Saipan Lagoon User Education Plan

The Saipan Lagoon is one of the most valuable resources within the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas Islands (CNMI) that serves various recreational, educational, and economic functions. There are numerous users of the lagoon that conduct their respective activities in different areas throughout the whole area. DCRM’s mission, at its core, is to protect and enhance its coastal resources for citizens through effective and adaptive resource management in a manner that builds and sustains community resilience and overall well-being.

In order to effectively manage a resource as vast as the lagoon, DCRM developed the Saipan Lagoon Use Management Plan (SLUMP). The SLUMP was originally developed in 1985 has gone through several updates to adapt to emerging threats to the resource. Since the inception of the original management plan, there has been a significant increase of user demands on lagoon resources. Most of these threats are a result of human impact while few occur naturally. Several of these impacts include negative effects to water quality in the lagoon, threats to coral reef ecosystems, and an increase in the number of users at any given time.

As a result of the most recent (2017) SLUMP update, Lagoon management recommendations were provided to DCRM. Recognizing the necessity of building upon the momentum of the 2017 update, where user conflict and lagoon-use dominated the conversations, DCRM is focusing its efforts on Recommendation #4: Develop and Implement a Saipan Lagoon User Management Plan. Partnering with Marianas Visitors Authority (MVA), Northern Marianas College (NMC), and many other agencies, DCRM is working with the Marine Sports Operator community to ensure a stakeholder informed product is delivered out of Recommendation #4. 

The recommendations offered in this document will help lagoon users conduct their activities in a sustainable fashion that will minimize direct impacts on our resources. It is important that resource users are informed so that they actively protect and maintain a healthy environment so that economic prosperity, cultural values, and environmental integrity are balanced. Saipan Lagoon User Education Plan 2020 is now accessible to the public. The plan can be found below, which can also be accessed and downloaded here.

Saipan Lagoon Users Education Plan 2020_FINAL