CNMI Senate To Discuss Live Touch Marine Park Project

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‘Sea Touch’ generally supported, only location called into question

By Cherrie Anne E. Villahermosa

SAIPAN, CNMI (Marianas Variety, Oct. 24, 2014) – The Senate will hold a session today to discuss the Sea Touch project among other items on the agenda.

Sen. Frank M. Borja, the chairman of Senate Committee on Resources, Economic Development and Programs, in an interview yesterday said they want to look into Sea Touch’s submerged land lease agreement with the Department of Land and Natural Resources.

He said he does not yet know what the discussion will be about or how the other members will address the concerns regarding the project location that were raised during a public hearing on Tuesday afternoon.

Borja said most of the people that attended the hearing were supportive of the project, and the only concern was the location which is the fishing ground off the Fiesta Resort beach.

"They support the idea, but they prefer that it be moved a little to the north. But the company said it is not feasible to move it because the water there is too shallow," Borja explained.

Sea Touch proposes to build a $1.125 million shark and stingray marine park project off the Fiesta Resort beach front.

Rep. Ramon Tebuteb is one of those opposed to the proposed location, saying it is a traditional fishing ground.

Despite Tebuteb’s opposition, the House approved the lease agreement during a session last month.

The Senate also has to approve it, and Borja said they will listen to members of the public who have concerns about the project.

"A lot of people requested a public hearing because of their concerns, and that’s why we conducted one. The committee will look into those concerns. They are under review by the committee and placed on today’s agenda, so we’ll see what will happen next," Borja said.

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