Ike Cabrerra, from the island of Saipan, is one of just a handful of people who have ever made it to the north end of the island chain.I'll link to the audio when it is up.
"There's no place in the world compared to this area," Cabrerra said. "Most of the islands are volcano."
The waters are rich with undisturbed sea life and home to some of the world's most majestic underwater geology, including the deepest canyon in the ocean, the Mariana Trench. But all is not perfect in paradise. While locals like Cabrerra support a marine preserve, their elected officials do not.
So Cabrerra traveled to Washington to lobby for the protected area. His traveling companion, Andrew Salas, said that the politicians don't object to conservation, but they are upset with the federal government. It seems Uncle Sam recently took control of immigration policy for the Northern Marianas and also instituted the federal minimum wage.
"So this awesome idea to protect those islands came in at the wrong time and everyone thought, 'Oh, another federal intervention,'" Salas said.
Salas and Cabrerra went to the White House this week to plead for complete protection for an area the size of Arizona. They brought with them petitions signed by businesses, school children and 6,000 local residents. The island only has 10,000 voters.
Monday, December 08, 2008
Ike and Andrew on All Things Considered
Posted by Bucky Taotaotasi
Ike and Andrew were featured in a story on All Things Considered today. The transcript is available, but the audio is not yet online.