McCreadie bill outlines marine resources conservation - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

McCreadie bill outlines marine resources conservation

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The possibility of additional measures to protect our island's marine resources are on the horizon with the introduction of the Guam Ocean and Fisheries Conservation Act of 2015. Legislation has been drafted by Senator Brant McCreadie as a starting point for the conservation and protection of our island's marine resources.

The introduction of the Act is an effort to improve enforcement of the island's marine protected areas. "First off, this bill will establish a seven-person council in the language of the bill is tasked with protection conservation," the senator explained. The council will also assist the Department of Agriculture in promoting sustainable use of Guam's oceans, fisheries, and marine resources. In addition to the council, McCreadie says the bill will establish the Guam Ocean and Fisheries Conservation and Development Fund, which he plans to fund through a tax.

"We have proposed a user fee of $2 for every tourist that comes into Guam, and, of course, locals would be exempt. That $2 would raise the money to hire new conservation officers to watch over our reefs," he continued.

Although the logistics of how the tax will be implemented is still in question, the fund would be also be used to purchase equipment to patrol the five marine protected areas around the island but that is not all. "We are also planning on building a northern boat ramp in Yigo and then one in Talafofo. We would also like to see possibly if we can the Inarajan boat ramp reconstructed, as well," said McCreadie.

He says the construction of these ramps will increase safety and save lives by allowing access to the northern and eastern waters of Guam for first responders, emergency personnel and the public.

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