Wednesday, December 5, 2007

CoCo's History

CoCo is a group that was established in 2004 and is composed of representatives from the following local and federal government agencies and non-governmental organizations : Division of Environmental Quality (DEQ), Coastal Resources Management Office (CRMO), Division of Fish and Wildlife (DFW), Commonwealth Utilities Corporation (CUC), Department of Lands and Natural Resources (DLNR), Department of Public Works (DPW), Public School System (PSS), Northern Marianas College (NMC), NOAA, EPA, USDA, NRCS, DOI, DOE, USFWS, Mariana Islands Nature Alliance (MINA), Beautify CNMI! and the Marianas Dive Group.

CoCo's mission is to preserve, protect, and enhance environmental integrity by encouraging responsible stewardship of the CNMI’s natural resources.

Our goal is to facilitate collaboration on environmental outreach projects. Eventually, we expect that CoCo will have many more members, including representatives from outside of the government, i.e., nonprofit organizations, community members and public leaders.

CoCo works cooperatively on projects involving all areas of the environment from the summit to the sea, including litter and recycling, land habitat issues, coral reef degradation, nonpoint source pollution, and water quality. Because CoCo is concerned with environmental issues on both land and sea, the group has chosen the coconut crab as its mascot because the adult coconut crab lives on land and lays its eggs in the sea. Also, the coconut crab is a widely recognized local icon. *CoCo the crab is currently on vacation and will be back in the near future.

CoCo's first task was assisting with the America Recycles Day event in November, 2004. Various agencies supported and enhanced the event with financial donations and assistance with planning and implementation. This year, CoCo in conjunction with the Mariana Islands Nature Alliance (MINA) will again assist in the coordination of CNMI Recycles Day, the Right Route project, and will also facilitate and coordinate activities for the 2008 International Year of the Reef.

CoCo meets monthly to discuss upcoming projects or other conservation issues. CoCo also has an email list serve to inform people about upcoming projects, opportunities, and other items of interest involving environmental outreach or education. To subscribe, send an email to

If you are interested in finding out more, please contact Reina Camacho at 664-8500 or email

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