Marianas Variety

Friday, December 19, 2014-6:10:58P.M.

Last updateFri, 19 Dec 2014 11am

Headlines:

Lawmakers urged to join coastal management meeting

ALL members of the House of Representatives were invited to share their thoughts with a visiting team from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration regarding coastal resources management.

The NOAA team will be here to evaluate the CNMI’s coastal management program.

The Bureau of Environmental and Coastal Quality will hold an information-gathering meeting on Aug. 6 for the evaluation.

Fran Castro

In separate letters to each legislator, Coastal Resource Management Director Fran Castro said as an integral part of the evaluation process, NOAA will seek the experiences and informed opinion of those who work directly on coastal management issues and efforts in the CNMI.

The CNMI coastal management program is part of the National Coastal Zone Management Program, which is a voluntary partnership between the federal government and coastal and great lakes states and territories and authorized by the Coastal Zone Management Act of 1972.

The purpose of evaluation, according to NOAA, is to assess the operation and management of the program and how the states and territories are addressing the national coastal zone management objectives, how they are implementing and enforcing their coastal management program, and how are they adhering to programmatic terms and conditions of financial assistance awards.

In the evaluation, the NOAA team will prepare a set of findings that will identify the CNMI coastal management program’s successes and areas needing improvement.

Recommendations from the findings are used to negotiate future financial assistance awards.

Castro told members of the House of Representatives: “We invite you to share your thoughts and experiences on these focus areas: permitting, enforcement, regulations, and managing coastal development.”