Marine Corps Activity Guam forest enhancement project begins to take shape on Naval Base Guam Telecommunications Station with the arrival of containers and equipment to be part of the new Native Plant Nursery set to open this year. The project will include native plant seed collection, salvage, storage and nursery propagation for use in future conservation projects as identified in the 2018 Biological Opinion amendment for the U.S. Marine Corps relocation. “This is just a small step, but our team sees the future success of this nursery project as a win for Guam conservation as a whole” said Lauren Gutierrez, Natural Resource Specialist for Marine Corps Activity Guam. “Our multi-decade forest enhancement work is an opportunity to establish partnerships with academic institutions, non-profits and government agencies. Native limestone forest plants will be collected from DOD construction sites and seeds will be gathered from habitats within military installations to ensure sufficient genetic diversity among individuals of each species.
Enough seeds will be collected to enhance existing disturbed limestone forest commensurate in size to the acreage of limestone forest being developed. This process of rehabilitation using native vegetation helps to restore the forest structure and species composition to levels that would function similar to an undisturbed forest. “ We all want to give our island’s forests a fighting chance by providing sustainable habitats that will support native flora and fauna for generations to come,” said Gutierrez. The Department of Navy and United States Marine Corps remain committed to the preservation and enhancement of Guam’s natural resources.