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By Haidee V. Eugenio

SAIPAN, Northern Mariana Islands (July 26, 2001 - Marianas Variety/PINA Nius Online)---Shoreline erosion is visible in some areas of Saipan and the Coastal Resources Management agency has urged preventative measures.

It warns that grave erosion problems similar those on Managaha Island, which is reported to face 50-70 feet of sand erosion over a three-year period, may be experienced if action is not taken.

Saipan's shoreline's erosion and accretion rate is now a subject of a joint project by Coastal Resources Management and the U.S. Army Corps of


Erosion is a result of three factors: Removal of trees close to the shoreline, building of structures near the shoreline, and the movement of water and wind.

Benny Pangelinan, Coastal Resources Management coordinator, said while erosion had always been a concern, detailed studies and projects to determine its exact rate had yet to be undertaken.

So far, the Army Corps has taken two shoreline erosion aerial photos,

"The Army Corps needs to take one or two more aerial photos to really determine the extent of the erosion, the most affected area and the direction of movement of the erosion," Pangelinan said.

"So far, the rate of erosion along the shoreline is not yet alarming. Only Managaha's erosion rate is alarming," Pangelinan said.

The Army Corps is now finalizing the Managaha erosion's environmental impact study. The next step is to prepare the Managaha erosion model, estimated to cost $365,000.

This is referred to as the "technical report," incorporating several option plans to choose from should the Northern Marianas wants to do something about the Managaha erosion, according to Pangelinan.

The Army Corps Korean surveying team recently visited Saipan to do some topographic mapping of the northern and northeast sections of Managaha to determine the extent of the erosion.

Pangelinan said the final erosion report would be incorporated in the technical report being prepared by the Army Corps Honolulu District.

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