Friday, June 10, 2011

Sharkwater Saipan


Check out what Kathy Pagapular's 6th grade class at San Vicente Elementary School were able to accomplish with the help of Sharkwater's Rob Stewart and some other very dedicated adults. I hope this inspiring video goes viral, and I'd appreciate anything you can do to put it in the blogosphere, Twittersphere, or Facebooksphere.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Protect the Oceanic Whitetip Shark on World Ocean's Day

oceanic whitetip shark
The IUCN Red List Threatened Species assesses the Oceanic Whitetip Shark as Critically Endangered in the Western and Central Atlantic. Globally they are assessed as Vulnerable and are threatened with extinction if strong measures are not put into place to protect their remaining populations.

To raise awareness of the plight of this charismatic species, please change your Facebook profile picture to the attached graphic until World Ocean's Day on June 8, 2011.  A high resolution of the photo can also be found on Flickr.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Rob Stewart Cleans Up Saipan

Photo: Aya Matsumoto
'Sharkwater' director, volunteers conduct Sunday beach cleanup
Saipan Tribune

Rob Stewart, the acclaimed director of the documentary Sharkwater, joined some 30 volunteers during the beach cleanup behind Aquarius Beach Towers in Chalan Kanoa yesterday morning.

The volunteers collected a truckload or about 120 lbs of trash from the beach down by the Sugar Dock and all the way to the Aquarius beach.

Beautify CNMI!: Cinta Kaipat, Rob Stewart, Shawn Heinrichs, and Aya Matsumoto
Having participated in a recent beach cleanup in Hong Kong, Stewart noted the importance of doing beach cleanups regularly.

“It shows a great sense of care and investment in your land,” Stewart told Saipan Tribune.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Contribute to Carnival of the Blue XL: Top of the Food Chain

carnival of the blue 40Next month the Saipan Blog will be the host of Carnival of the Blue 40, or as I prefer to call it, Carnival of the Blue XL. COTB XL promises to be the biggest, baddest COTB EVER. Why? Well, not only is COTB turning 40, but the theme of next month's carnival is going to be Top of the Food Chain.

COTB XL is going to be all about predators, baby.

Please use this online article submission form to submit your contribution to COTB XL. Please try to make your post about predation (¿cómo se dice de tiburón en Inglés?), but if the predation bug doesn't hit you this month, COTB XL will still publish your ocean blog. If you have any questions you can email me at angelovillagomez at gmail dot com.

By the way, this will be the fourth consecutive September the Saipan Blog has hosted Carnival of the Blue. The Saipan Blog has previously hosted Carnival of the Blue IV, Carnival of the Blue XVI and Carnival of the Blue XXVIII.

*A big thanks to underwater photographer and dive instructor Harry Blalock for letting me use his photo. If you ever find yourself on Saipan in need of a dive guide: http://www.axemurderertours.com/

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Mariana Trench in Outside Magazine

According to Outside Magazine, I am an "up-and-comer with a strong marketing instinct." Those eight words will be in every job application and every cover letter I write for the next 20 years. Thank you, Outside Magazine!

On Saturday I received my July 2010 issue of Outside Magazine. This is an issue I have been waiting for for almost a year. This is the issue that contains the story on last year's expedition to the Mariana Trench Marine National Monument.

Patrick Symmes, Outside Magazine contributing editor and the writer of this article, did a fantastic job. I thought the story was going to focus mostly on the trip we took to the monument, but he took it to the next level and interviewed Sylvia Earle and officials from the US Fish & Wildlife Service. What could have simply been a story about going to a far off place turned into a great retelling of some of the best conservation that has taken place during the last decade.

The story starts before the creation of the monument in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands and carries us through the creation of Papahanaumokuakea and the creation of Mariana Trench Marine National Monument.

I have to say, it literally hurts when the story of the monument campaign, something that took so much effort and caused so much stress, is cut down to a few paragraphs, or as in the case of MSNBC, a single sentence. One day I'll be able to let go of that; perhaps after my book is published.

The Outside Magazine website says that the magazine will be available on newsstands June 29, but I was able to find it online. I'd love to hear your reactions to the story, so please feel free to leave comments.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Earth Hour

On March 27th at 8:30pm the Division of Environmental quality is encouraging CNMI residents and businesses to turn their lights off for one hour in support of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) sponsored Earth Hour event that seeks to raise awareness and promote global action on climate change.

