Improving Public Access

DCRM’s Strategic Plan Goal 1: “Public access and use of coastal resources are enhanced, protected, and restored.”


DCRM is committed to maintaining and enhancing public access to coastal areas.

Below are Public Enhancement Projects funded pursued by the DCRM Planning Section. Please reach out to DCRM ( with any comments or concerns regarding the public access enhancement.

JEFFREY’S BEACH BOARDWALK project (in progress – estimated completion end of 2026)

Jeffrey’s Beach is the CNMI’s largest estuary, where the Talafofo Stream meets the Pacific Ocean. This beach site is frequented by residents and visitors given its unique natural setting in the cliff-type eastern shoreline of Saipan. Public access enhancement for Jeffrey’s Beach is identified through the Saipan Shoreline Access & Shoreline Enhancement Assessment with a recommendation to address the heavily eroding dirt road. This roadway runs through native wetland and beach strand forest and is accessed from Route 36. During rainy conditions, this road threatens the stream and beach with sedimentation. Slippy and muddy conditions posit risk to those who use the road with high clearance vehicles or traverse the road on foot.

The Talofofo Stream flows to the receiving ocean waters, making Jeffrey's Beach a unique sight in the CNMI.
The Talofofo Stream flows to the receiving ocean waters, making Jeffrey’s Beach a unique sight in the CNMI.
Degraded conditions of the roadway during the wet season
Degraded conditions of the roadway during the wet season










DCRM proposed a 400-meter (1,312 feet) boardwalk project to address these identified issues, improve habitat, enhance public access for those who visit and sightsee in the area. The boardwalk includes railing, observation decks, stairways.

The Inflation Reduction Act funding through Office of Insular Affairs (OIA) has awarded $903,070 the CNMI to restore and rehabilitate Jeffrey’s Beach for public use, while also preventing erosion, damage, and run-off. DCRM is currently working on the local and federal permitting process towards the construction of Jeffrey’s Beach Boardwalk.


LAO LAO BAY DIVE markers (completed)

Lao Lao Bay has long been one of the more popular dive sites on the island of Saipan for residents and tourists alike. Before tourism was impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, hundreds of visitors would go to the site each day. It is likely that the number of visitors will increase when tourism resumes based on historical tourism trends in the CNMI. The 2015 DCRM Public Access Guide for Saipan, Tinian, and Rota identified several channels that divers utilize to enter the deeper expanses of the bay. To the inexperienced diver or tourist unfamiliar with the area, these channels may be difficult to identify, and footing can be hazardous due to incoming waves. Without visual aids, divers follow local tour operators who are knowledgeable about these paths and utilize ropes that have been installed at drop-off points to enter the deeper areas.

To address this issue, in July 2022, DCRM contracted the professional services of Tasi Research & Consulting (TRC) to carry out the installation of the dive markers and information signage. The dive markers provide experienced and inexperienced divers alike, with the visual aids needed to guide them to the dive spots. Moreover, the purpose of this project is to alleviate stress on the adjacent coral reef environments and narrow the footprint of divers, residents, and visitors. For the terrestrial component, TRC had received input from various divers on Saipan about the initial concept for the associated signage for the dive markers. TRC had worked with DCRM Outreach Coordinators on the design and development of the signage, which will be installed onto a preexisting frame at the Lao Lao Bay dive site.

DCRM regularly maintains these markers for dive use.

The previous condition of the dive path guide rope leading into Lao Lao Bay. July 2018.
Previous condition of the guide rope leading into Lao Lao Bay dive drop-off site. July 2018.
Installation of Lao Lao Bay Dive Marker. October 2022.