Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Monument Benefits Now

Agnes McPhetres wrote a letter to the editor today reminding everyone that we need to go after the visitors center if we want one. No need to rehash the benefits a visitors center would bring, what needs to be understood is that the visitors center won't build itself. It is going to take a lot of people in the government and private sector going after the federal dollars to get it built.

In a struggling tourist economy, nothing could be better than using federal dollars to build an added tourist attraction. Marianas Visitors Authority calls it "destination enhancement."
It has been nearly two months since then-President Bush declared the Marianas Trench Marine National Monument. As promised, the monument resulted in worldwide attention for the natural wonders of the Marianas. News outlets in countries as far away and as diverse as Kuwait, Zimbabwe, Fiji, England, and Japan gave our monument room on their pages. The Marianas garnered more positive press in the first half of January that we have in the last 10 years. This attention will help us solidify a reputation as an eco-friendly tourist destination.

It is now time for us to turn our attention toward getting the other benefits promised when the monument was declared.

Specifically, the Bush administration promised us a visitors center, federal jobs, and an enforcement/research boat. When can we expect to get those benefits? Can the construction of a visitors center be considered part of Obama’s stimulus plan?

A visitors center will improve our ability to attract tourists. It would serve as an additional attraction for tourists, plus our local children would gain educational benefits from its creation. The sooner the process to build a visitors center begins, the better.

When I agreed to support the monument, it was with the understanding that there would be benefits for the CNMI. I am very worried that these benefits will end up in Guam.

San Vicente, Saipan
The Friends of the Monument are dedicated to getting the benefits they asked for in their October Vision Statement and they need your help.


Anonymous said...


You forgot to mention how people can help.

Rick said...

Is the visitor center in American Memorial Park still in operation? And what about MVA's visitor center on Beach Road?