Guam – The Mariana Trench Monument Advisory Council [MTMAC] wrapped up their inaugural 2 day meeting in Saipan Wednesday during which they adopted a preliminary draft of the council’s bylaws.
According to a report in the Saipan Tribune, the by-laws now head to the legal counsels of the U.S. Department of Commerce and the U.S. Department of the Interior for review.
The MTMAC is an advisory body only and the by-laws they developed are meant to assist the Departments of Interior and Commerce in carrying out their management roles over the Marianas Trench Marine National Monument.
Pacific Reefs Superintendent for the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Susan White, told the Tribune that completing the draft by-laws in only 2 days was “nothing short of miraculous, monumental,” adding that it is “a testament to everybody’s commitment to making this advisory council really work.”
The Mariana Trench Marine Monument which was declared on January 6, 2009 by U.S. President George Bush.
The trench stretches 1,580 miles off the eastern coast of the Mariana Islands but its mean width is only 43 miles.
[L -R: Vice Chair John Joyner, CNMI; Arnold Palacios, CNMI; Susan White, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service; council chair Benigno M. Sablan, CNMI; Lisa Ku’ulei Croft, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration; Morgan Roper, U.S. Coast Guard. Back row, L-R: Heidi Hirsh, NOAA; Roy Tsutsui, U.S. Department of Defense; and Barry Stieglitz, U.S. FWS. [Photo: courtesy Saipan Tribune]