by Krystal Paco
Guam - The southern tip of Guam in Merizo, Inarajan and Umatac known as the Manell-Geus Watershed has been selected as a NOAA habitat blueprint focus area.
According to fisheries biologist Valerie Brown, this is new effort on NOAA fisheries to address conservation and improve the fish habitat.
She told KUAM News, "It has really great marine resources and marine fish habitats. There are coral reefs there. There's the Cocos Lagoon, which is Guam's only shallow water lagoon; extensive sea grass beds, mangroves and of course the coral reefs which include the reefs inside the Achang Reef Flat Preserve."
Brown notes that this area presently is impacted by poor water quality which is linked to erosion on the steep hillsides and stream banks.
Manell-Geus is one of three sites designated so far. Brown says the first is the Russian River in California and the second is West Hawaii.