There has been more support for the proposed park online and in the newspapers.
Jaime Vergara wrote:
I read with bewilderment John Gourley’s opposition to the NMI Marine National Monument (PEW Monument) being proposed by the PEW Foundation. To be sure, his opposition is based on his long-term involvement in the marine science and environmental regulatory fields and his personal belief in supporting sustainable fisheries programs. But that might precisely be the point: sustainable fisheries understood simple as profit bottom line economics and coupled by a mistaken notion of stewardship based on paper sovereignty, and one can understand where he is coming from. Who cares about the transmigration patterns of fish life and the depleted ocean stock now prevailing? How do we audit the debit inflicted on Mother Nature’s processes now that we have overfished the seas?Then local elementary school principal Boni Reyes, mother of four, wrote:
I am enthralled with the thought of a sanctuary. Sanctuary. Say it with me. A hiding place. A place of refuge. I can't remember how many times I've needed safe harbor. There were countless times I found my solace near the water's edge, looking out into our horizon, knowing that I was inextricably tied to it.Finally, let's not forget Tami Hunter. She wrote:
It's more than heritage or culture.
The ocean defines us.
It is more than our responsibility to care about it.
Out of respect and awe, we must protect it.
If you grew up in Saipan, if you have been here for any length of time, you can see the enormous changes that have taken place in our lagoons as well as in the oceans surrounding our islands. Waters that were once abundant with fish, sea urchins, octopus, and clams are now stripped of many of these things. We desperately need CONSERVATION measures that are in place and more importantly ENFORCED! And even though the "National Park of the Sea" will be hundreds of miles away from Saipan, if we can conserve that area of our island chain for future generations, I believe we are taking a HUGE step in the right direction. The publicity we will receive from having a "National Park", the jobs that will be created, the boost to the economy, all that is just icing on the cake, the cake itself is CONSERVATION!I'll give more updates at the meeting, including what we have in store for the next two months. If you can't make the meeting, please contact me and we can set something up so that you can see the presentation. I should be done traveling for the next few weeks, although I would like to get over to Tinian or Rota for a few days.