and disposing of storm-generated debris that continues to affect wildlife, habitats and coastal communities.”
After an initial assessment conducted by MINA in early December 2019, the determination was made that this debris poses a severe threat to the reef system and natural marine habitat, particularly in the Tinian Harbor.
MINA will be working closely with the Tinian Municipality’s Division of Emergency Preparedness in the removal of debris from the Tinian Harbor. “Because the typhoon left large amounts of debris in our harbor, it is currently a hazard to navigation, as well as commercial fishing along the area,” said Tinian Mayor Edwin P. Aldan. “In addition, because the Tinian Harbor is the only one on island that accommodates the docking of boats, it is vital that we maintain the clearing of this fishing ground, and the protection of these sensitive ecosystems. We are excited for what is to come out of this grant for the island of Tinian, and we look forward to assisting you in any way that we can to ensure the success of this project! Again, we are very grateful to MINA for your untiring assistance to our island!”
MINA would like to express its gratitude to NFWF and NOAA for making this grant possible, and the untiring support of MINA’s mission to “Empower Communities for Conservation” from Delegate Gregorio C. Kilili Sablan (Ind-MP), the NOAA regional offices in Hawaii and the CNMI, the Office of the Governor, the Tinian Mayor’s Office, the Department of Lands and Natural Resources, and the Bureau of Environmental and Coastal Quality.
More information about this grant and NFWF is available at the following link: https://www.nfwf.org/media-center/press-releases/nfwf-and-noaa-announce-82-million-grants-aid-communities-after-hurricanes-michael-florence-and. (PR)