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Campaign aiming to build a better bay

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Due to a growing concern over the large sedimentation in Pago Bay from heavy soil erosion upstream, a conservation campaign has been launched bringing together community stakeholders to make conditions better in Central Guam. The saying goes, "when it rains it pours" and for the Pago Bay watershed, it's even worse.

Laura Biggs explained, saying, "So there are a lot of things happening in that area that impact the bay and if you ever seen it after a big rain, it's very red and a lot of the soil up high are in the watershed is emptying into that bay and that's not so great for our fish and ecosystems."

And in order to address the sedimentation issues in Pago Bay caused from heavy soil erosion upstream, the University of Guam Seagrant Program along with community stakeholders have come together to launch the Pago Watershed Conservation Campaign, appropriately titled "Builders of A Better Bay". Watershed liaison Maria Cruz said, "So with awareness we try to bring data to the community, so they can see the consequences of our actions in a quantifiable way, and with that, they're able to make informed behavioral changes that would benefit the health of the watershed and not only we do we tell them about the human caused factors but we also emphasize the naturally occurring ones."

"Covering over 6,000 acres, the Pago Watershed encompasses the Sigua, Lonfit and Pago rivers. Parts of Yona, Chalan Pago and Mangilao make up the watershed and the audience that Builders of a Better Bay aims to engage," she added.

The Pago watershed is considered a source of sustenance and recreation which is why Biggs, an assistant professor, wants to improve the water quality in the bay to be readily utilized by the entire community.  "So working with the community members to ensure that that bay is available for our kids and their kids to use in the future so we can still fish, windsurf, hike and bike and off-road and enjoy that resource to the best of our ability in the future," she said.

The campaign was launched last November with some of the first activities planned by the end of this month with the Chalan Pago Municipal Planning Council. Cruz said, "So right now we're planning beautification and restoration projects, so not only do they get to see what is wrong with the watershed but they also get hands on experience on improving it and we're planning hikes and snorkeling events so they can really see the effect sin the bay."

To get involved you can email bbbseagrant@gmail.com or contact them on their Facebook page.
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