Thank you, governor and delegate


The Friends of the Mariana Trench wish to thank Gov. Ralph DLG Torres and Delegate Gregorio Kilili C. Sablan for their leadership in helping our community to secure a successful nomination for the proposed Mariana Trench Marine National Sanctuary.

We also wish to thank our other elected leaders and the community for rallying behind the effort to bring the NOAA Sanctuary program to the Northern Mariana Islands. In particular, our elected leaders from Rota and the late Northern Islands mayor Jerome Aldan deserve special recognition as their early support helped bring this nomination to the attention of federal officials.

The nomination is now on the list of “Inventory of Successful Nominations.” There are a total of six nominations on the inventory list, including other areas in New York, Alaska, Pennsylvania, and California.  We have been working on this for more than 10 years now and it is exciting to see developments taking place.

It is important to remember that with the nomination, the process to designate the sanctuary is now only beginning. We recognize that we did not speak to every citizen, elected official, or leader, but we did speak with many. If we have not spoken to you yet, we hope that in the coming months and years we will be able to have conversations with you about the importance of protecting our ocean heritage for future generations.

We look forward to the start of the sanctuary designation process in the near future. This is a four-step process which begins with (1) scoping, then (2) a sanctuary proposal is developed based on public input, followed by (3) public review of the proposal, leading towardsa (4) final decision on whether or not to designate an area as a national marine sanctuary. Working together, we look forward to making the ocean great again.
Ignacio Cabrera
Friends of the Monument

Ignacio Cabrera

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