Monday, March 03, 2014

Happy World Wildlife Day

Tweet or share this on Facebook. Healthy sharks mean healthy oceans. Trade protections for several species go into effect this September. Read and share The Pew Charitable Trusts' dispatch from Fiji to learn how they’re working to help countries enforce these important new rules.

Dispatches From the Pew Charitable Trusts

The blogs that I post to The Saipan Blog are mine.  They are my thoughts.  Occasionally I get to blog in an official capacity on my employer's blog, Dispatches from The Pew Charitable Trusts.  I've never linked them to The Saipan Blog before, so here you go presented in no particular order!

1. Tracking Shark Fins in the Marketplace

Marshall Islands
2. Song of the Sea
3. Protecting Sharks That Protect Islanders
4. Disposing of Confiscated Shark Fins

Federated States of Micronesia
5. A Trip to Chuuk's Shark Islands

6. Pacific Shark School: Building Local Capacity for Shark Conservation Abroad
7. Shark Stanley Lands in Fiji

10 Years of March

This month marks 10 years since I started working in conservation, although I wouldn't receive my first paycheck for a few months.  In March 2004, a recruiter from the League of Conservation Voters came to Rollins College to give a pitch for the Environmental Victory Project, a get out the vote campaign to get rid of George W. Bush because of his dismal environmental record.  I probably would have ended up doing something similar to what I'm doing now had that recruiter not come to my school, but it set me down a path.  In those ten years I've worked on presidential campaigns, clean water, offshore drilling, coral reefs, erosion mitigation, marine protected area creation, and a whole slew of issues related to sharks.

For the last two months I've looked back on the blog posts from the last 10 years.  I started blogging sometime in 2004, and started this particular blog a few months later in December.  This blog will look back on the last 10 years of March.

I didn't have much on my mind other than getting into the JET Programme in March 2005.  I didn't write about it on the blog, but at the time I was working full time during the day with the League of Conservation Voters and full time during the evenings at Roy's Restaurant.

My five month adventure in Japan ended in March.  I wasn't working much, so I spent my time traveling around my part of Japan.  My hobby was going around to different temples and shrines and getting them to stamp my nokyocho.  At the end of the month I said goodbye to Japan and hello to Saipan.  One of the first things I did was get a CNMI driver's license.

I was busy with Beautify CNMI (and here, here, and here) and soccer in March 2007.  I also marked my first full year in Saipan.  At the end of the month, the CNMI played Guam in our first official soccer game ever.  I was the starting forward and we lost.

The campaign to create the Mariana Trench Marine National Monument hit the airwaves in March 2008.  I was still busy doing my Beautify CNMI volunteer activities.  And I was playing soccer.  And I threw a concert with Jake Shimabukuro.

In March 2009 I went to Guam to watch the CNMI in a soccer tournament.  I was in between projects, having just declared the Mariana Trench Monument and not quite yet decided that I was going to run for office.  I launched back into Beautify CNMI and helped a student write a letter to the editor as part of a school project.  NBC also came to town and filmed a story about the Friends of the Monument.

I was back in Florida in March 2010, but I took some time to go up to Washington, DC to help the Friends of the Monument testify before Congress.  Ian swung by for a visit.  If I had found decent work, I probably would have stayed.  Meanwhile, Edz was back in Saipan burning a torch for me.

I did a lot of traveling in March.  I visited Saipan, spent three weeks in Fiji, and had a long layover in Japan.  I also got really close to dipping below 200 lbs, the last time I came even close.

In March 2012 I finished the Tagaman during a marathon 5 week work/vacation trip to CNMI, Guam, and Palau.

Last year I spent two weeks in Bangkok advocated for shark and manta ray protections at the Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species.  Shark Stanley, our thousands of friends, and I succeeded.

I've already logged 30,000 frequent flier miles since the new year, so I'm hoping I don't have to travel this month.  One of the projects I'm working on at work is to reconfigure the Shark Stanley campaign for both existing and potential shark sanctuaries.