Mitigating the threats to coral reefs


Saipan— Coral reefs in the Northern Mariana Islands have taken a hit. Bleaching, global warming and anthropogenic stressors such as debris in the ocean are the biggest contributors to the degradation of corals in the CNMI.

“We have been monitoring the challenges that our coral reefs experience, what they are going through and we have come up with priorities and plans for the next 10 years,” said David Benavente, a marine biologist who leads the marine monitoring program under the CNMI Coastal Resources Management and Division Environmental Quality.

The state of the CNMI’s coral reefs is among the items discussed by the CNMI Environment and Natural Resources Task Force during a forum held last month by the CNMI Office of Planning and Development, where shared comprehensive sustainable plans for the CNMI’s ecological system.

The Coral Restoration and Resiliency Planning Opportunities in the CNMI is currently in place.