Laolao Watershed Restoration
The Laolao Bay Pride Campaign is committed to protecting what we love: the ocean and our way of life here on Saipan. Our focus is on reducing land-based sources of pollution through personal action and community collaboration. The goal of our campaign is to affect the hearts and mind of our residents, to address issues on homeowners’ properties which in some cases may contribute a significant amount of sediment to the Laolao watershed. We realize that polluted runoff comes from sources beyond residential practices, including large developments, agricultural lands and more, but this campaign’s focus is on residents alone.
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Laolao Bay is one of Saipan’s richest and most-used marine areas, the surround watershed has consequently been the focus of various erosion control efforts. To augment and enhance ongoing projects, the Laolao Bay Pride Campaign is focusing on several targeted barrier removal activities to make it easier for landowners and surrounding community to support and undertake erosion control practices whether on their own properties or on publicly owned land. As part of the campaign we have established a “rain garden” at San Vicente Elementary School. The purpose of this garden is to serve as an installation to demonstrate how vegetation can be used to collect and slow down water flow for greater absorption into the soil. The garden has received support from a local school group as well as various community members. The rain garden, while an individual installation, creates a great opportunity to discuss greater erosion control issues within the watershed and what individuals can do to get involved.
Other campaign projects include working with CNMI Forestry to develop replanting programs for badly eroded areas, and providing incentives to encourage individuals to learn more about soil best management practices, and engage them in these efforts. Other barrier removal strategies include providing vouchers for homeowners to receive free plants for their properties, as well as trainings in erosion control and how to maintain the plants.
Find the campaign’s photo album here.