Monday, December 14, 2009

Teachers go to camp to explore connections between land and sea

Educators from around the island explored ways to bring coral reef education into their classrooms at the 2009 Teacher Camp.

The teacher workshop based on the “Ridge to Reef” theme looked at the connections between land and sea, and explored ways in which teachers can share that knowledge with students. Land-based pollution is one of the greatest threats to coral reefs today.

Together with field experts, the teachers toured Kagman Wetland Education Island, Garapan Watershed and Tank Beach – part of the Forbidden Island Marine Sanctuary. The camp was held Saturday, Nov. 21.

Teachers took home activity folders, which will help them develop lesson plans. As a follow-up to the camp, upon completion of three “Ridge to Reef”-related lesson plans, teachers and their classes will embark on educational field trips funded by Mariana Islands Nature Alliance (MINA).

The camp is a combined effort of MINA, Coastal Resources Management Office, the Division of Fish and Wildlife, the Division of Environmental Quality and the CNMI Coral Reef Initiative.

The following is a list of camp presenters and topics:
Brooke Nevitt, Coastal Resources Management, Ridge to Reef: Making the Connections
Lisa Eller, Division of Environmental Quality, Watersheds
Laura Williams, Division of Fish and Wildlife, Wetlands
Kathy Yuknavage, Mariana Islands Nature Alliance, Marine Debris

To learn more about upcoming Teacher Camps, contact Brooke Nevitt, CRM Education and Outreach Coordinator at 664-8300.

Participants assessing their experience at Teacher Camp.

Educators exploring Tank Beach in Forbidden Island Marine Sanctuary.

Teachers looking for sources of pollution in a watershed scavenger hunt in Garapan.

Monday, October 26, 2009

CNMI joins call for climate change action in global demonstration

SAIPAN—On Saturday morning, Saipan residents joined people in 181 countries for the most widespread day of environmental action in the planet's history. At more than 5,200 events around the world, people gathered to call for strong action and bold leadership on the climate crisis.

Around the world —from capitol cities to the melting slopes of Mount Everest, even underwater on dying coral reefs—people held rallies aimed at focusing attention on the number 350 because scientists have insisted in recent years that 350 parts per million is the most carbon dioxide we can safely have in the atmosphere. The current CO2 concentration is 390 parts per million.

“That’s why glaciers and sea ice are melting, drought is spreading, and flooding is on the increase,” said Bill McKibben, founder of and author twenty years ago of the first major book on climate change. “And it’s why we need a huge worldwide movement to give us the momentum to make real political change. Our leaders have heard from major corporations and big polluters for a long time—today, finally, they heard from citizens and scientists.”

Saipan Fatuul Canoe Club organized a 350 photo with paddlers at the Micronesian Cup Competition.

Community members gathered in front of Mt. Carmel Cathedral church to pose for a 350 photo in recognition of the issue of climate change.

The CNMI Marine Monitoring Team organized a 350 photo at one of several coral bleaching sites.

The Division of Environmental Quality and Coastal Resources Management Office organized a 350 photo during the Green Business Initiative Eco-bag giveaway at Payless Market – a monthly event to promote reducing the use of plastic bags.