Daily Archives: 04/24/2006

Earth Week: A Couple More Ideas

Guam EPA Earth Week 2006 - Logo from CJ Santiago of GW High School

I went shopping at Payless tonight and I started thinking about how all the food on Guam is shipped from the far corners of the earth and so little agriculture takes place on the island. Then via the wonderful food blog Chez Pim, I came across an intriguing idea. The Eat Local Challenge. Jen from Life Begins at 30 is hyping up the month of May as Eat Local Month. The idea? Eat only food grown within a 100 mile radius of my home for a whole month. That will not only be easier on the environment, it cuts out the vast majority of refined foods, fast food and junk food that so many Americans gorge themselves upon. Unfortunately I think my diet would be fairly meager if I attempted this challenge. According to Local Harvest, the only locally produced food on Guam is the tilapia fishery down in Inarajan; and I don’t really like tilapia. Still it deserves some looking into.

Speaking about fish, another thing I read came across tonight was sustainable fisheries. I suggest reading the report released by the Pew Oceans Commission a few years ago for a good understanding of the state of the world’s oceans. Fisheries are in a precarious situation across the planet and if the ocean is to remain a viable source of food and livelihood for the world’s population then changes need to be made to manage fish stocks more effectively. Four things maintain a sustainable fishery:

  • Adequate fish populations – ascertaining if there are enough fish in the ocean to harvest
  • Eliminating by-catch – reducing the capture of unwanted and discarded fish, turtles and dolphins
  • Reduce pollution of the marine environment – mercury, dioxin, and effluent from shore and fish farming operations pollute the oceans
  • Preserve habitat – bottom trawling and drift nets despoil vast areas of marine habitat, indiscriminately removing all fish and their refuges

Guess it all comes down to creating a comprehensive plan for ocean conservancy. Just like wildlife and game animals are managed on land, fish stocks and their habitat needs to be effectively conserved for the future.

Japan, US Agree On Marine Relocation

Japan and the United States reached an agreement on how to finance the relocation of 8,000 Marines from Okinawa to Guam. Japan originally balked at the over US$10 billion price tag that the Pentagon placed on the move. After weeks of negotiation though, Japan agreed to finance almost 60% of the move, paying over US$6 billion to build facilities on Guam and boost the island’s infrastructure. The United States will pay the remaining US$4 billion price tag.
Cool. Bring on the cash cow. That will certainly boost the island’s economy. And it certainly shows how keen the Japanese are to get the Marines off Okinawa after 60 years.

Earth Week: Regional Efforts Lauded

Guam EPA Earth Week 2006 - Logo from CJ Santiago of GW High School

Two regional organizations were honored for their environmental work this week by the US EPA in the agencies 8th annual Environmental Awards Ceremony. The Conservation Society of Pohnpei and Basula Produkto in Saipan received plaques for the Region 9 awards, along with Willie Nelson and Patagonia sporting goods.

The Conservation Society of Pohnpei works to protect the unique environment of the lush island of Pohnpei from deforestation, erosion and coral dredging.

Basulo Produkto focuses on recycling efforts on Saipan and the Northern Marianas, processing cardboard and paper, aluminum, scrap metal, old tires and glass.

Even though Earth Day has passed, let’s continue to work for a sustainable, cleaner future for everyone. Congratulations to the recipients for making Micronesia a better place for our children.