MINA working to conserve Saipan’s watersheds

Group photo of the students, teachers, presenters, and Micronesia Islands Nature Alliance staff. (MINA)

Group photo of the students, teachers, presenters, and Micronesia Islands Nature Alliance staff. (MINA)

The Micronesia Islands Nature Alliance’s Schools for Environmental Conservation project kick-started the year with a watershed workshop last Jan. 16, 2016.  This year’s theme is “Learning About, Interacting With, and Actively Conserving Saipan’s Watersheds.” Students from Saipan Southern High School, Kagman High School, Marianas High School, Mount Carmel School, Northern Marianas Academy, and Tanapag Middle School spent the day learning about Saipan’s watersheds, their functions, benefits, importance and the impacts humans can have on them.

Other presentations were on climate change, watershed conservation and developing a conservation action plan (CAP).

These presentations were conducted by employees of the Bureau of Environmental Quality: Jihan Buniaq, Coral Reef Education and Outreach coordinator; Becky Skeele, Coastal Resources planner; Dr. Ryan Okano, Water Quality Management/Non-Point Source Pollution Program manager; Avra Heller, Coral Reef Project coordinator; and Carey Demapan, Micronesia Challenge young champion.

Healthy watersheds are important because they protect our groundwater, keep our land from flooding, and help keep our ocean clean and healthy. This project provides opportunities for students and teachers to work and focus on an environmental issue. Each school is required to produce a CAP through which they create a project addressing their watershed. The program is funded by the Department of Interior and runs throughout the school year ending with the school teams presenting their final CAP presentations showing their project, what strategies were used and their results.

To learn more about MINA’s Schools for Environmental Conservation program, visit MINA’s Facebook page, email MINA at minaoutreach@gmail.com, or call us at 233-7333(REEF). (MINA)

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