Saipanese joined the International March for the Ocean

By Lori Lyn Lirio

Organizers of the M40 or March for the Oceans Genzo Gonzales and Kaya Rasa, kneeling in front, join the community members who participated in the event. Photo © Lori Lyn Lirio

SAIPAN joined the historic day for the seas early this month as its folks from all ages joined the International March for the Ocean.

About 80 individuals – all wearing blue shirts – joined the June 9, march started at 7 a.m. at Guma Sakman in Susupe and ended at Atkins Kroll intersection an hour or so later.

The 3k walk was organized by 16-year-old Genzo Gonzales and 12-year-old Kaya Rasa, who received the 2018 seal of Heirs to our Oceans.

According to Gonzales, the march was dedicated to World Oceans Day, which was celebrated on June 8.

“We strongly take part in this activity because Chamorro and Carolinians are seafaring people. We look strongly to the ocean as our way of life – we live from it, we fish from it, we eat from it.”

Rasa said the march was meant to bring a message of support to the ocean.

“We would like to pass down the message for everyone to be aware of what is happening to our island, our ocean and just to keep it clean,” she said.

The duo said they plan to make this event an annual thing.

Gonzales said there should be more events where youth can gather together and talk about the things they wanted to change.

“It is good to have youth get involved by leading in gatherings of different events and activities so that we can come out and help our ocean.”

“I hope to achieve island-wide awareness of taking more care, honor and pride in our oceans and to instill a passion and love to our young generations for our oceans because they will inherit the responsibility to care for it,” Gonzales said.

Gonzales and Rasa had been the recipient of the 2018 seal of the Heirs to the Ocean.

The former heir was Yarawe Ythemar. He represented the CNMI in the International Summer Camp in Palau in 2017.

Gonzales and Rasa will be this year’s CNMI representatives for the summer camp also in Palau on June 17 to July 1.
Roberta Guerrero, MINA executive director Roberta Guerrero thanked Gonzales and Rasa for taking the lead in organizing the environmental event.

“They reached out to us for support and we are very honor to be a part of it. They are the next generation of our community leader here.”


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