The Friends of the Monument continue to do great things. They go on TV. They go on the radio. They go out in the community and collect signatures. They are the people moving this idea forward, I'm just around to explain the co-management agreement and to answer any questions about deep sea volcanic vent invertebrates.
I've been doing the rounds at the public high schools in the last two weeks. The rowdiest bunch of students I presented to were the 8th graders at Hopwood Junior High School. There was one particular girl who got all the kids in her corner all riled up. She was against the monument, even though we agreed on what should and what should not be allowed. She liked what the monument would do, she was simply opposed to the idea of declaring it a monument, if that makes any sense.
When I make these presentations at the schools I do not go alone; I am always accompanied by one of the Friends of the Monument, whether it be Ike Cabrera, Agnes McPhetres, David M. Sablan, Andrew Salas, or as was the case at Saipan Southern High School, Chailang Palacios.
Finally, Kimberly Vaillancourt, an 8th grade science teacher at Hopwood Junior High School, is having some of her students debate the pros and cons of the proposed Marine National Monument. Ken Kramer, Jane Mack, and Ike Cabrera worked with them the most, but I had a few minutes to share a few of my own pointers.
On a side note, do you notice those environmental friendly vehicles outside the window? Yeah, that Jeep and that pickup belong to environmentalists.