In 2007 the city of Sydney, Australia decided to take a stand against global climate change by turning off their lights for one hour. This was the beginning of what has become the largest world wide event calling for action on climate change: Earth Hour.

Since its beginnings in Sydney, Earth Hour has grown exponentially in its scope and world wide participation. In 2009, 4,159 cities, towns, and municipalities from 88 different countries participated in the event. 100s of millions of people turned out their lights in an effort to raise awareness and promote action on climate change. In 2010 we will add the CNMI to that voice.

Being an island nation, the CNMI will be amongst the countries most affected by climate change. Due to our low elevation, rising sea levels put out buildings, homes, and infrastructure at risk. Increasing ocean temperatures threaten the health of the coral reefs that we depend on for food, tourism, and recreation. Higher probabilities of large storms and droughts stand to greatly affect our local agriculture.

Participating in Earth Hour will help to raise local awareness about the risks and causes of climate change as well as add to the global effort to convince leaders world wide that the time for action on climate change is now.

WWF and its local DEQ partners ask for community support to help spread the word about Earth Hour and to turn lights off between 8:30pm and 9:30pm on Saturday March 27th. More information can be found at earthhour.org or at our local CNMI website: earth-hour-northern-mariana-islands.blogspot.com

Interested in volunteering to help with the Earth Hour campaign? Have any great ideas or recommendations that can add to the success of Earth Hour in the CNMI? Contact Aric Bickel at aricbickel.deq.gov.mp or at 664-8513.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Link to this blog

micronesians in island conservationDuring the 11th Micronesians in Island Conservation Retreat I was tasked with taking over the learning network's blog found at http://mic-network.blogspot.com. I've fiddled with the template and the colors a little bit here and there over the last two weeks and I'm liking the new look.

My first change was to turn the background from a solid green to a picture of two fishermen in an outrigger canoe. What says connecting islands better than a canoe?

I also added a Sitemeter counter, some frequently asked questions, contact information, and changed things around a bit so that the site is easier to navigate (at least to me). In the past I've done a few widgets for organizations I've done work with (i.e. a logo that links to your website). I used that code to add logos that link to Friends of the Monument, Micronesia Conservation Trust, and Beautify CNMI. I'll add a few more logos as work progresses on the blog, including the html code so that you can link to those websites, too!

As for the color scheme, I offer the fact that I am color blind as an excuse.

I encourage you to add a link to the Micronesians in Island Conservation blog. In the upcoming months we should be adding some great conservation stories from the whole of Micronesia. You heard it here first.

Carnival of the Blue XXII

carnival of the blue 22Carnival of the Blue XXII is now live at Rick MacPherson's Malaria, Bedbugs, Sea Lice, & Sunsets. It has been a while since I've submitted a post for Carnival of the Blue, not like I don't post something about the ocean every single month, but I managed to get my act together this month. Enjoy!

Micronesia Challenge on Facebook

micronesia challenge on facebook
Are you a member of Facebook? Would you like to be the envy of all your friends? There is now a Facebook Fan Page and a Facebook Group for the Micronesia Challenge. Join today!

Both the Fan Page and the Group allow users to post comments on a discussion board, upload photos and video, suggest links, and leave comments. The Fan Page allows the administrator to write notes or, as I prefer to do, syndicate a blog feed. I am syndicating the Micronesians in Island Conservation blog until there is a Micronesia Challenge blog. The thing I like best about both is that the administrator has the ability to send messages to every member of both the Group and the Fan Page. This will come in handy, especially once the membership gets into the thousands.

Additionally, the Fan Page links to Fan Pages for the Micronesian governments that have signed onto the Micronesia Challenge: Palau, Federated States of Micronesia, Marshall Islands, Guam, and the Northern Mariana Islands. It also links to a Fan Page for Beautify CNMI, an environmental coalition in the Marianas supportive of the Micronesia Challenge. I will link to other non-profits working on the Micronesia Challenge once someone sets up their Fan Pages. (Pehaps we can do this at the next MIC retreat or maybe the next steering committee meeting?)

So what are you waiting for? Log into Facebook and join the Facebook Fan Page and the Facebook Group for the Micronesia Challenge.