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NMI participates in Micronesia Cleanup Day

(Office of the Governor) — On Friday, Sept. 13, 2019, the CNMI participated in the first-ever Micronesia Cleanup Day, a day dedicated to environmental protection and beautification with island-wide clean-ups held simultaneously in the CNMI, Guam, the Republic of Palau, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, and the Federated States of Micronesia, which include the States of Pohnpei, Chuuk, Yap, and Kosrae.

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Gov. Ralph DLG Torres and first lady Diann T. Torres pose with other government officials and personnel during the cleanup on Friday last week.  Office of the Governor photo

About 650 volunteers from the government, private sector, and community joined in on a day of service on Saipan, Tinian, and Rota. There were a total of about 30 organizations from around the community, including the CNMI Government, Pacifica Insurance (Micro Beach), Hash House Harriers (Sugar King Park), Pohnpei Committee (Forbidden Island road), Palau Community Association (Micro Beach), United Filipino Organization/SuperTech Inc. (Garapan Fishing Base), Ach Chuuk CNMI Associations, Nomoitaipung Group (Wing Beach), and E-Land/Kensington Hotel (Paupau Beach).

During the 24th Micronesian Islands Forum last July, Governor Torres joined the leaders of the governments of the Republic of Palau, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, and the U.S. Territory of Guam to address regional issues and challenges facing Micronesia. The chief executives of these island governments recognized that the increase of trash on land and in our waters pose a great threat to the islands’ way of life — harming our marine life, contaminating our unique natural resources, and hurting the viability of our tourism industries. This prompted the leaders to declare September 13, 2019 as Micronesia Cleanup Day with island-wide cleanups and activities on all Micronesian islands.

“Micronesia Cleanup Day provides all communities within Micronesia the opportunity to come together as a united people to promote cleanliness, remove environmental waste, and make a stand against littering, pollution, and threats to our island way of life. Here on Saipan, Tinian, and Rota, we all understand the effects of climate change as we recover from two devastating typhoons. Protecting our environment means protecting our economy, our tourism, and our way of life. We must come together as one people and as one Micronesia to fight climate change on our islands,” Governor Torres said.

Lt. Gov. Arnold I. Palacios, for his part, said: “Our collective efforts as one Micronesia will promote environmental protection, create a more beautiful environment for our residents and visitors to enjoy, foster responsibility within our youth and collaboration across all sectors of our communities, and encourage everyone to work together to protect our beautiful islands in the Pacific. This is the start of a greater movement for protecting our resources for future generations. Weather permitting, we encourage everyone who call the Marianas home to join us for this cleanup.”