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Tumon water limits could impact tourism

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by Lannie Walker

Guam - Restraints on water sports and other activities could be on the way for a popular beach on Guam. The notion is attracting criticism by some, but KUAM News found out that no changes are set in stone just yet.

As part the process in developing an eco-permit that establishes the rules and regulations governing Guam's marine preserve areas, the Department of Agriculture recently completed a series of workshops.  "Let's find out really from the community what activities would they like to see in the preserves," said DOA director Joe Torres.   In order to determine what's referred to as the limits of acceptable change.

The Tumon Bay Preserve, home to many of Guam's hotel and resorts, is one of the areas under consideration.  "In Option A, we will allow this type of activity," Torres continued, "in Option B there is this limited type of activity and Option C a further limit of activities and option d meaning no activities whatsoever."

Option D is exactly what businessman Alfred Ysrael is afraid of, as he said, "They think they are going to keep the tourists from utilizing the beach in fact they will be restricting the local residents of Guam from utilizing the beach of Tumon."  When asked what option he would prefer," Ysrael said without hesitation Option A.  "And if A is too benign, at the very most Option B."

But not everyone feels the same way.  "I know that there is a lot of people during the public meeting didn't want any kind of recreational use if fishing is being restricted other activities should be restricted," said Torres.  He says fishing regulations are not part of the by of the limits of acceptable change process, and stresses hampering tourism is not his intention.  "My job is to find a perfect balance," he stated.

He says all the data gathered will be compiled and reviewed by scientists at the agency.  

So whether or not you think activities like swimming, diving, snorkeling and windsurfing should be allowed her in Tumon Bay Preserve area you still have a chance to have your opinion heard. Torres says before any changes are made the legislature will hold a public hearing on the matter.

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