"Marianas Says U.S. Has Failed to Fulfill Ocean Monument Promises"

"More than a year after President George W. Bush created a vast marine national monument near the Northern Marianas Islands, the federal government has yet to make good on promised investments in the islands.

Bush created three marine monuments near U.S. territories in the Pacific Ocean just weeks before he left the White House, part of a bid for a positive environmental legacy. The largest marine reserve, the Marianas Trench National Monument, encompasses nearly 61 million acres of submerged areas and waters and is the world's third-largest ocean reserve.

The designation was hailed in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. The islands' leaders said the reserve would bring international attention and federal investment, but they say they have been left empty-handed. The monument has no advisory council, no management plan and no plans for a visitor center or science education outreach."

Allison Winter reports for Greenwire March 1, 2010.

Source: Greenwire, 03/02/2010