Work has been going well, even though I have a ridiculously long title (coral reef public involvement coordinator) and work for an organization with the longest name on island (Marianas Resource Conservation & Development Council).
My coral reef project is going along swimmingly. I am supposed to recruit volunteers to work on a revegetation project, a fish survey, and some water sampling. Over the course of the year, I am supposed to recruit 75 volunteers to participate in these activities.
As of Sunday, 94 people have been involved in our volunteer activities. In fact, 62 people helped us plant trees at the Lao Lao revegetation project this past Sunday alone.
Volunteers are great and my program is designed to get volunteers involved in coral reef management, but the overreaching goal is to get people talking about the environment and coral reefs in particular. To do that, you've got to get into the media. I've been on 6 O'Clock news, on the radio twice and quoted or pictured in both of Saipan's newspapers for 5 weeks straight. I hope people are noticing.
Click HERE to visit the Marianas RC&D blog.
I've also been very involved in a new coalition of community groups, individuals, and government agencies called Beautify CNMI. Thier name is pretty self explanatory.
I've been helping the Restoration Committee of Beautify CNMI, which is charged with restoring the natural, historical, and cultural beauty of the CNMI. One of our projects has been the planting of trees. Since June 19 we've planted 651 trees on Beach Road and at the Lao Lao revegetation site. Only 22 of those 651 trees were non-native.
The Restoration Committee also has plans to fix up some of the historic sites and to clean up some of Saipan's blighted areas.
I've also been helping them with a blog. I'm the only contributor right now, but I'd like to get other contributors posting to both the Beautify CNMI blog and the RC&D blog.
Click HERE to visit the Beautify CNMI blog.
There's also that, um, Saipan Grotto thing, but I've been doing that quietly on the side in my spare time.