News Release

February 7, 2012

Public Scoping Meetings Scheduled for Draft Marianas Trench Marine National Monument Management Plan

Media Contacts:
Laura Beauregard, 808-342-8792

Meetings to be held on Saipan, Tinian, Rota, and Guam

Four public scoping meetings will be conducted by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on the islands of Saipan, Tinian, Rota, and Guam to receive public comments on the scope of issues to be covered in the Draft Marianas Trench Marine National Monument (MNM) Management Plan. The management plan will be used to guide resource managers for the long-term conservation and management programs for the MNM. The informal meetings are designed to share information about the planning process and facilitate the submission of public comments. Fishing issues in the MNM have been discussed at meetings held by the Western Pacific Fisheries Management Council and won't be addressed at the scoping meetings.

The meeting on Saipan will be held February 24 at the Multipurpose Center on Beach Road in Susupe from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. The meeting on Tinian will be held February 25 at the Tinian Elementary School, from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. The meeting on Rota will be held February 27 at the Round House in Songsong Village from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. The meeting on Guam will be held February 29 at the University of Guam, Anthony Leon Guerrero Multi-Purpose Room #129, in Mangilao, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

The Marianas Trench MNM encompasses about 61 million acres of submerged lands and certain waters of the Mariana Archipelago. It includes three units: the Islands Unit contains the waters and submerged lands of the three northernmost Mariana Islands (Farallon de Pajaros, Maug, and Asuncion) out to 50 nautical miles; the Volcanic Unit, with 21 submerged volcanic features; and the Trench Unit, which includes the submerged lands within the Trench. The Volcanic and Trench Units are also being managed as units of the National Wildlife Refuge System.

Additional information about the Monument and its two refuges is available at http://www.fws.gov/marianastrenchmarinemonument and http://www.fpir.noaa.gov/MNM/mnm_index.html