Guam - A hearing was held today in Washington, DC involving two bills dealing with the Marianas Trench National Marine Monument. Residents and elected leaders in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands were none too pleased with Congresswoman Madeleine Bordallo, who introduced a similar bill to their delegate, Gregorio Sablan, regarding establishing a visitor center in the CNMI where people can learn more about the Trench.
Although Bordallo's bill says it should not be construed to affect the authority to construct and operate a visitor facility in the CNMI, it does call for the construction or leasing of a facility for a multipurpose center in Guam that would be used to promote awareness about the marine monument.
Bordallo states that the Cubcommittee on Insular Affairs, Oceans and Wildlife, which she chairs, was able to hear ways that both Guam and the CNMI could benefit from the Marianas Trench Marine National Monument. She added both bills would seek to ensure that visitors to and residents of Guam and the CNMI are educated about the rich biodiversity and vibrant ecosystem in the waters surrounding our islands.