Earlier this year, a new Marine Debris Emergency Response Guide was published for the Northern Mariana Islands. This guide was put together to help the region stay prepared for typhoons and, consequently, marine debris.
The first published guide of its sort within the Pacific region, the Marine Debris Emergency Response Guide, aims to improve preparedness for those responding and volunteering after natural disasters. Typhoons, like Typhoon Mawar affected the island of Rota this May and are a part of the need for guides like this one.
Because the Northern Mariana Islands are located in a part of the Pacific Ocean that is considered “Typhoon Alley,” the marine debris from these natural disasters can take [weeks/months/etc.] to clear and wreak enormous havoc on the territory.
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, “The Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands Marine Debris Emergency Response Guide describes how all levels of government and other organizations work together after disasters to respond to marine debris.” Locals can search for proper protocol in the guide and become knowledgeable of ways they can help. “The Guide identifies organization roles and responsibilities and includes an overview of permitting and compliance requirements that must be met before marine debris removal work begins. Its development is a product of a collaborative process with local organizations and an unprecedented level of community participation. Sixty stakeholders participated in a virtual workshop as part of the document’s development, and over thirty individuals participated in a hands-on exercise in Saipan to become familiar with the resource and its tools.”After reading the NOAA guide, citizens should feel more informed and knowledgeable. The document contains valuable information for use in the field and in emergencies. The guide is now available on the NOAA website.