Report: Monument Waters Under Threat

Publication: Saipan Tribune

Author: Stefan Sebastian

08/30/2008 - In a newly released scientific report, backers of a proposal to designate a 115,000 square mile section of ocean in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands' northern waters as a national marine monument say the region, a “hotspot” for biodiversity, is increasingly under threat from human activity and ecological changes.

President Bush in a memo issued earlier this week called on federal agencies to conduct an assessment of the region-the waters surrounding the islands of Maug, Uracus and Asuncion-to determine whether it is a suitable site for establishing a monument, a move that would give it federal protection.

Safeguarding these waters is critical due to the diversity of the species found there and the potential harm they face from human encroachment on the nearby islands, poaching and the cumulative impact of carbon dioxide emissions, according to a report issued this week by The Pew Charitable Trust.

Read the full article Report: Monument Waters Under Threat at the Saipan Tribune's Web site.

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