Efforts at Marine Education in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands

by Melissa Upton, Dep of Natural Resources, Saipan, Northern Mariana Islands,
Elizabeth Kumabe, Dep of Natural Resources, Saipan, Northern Mariana Islands,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Coastal Zone '93


The Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI), located in Micronesia, experienced significant economic growth in the 1980's and it is expected to continue through the decade of the nineties. The growth is influenced by continuing expansion of hotels and tourist-related industries, greater accessibility of air routes to Japan and other travel producing countries in the Asia-Pacific region, and its special status as a Commonwealth of the United States (a status currently being capitalized upon by garment manufacturers). The current and projected travel patterns in the region indicate that tourism is and can continue to be a viable industry for the economic growth of the CNMI. However, the viability of the industry is dependent upon a number of factors, one of which is the preservation, protection, and enchancement of the physical and environmental surroundings. This paper investigates the past and present efforts at marine environmental education in the CNMI. It also outlines a long-range plan for marine education to instill a 'conservation ethic' in people and help halt environmental degradation. The Division of Fish and Wildlife would be the primary implementing agency in coordination with other agencies such as the Coastal Resource Management Office (CRMO) and the Division of Environmental Quality (DEQ).

Subject Headings: Education | Economic factors | Tourism | Coastal management | Resource management | Islands | Industries | Micronesia | Oceania | Japan | Asia | United States

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