Monday, August 27, 2007

Photo Contest Winners

On Friday night we announced the 10 finalists and the Grand Prize winner of the Photo Contest to raise awareness for the Micronesia Challenge. Here are a few of the top 10:

Leslie Ware won the Grand Prize with his photo of a Fairy Tern flying in front of some Flame Trees. He won a one night stay at Aqua Resort and lunch for two at Grand Hotel.

He also had two other photos chosen as top 10 finalists:

These next two photos were taken by Takahiro Noguchi. If I had been a judge, I would have chosen the picture of the fish as the Grand Prize winner (Sorry, Les).

Laura Williams from Division of Fish & Wildlife submitted this photo of Bikkia tetrandra:

I'm not sure if the judges have a sense of humor or if this is just a coincidence, but Harry Blalock's photo of a hermit crab was chosen as a finalist:

This photo of Yoshimi Yanagasawa and her Mom was also chosen:

Aya Matsumoto had two photos in the top 10:

Here are two of the winning photographers accepting their Beautify CNMI prize packs:

Each Beautify CNMI giftpack includes one of our turtle bags, two t-shirts, several bumper stickers, and a limited edition Beautify CNMI mug.

They are limited edition because I dropped the bag they were in and about 1/4 of them broke.


The top 10 finalists and 10 Honorable Mentions were on display at our event at the Grand Hotel on Friday.

After the announcement of the winners we had a public forum hosted by Marianas Resource Conservation & Development Council (that's me). Over 30 people participated, including several public school teachers. Dr. Peter Houk, Biologist from Division of Environmental Quality, and Greg Moretti, Marine Protected Area Specialist from NOAA, presented on some of the work they are doing concerning the Micronesia Challenge.

Afterwards we had a long question & answer session.

The event was a success.

Thank you, Aqua Resort, Grand Hotel,and Marianas RC&D for providing prizes!

Thank you, Grand Hotel for hosting the event!

Thank you, Marianas RC&D for paying!

Laly 4 Cleanup

Why is the Beach in Chalan Kanoa called Laly 4? Does anyone know where Laly 1, 2, and 3 are located?

Well, whatever the reason, on Saturday morning 20 Hopwood Junior High School Students, 1 LISS student, two teachers, two dogs, and one soccer playing tree hugger cleaned it from Hopwood Junior High School to Sugar Dock.

Most of the litter was trash left over from picnics. We did not find any illegal dumping (this time) and not much washes up on the beach here.

If people would just learn to pick up after themselves we could have a nice clean beach. The adults on this island are lucky that their children are willing to pick up after them.

Student Action for a Viable EnvironmentThank you, Student Action for a Viable Environment!

Beautify CNMI Mailing List

Are you on the Beautify CNMI mailing list?

Every Monday morning I send out a summary of the weekend's activites. On Thursdays I send out the upcoming weekend's activities. If there is a meeting on a particular day, I send out a meeting reminder.

If you are not on the list and you would like to be, please email Angelo at angelovillagomez at gmail dot com.

Here is my update from this morning:

Good Monday Morning,

We had several successful events over the weekend.

On Friday, we announced the winners of the Photo Contest to raise awareness of the Micronesia Challenge and over 30 people participated in a public forum discussing Marine Protected Areas and Coral Reefs. On Saturday, the members of the Student Action for a Viable Environment clubs cleaned up the beach in Chalan Kanoa and one of the pocket beaches in Dandan. On Sunday, Friends of the Mariana Islands cleaned up Dandan Road. The Lion's Club was also out this weekend cleaning up their adopted spot along Beach Road (sorry, I forgot if that was Saturday or Sunday).

There will be a Parks & Trails meeting this Thursday at 1 PM. The meeting is in the USDA Conference Room, on the first floor of the DY Buidling in Garapan on Beach Road. If you have questions, please contact Ken Kramer, RC&D Coordinator, at 236-0893.

This Saturday we should be planting the last of our Flame Trees...I just don't know where yet.

This Sunday we will be in the Garapan Tourist District. Our cleanup meets at the AMP Parking lot and begins at 8 AM.

Have a great week!


Monday, August 06, 2007

Carnival of the Blue III

Carnival of the BlueA post on my personal blog was included in Carnival of the Blue III, hosted on Rick MacPherson's blog Malaria, Bedbugs, Sea Lice, and Sunsets. Carnival of the Blue is a roundup of a month's worth of the best ocean blogging on the Internet.

The Saipan Blog will host Carnival of the Blue IV on September 3. I am currently looking for contributors. Please publish your post and email me the link at angelovillagomez at g mail dot com. Once I publish the carnival, all you have to do in return is to add a link to it in a post on your blog. It is a great way to build traffic and connect with other bloggers interested in ocean issues.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Micronesia Challenge Photo Contest

Micronesia Challenge Photo Contest

In 2006, Governor Benigno Fitial joined the leaders of Palau, Guam, the Federated States of Micronesia, and the Republic of the Marshall Islands to sign the Declaration of Commitment to the Micronesia Challenge. He pledged that the CNMI would work "to effectively conserve 30% of our near shore resources and 20% of our forest resources by 2020."

A CNMI Outreach & Education Committee is charged with publicly promoting the goals and activities of the Micronesia Challenge. Composed of representatives from government, environmental non-profits, and other members of the community, the Committee is seeking photographs to use in outreach materials.

In order to obtain as wide a variety of high quality photos as possible about the CNMI, the Committee hereby announces the “Micronesia Challenge Photo Contest”.


•Photos must relate to the Micronesia Challenge and must be taken within the CNMI.

•Photos can be professional or amateur. The content of the photos is up to the artist.

•Photos can be underwater, terrestrial, or aerial, can be natural and/or include wildlife, flora, or different types of people such as children, locals, and tourists in different settings. Other possible photos can show the effects on the environment of poor management and good management practices.

•Suggested themes from past and present campaigns that may help the artist come up with ideas include:

1.What we do on the land can affect our marine environment
2.More Fish, Less Pollution
3.Let Our Islands Shine
4.Our Environment: Our Health, Our Future.

•Photos must be digital and emailed to

•Each artist is allowed to submit up to 10 photos.

•Photos become the property of the Micronesia Challenge Outreach and Education Committee.

•The best photos will be showcased on a website with appropriate photo credit give to the contributing artist.

Prizes are yet to be announced, but the top 10 artists will receive a Beautify CNMI gift pack.

Contest ends August 20th at 5 PM, followed by the announcement of the winners August 24th at a Happy Hour Panel Discussion with government and non-government officials involved with the implementation of the Challenge. If you have any questions, please contact Angelo Villagomez at 483-1078.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Why are they dumping sand, again?

Beach Road renourishment

They were dumping sand right in front of the office with supervision from somebody at CRM. This is known as renourishment; however, by killing the grass, they make the beach erosion many times worse during the next storm event.

My preference for a solution might be:

"More intriguing, he says, is a submerged breakwater, which offer many of the same benefits, without besmirching the horizon with rock piles. In essence, a submerged breakwater acts as a coral reef, causing the waves to break before reaching shore. However, Dalrymple says the details of how and where to build them have yet to be worked out. . . ...)."

From: Why Files

Also see: Seafriends and Florida Beach Management Plan

This leads to the question: Do we have a plan for beach restoration? or just add sand every year? Kill the grass and vegetation and create more of a problem than existed before.

Florida has a beach management program.