Carlotta Leon Guerrero is a former Member of the 23rd, 24th, and 25th Guam Senate. She was also a two-term president of the Association of Pacific Island Legislatures and previously worked as a radio and television journalist in Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands.
In April 2017, President Donald Trump ordered Secretary of Interior Ryan Zinke to examine 27 protected areas established by Presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama using the 1906 Antiquities Act. Included in the list were four marine monuments in the Pacific Ocean, the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument in Hawaii, Mariana Trench Marine National Monument in the Mariana Islands, Rose Atoll Marine National Monument in American Samoa, and the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument (sometimes referred to as Pacific Remote Island Areas or PRIA), which is made up several isolated islands and atolls under American control. This should have all of us on Guam and in the Pacific concerned, because we are the people who will have to live with the outcome.
This bill is expected to face strong opposition from the fishing industry, which has a powerful voice. However, you can help! You send a letter in support of this policy to Shark Defenders, and they will make sure that it gets into the right hands. Many of the letters will be read out loud as testimony, and receiving a large number of letters in support of the law will be a big help!
Please send these letters to Info AT SharkDefenders DOT com by Monday afternoon U.S. East Coast time (sooner would be better).
Last week, the Saipan Tribune published an article about a threat to Guam’s coral reefs.That threat is a new United States Naval Base- it will result in lots more people on a small island, construction of facilities, and increased boating traffic. The construction includes dredging large amounts of sand and coral. An increased military presence is important to our national security, and it will provide jobs to many residents of Guam. However, this construction may be devastating to local coral reefs. This is a complicated issue and I don’t know what the solution is. At least we don’t have to worry about Guam tipping over as a result, a disturbing theory proposed by Representative Hank Johnson (D-GA) earlier this year (seriously, watch the video).
The Navy is looking into “mitigating steps” that they can take to offset the damage to Guam’s reefs, but I don’t really know what those could be with an organism as slow-growing as coral.