VIDEO: Mayors Call on Governor Calvo to Declare State of Emergency Over Invasive Species Damage

82

Guam – The island’s mayors today called on Governor Calvo to declare a state of emergency over the damage being done by invasive species. The mayors are asking for help in managing their green waste which is blamed for spreading the pests.

Mayors went into deep discussion about the island’s lack of resources for green waste management. Mayors voiced that with no working solution in getting rid of green waste, it is only adding more problems with the growing population of invasive species.

Chalan Pago-Ordot Mayor Jessy Gogue said, “We can talk and talk until we’re blue in the face. What we end up doing and telling residents when they seek our help in managing green waste…it’s not just the government, we have the villages, we have DPW cutting vegetation, GPA, and private contractors also cutting vegetation on top of the residents who have no one else to turn to.” 

Mayor Gogue said one of the reasons why the green waste issue is not being addressed is because it is not listed as one of the Guam Environmental Protection Agency’s programs, which he believes it clearly needs to be. 

He said, “We need to step up and address this with Guam EPA. We’ve got millions of dollars sitting that we can adequately utilize to address the serious problems we have. Not just with the amount of waste on this island but other things that are affecting our environment today and it’s affecting all 19 districts.”

In response, Sinajana Mayor Robert Hoffman said after years of trying to come up with a solution with Guam EPA, they’re still waiting. 

Mayor Hoffman said, “We introduced that as part of our Green Waste Management Plan several years ago with EPA about buying 3 mulchers for the Mayor’s Council. We’re still waiting for last year’s funding for recycling. It’s a slow and steady process. Unfortunately, the money collected for recycling isn’t going where it’s supposed to.” 

After much discussion, Yona Mayor Ken Joe Ada made a motion to send a letter to Governor Calvo, in which all the mayors voted yes. He said with the invasive species devastating our island so quickly, the governor should declare a state of emergency.