Friday, January 12, 2007

Coming soon to a village called Kagman...

Saipan Tribune, Friday, January 12, 2007

USDA to open Education Island soon
By Marconi Calindas

The US Department of Agriculture Resource Conservation and Development office in the CNMI will soon open the newly completed Kagman Watershed Education Island Exhibit Project.

USDA officer Ken Kramer disclosed yesterday during the Beautify CNMI! general meeting at the Division of Environmental Quality Conference Room that the “Education Island” would have a ribbon cutting ceremony tentatively scheduled on Jan. 30 in Kagman.

Kramer said the last phase of the project-fencing and securing the area-was finished this week. He added that the signs have already been installed.

The project was funded through the Coastal Resource Management Office in collaboration with the USDA RCD office.

Beautify CNMI! and USDA RCD officer Angelo Villagomez said the Education Island would be open for educational excursions in the area. He said the project is intended for school children to benefit from being exposed to a wetland, as it would teach them how it prevents soil erosion and other environmental concerns.

Villagomez said the project was conceived years ago with the objectives of preserving an area in Kagman for educational purposes.

For schools and other organizations that are interested to take a tour of the site, they may contact Kramer and Villagomez for an appointment. Contact both USDA officers at 236-0894.

The Education Island Learning Center is part of the Kagman Watershed Project that aims to help Kagman residents and farmers, as well as the rest of the island. The multi-million dollar federally funded project also aims for better flood prevention methods and improved irrigation water supply in the CNMI.

Other benefits would include an enhanced farm economy, wildlife habitat protection, reduced pressure on the aquifer, a healthier coral reef and a cleaner marine environment.

The Kagman Project consists of four waterways, two sediment basins, a 70-million gallon reservoir, a 100,000-gallon storage tank, and an irrigation water delivery system.

The planning process for the project began in 1985, when the CNMI government approached NRCS and asked for help in solving the flooding problems and provide irrigation water in the area. Since the completion of the Watershed Workplan and Environmental Impact Statement in 1993, NRCS has overseen the installation of a variety of conservation practices.

For more information on the Kagman Watershed Project and other USDA programs, call 236-0888, or visit the USDA Service Center located in the DY Building, Beach Road, South Garapan. More information is also available online at

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