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Last updateSat, 22 Jun 2019 12am

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    Thursday, June 20, 2019-11:50:11P.M.

     

     

     

     

     

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Youths organize March for the Oceans

SAIPAN joined the rest of the world in observing the International March for the Ocean on Saturday.

About 80 individuals, all wearing blue shirts, participated in the march, which started at 7 a.m. at the Guma Sakman in Susupe and ended at the Atkins Kroll intersection in San Jose.

The 3k walk was organized by 16-year-old Genzo Gonzales and 12-year-old Kaya Rasa.

Miss Liberation candidates join the 3k walk for the International March for the Oceans on Saturday.Miss Liberation candidates join the 3k walk for the International March for the Oceans on Saturday.

According to Gonzales, the march was held a day after World Oceans Day which was celebrated on June 8. “We take part in this activity because Chamorros and Carolinians are seafaring people. We look to the ocean as our way of life — we live from it, we fish from it, we eat from it.”

Rasa said the march was meant to express support for the ocean.  “We would like to relay the message to everyone that we have to be aware of what is happening to our islands and our ocean, and keep them clean,” she added.

Rasa said they plan to make the march an annual event.

About 80 individuals participated in the first-ever International March for the Oceans on Saturday.About 80 individuals participated in the first-ever International March for the Oceans on Saturday.

Gonzales said there should be more events that allow young people to gather and talk about environmental issues.

“We hope to achieve island-wide awareness about the need to care for, honor and take pride in our ocean and to instill passion and love for our environment in our young generation because it is they who will inherit the responsibility to care for it,” Gonzales said.

Gonzales and Rasa are the recipients of the 2018 Seal of the Heirs to the Ocean.

Organizers of the International March for the Oceans on Saturday, Genzo Gonzales and Kaya Rasa, front, pose with other community members who participated in the event.  Photos by Lori Lyn C. LirioOrganizers of the International March for the Oceans on Saturday, Genzo Gonzales and Kaya Rasa, front, pose with other community members who participated in the event. Photos by Lori Lyn C. Lirio

The previous recipient is Yarawe Ythemar who represented the CNMI in the International Summer Camp in Palau in 2017.

Gonzales and Rasa will be this year’s CNMI representatives to the summer camp that will also be held in Palau from June 17 to July 1.

Roberta Guerrero, Micronesia Islands Nature Alliance executive director, thanked Gonzales and Rasa for taking the lead in organizing the environmental event. “They reached out to us for support, and we are very honored to be a part of it. They are the next generation of our community leaders here,” she said.