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By John Ravelo Staff Reporter

SAIPAN, Northern Mariana Islands (January 8, 2002 – Saipan Tribune)---Tourist-famous Managaha Island is suffering from significant erosion that has eaten up as much as 130 feet of its northeastern shoreline when compared to several years ago.

This was disclosed by coastal coordinator Benny Pangelinan of the Coastal Resources Management Office, citing a study conducted by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

"If go you down to Managaha, you will see that some of its coastal areas have become bare, and they’re down to the bone, which means the rocks are already exposed," Pangelinan said.

He said a pavilion that was previously erected near the shoreline has been destroyed by this erosion.

Pangelinan pointed out, though, that much of the sand that had been washed away from the northeastern side were deposited on the western portion of the island, extending the shoreline in this area where tourist activities are concentrated.

"The current rotates around the island. The [wave] surge comes from the north, pushing the water down east-south, then the south current sweeps it down to the west, depositing all the sand on the western section," he explained.

He said the Corps’ study did not indicate the extent of sand deposits on the western portion.

The Corps has already recommended several solutions, from which the CNMI government can choose, as to how it wants to control the erosion and damage to a portion of the island.

"One of them is the construction of a retaining wall protruding outside the north section [of Managaha]," Pangelinan said.

There were also two proposals to construct a breakwater along the shoreline on the northern side of the island, with only the thickness of the wall differing between the two, he said.

Pangelinan also mentioned another proposal, which is to construct the breakwater outside the shoreline to break the strength of the waves.

"Right now, the CNMI government will have to look into these and study which recommendation to adopt," Pangelinan said.

He said the CRMO would later ask the Corps to come up with a final engineering design for whichever proposal may be adopted.

Right now, he said the CRMO is still awaiting the Corps’ demonstration of Managaha miniature models, which are being created to test the effectiveness of the different proposals.

For additional reports from The Saipan Tribune, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Newspapers/The Saipan Tribune.

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