Almost 50 volunteers came to Obyan Beach last March 7 to join the Cleanup Brigade of the Bureau of Environmental and Coastal Quality to pick up trash at the beach.
The volunteers, made up mostly of students from Saipan Southern High School and Northern Marianas College’s Environment and Natural Resources Organization, collected 220 lbs of trash, majority of which were plastic bags, cans, bottles, and bottle caps.
One of the volunteers, Northern Marianas College adjunct faculty adviser Erin Derrington, said the activity not only helps protect the environment, but it also builds community investment in the CNMI’s natural resources.
“We’re helping people understand the connection between our land-based activities and our in-water environment,” she said.
Concerned that the upcoming government-wide austerity would affect the monthly cleanup, Derrington said that they are hoping to work with partners, the schools and the community, to continue the work.
“A healthy environment is good business for the CNMI…that’ll help us get through these tough, tough times, and make sure that our environment and our people are healthy,” Derrington said.