A newly introduced House bill that seeks to create the Susupe Lake Wildlife Park is being touted as a means to create a new attraction that would benefit the community and give tourists another place to visit in the CNMI.
Lake Susupe and its surrounding wetlands are a sanctuary for several wildlife like the moorhen and fancy-tailed guppies. Birds from other countries also use it as temporary stopover in their annual migrations. Tall trees and a number of small ponds surround the lake.
This is why House Speaker Rafael S. Demapan (R-Saipan) wants to turn Susupe Lake into a wildlife park. He introduced House Bill 20-13 at the start of the 20th Legislature last week.
“It will be another tourist attraction that could also generate money for our economy. We will have our stakeholders like the Department of Public Lands and Coastal Resources Management involved with the project,” Demapan said.
Digging and dredging could be done to improve certain areas of the lake. “Who knows, there could be artifacts and other treasures in the lake that could benefit the CNMI.”
Demapan said the project can be done in phases and it would be easier since there has already been a design done by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
“I know it is a bit ambitious but we need to be creative in coming up with new attractions. I’m glad the design is done so we can no longer pay for it. We’ll see what assistance we could get from out federal partners.”
“We can start from one side and do it in phases. It will be a lot easier for us. I’m sure the project won’t cost $30 million because we will have it done by portions,” added Demapan after several other officials said the project would reach $30 million.
Demapan said he thought of the project after seeing other places, “where you can go jogging, running or walking. It will have a boardwalk so people could go around it.”
HB 20-13 was referred to the House Committee on Natural Resources headed by Rep. Alice S. Igitol (R-Saipan).