24 Sep 2013
- By Junhan B. Todeno - firstname.lastname@example.org - Variety News Staff
“SAVE Pagan Island” advocate Jerome Aldan says environmental groups in the U.S. are opposed to the U.S. military’s proposal to use the volcanic island for live-fire training and other exercises.
“Our mission to protect and thwart the reckless destruction of pristine idyllic islands has been gaining support not only from local networks but also from Guam, Hawaii and the U.S. mainland,” he added.
According to Aldan, the Sierra Club organization and the Huntington News recently carried the Save Pagan Island message.
Similar messages have been posted on another website, Global Possibilities, which picked it up from Sierra Club’s The Planet blog: http://www.globalpossibilities.org/pagan-island-too-beautiful-to-bomb/
Aldan said online commentators also want “to put a stop to…the ruthless and endless desecration, contamination and destruction…of pristine islands and their ecosystems, including their surrounding waters, air spaces and below-surface ground water lenses.”
Aldan said Save Pagan Island advocates and affiliates will participate in the public hearing concerning the Mariana Islands Training and Testing Environmental Impact Statement which involves the U.S. Navy’s continued and expanded use of Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands for underwater explosives and firing range training.
Aldan is hoping local environmental agencies such as the Division of Environmental Quality, Coastal Resource Management and the Division of Fish and Wildlife will also present their input.
The public hearing will be held on Guam on Oct. 7 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the University of Guam, School of Business and Public Administration Building,
In the CNMI, the public hearing is set for Oct. 8 at the Pedro P. Tenorio Multi-Purpose Center on Saipan, and on Oct. 10 in the Sinapalo Elementary School cafeteria on Rota.
“Despite the recent scientific discovery of a significant increase in toxic contamination ingested by friendly and docile dolphins in Guam waters, as revealed in a recent presentation at American Memorial Park by a visiting research scientist, and most likely around Farallon de Mendinilla and throughout the Marianas archipelago, it is quite dumbfounding that elected leaders have not stepped up to the plate and have chosen to maintain their silent modus operandi in not vocalizing or uttering any expression of concern or scintilla of interest, much less be alarmed over the toxicity level of our surrounding ocean waters,” Aldan said.
“What of the toxicity of our ground water in the natural lenses which we draw from for our daily use?” he asked.
Aldan said all island groups must be afforded every opportunity to participate in the decision-making related to any and all plans for the military buildup on Guam and the CNMI.
He said all meetings and decisions should be open, transparent and inclusive of all voices.