In partnership with the Bureau of Environmental and Coastal Quality, the Tanapag Youth Center will be teaching its young clients about nature and the importance of taking care of the environment, particularly the Dogus stream that flows along Tanapag. They will also be doing a stream cleanup.
In an interview with Saipan Tribune, Rep. Sheila Babauta (Ind-Saipan) said that this is the first of her office’s partnership with BECQ, and that there is a lot of excitement in learning about the stream.
“I’m really excited to see the stream and the role this body of water plays in the village, because it runs through the community right next to houses, straight into the ocean. There have been a number of issues brought up by BECQ regarding raw sewage, household debris, and just general debris being littered in the stream,” Babauta added.
She said it is important for the Tanapag youth to learn about the different aspects of their community, particularly the different natural habitats there and its natural bodies of waters and how those contribute to the community at large.
“If this is a little stream, what is the role of the stream in our community, and how can we better support the role of the stream?” Babauta asked. “If it is constantly being polluted, and constantly getting littered, how will that affect the environment as a whole and the people living around the area? These are things that are important for us to learn from our professional government agencies who are knowledgeable, and who are experts in this field.”
BECQ, through its Division of Environmental Quality, regularly monitors stream water, and their assessment findings are used to create conservation action plans to tackle sources of pollution and restore the health of the island’s watersheds.
Involvement of the village community surrounding the streams are key in these restoration projects.
“The environment is so important,” Babauta said, “not just land, air, water, but [our] immediate environment…what we live around, what we come in contact with on a daily basis, and how that affects our health…because it really all comes down to our health and the health of our children.”