I used to live in Chalan Piao. It took about twenty minutes to drive from there to work. My commute along the way was always juxtaposed by peace and desperation. Beach Road offered two vignettes. To the right of me at most times were poker arcades, strip clubs and small businesses on the verge of collapse. Ah, but to the left was the ocean: the vast, beautiful, and boundless sea. I rolled my windows down and let the ocean wind and salt season the start of each day.
We islanders always find our way to the sea. It is where we live, fish, gather to play, go to cry; it is where we look for and many times find ourselves. The ocean does not separate us from the rest of world, it connects us. But, unlike it's reach, the bounties of the sea are not boundless.
I support The National Park of the Sea for the same reasons everyone else has stated. It will be good for our economy, eco-tourism makes sense for our locale, it will highlight the beauty that is the Marianas and of course, it will bring much needed protection for our natural environment and animal habitats. Future generations will hopefully be able to jump into our waters when they want to learn about marine life and not be forced to just read about it in Science books because of our negligence. But, the main reason I joined this blog candy contest is personal.
I am enthralled with the thought of a sanctuary. Sanctuary. Say it with me. A hiding place. A place of refuge. I can't remember how many times I've needed safe harbor. There were countless times I found my solace near the water's edge, looking out into our horizon, knowing that I was inextricably tied to it.
It's more than heritage or culture.
The ocean defines us.
It is more than our responsibility to care about it.
Out of respect and awe, we must protect it.