This project is funded and coordinated through the Bureau of Environmental and Coastal Quality – Division of Coastal Resources Management (BECQ – DCRM) for the purpose of updating the Saipan Lagoon Use Management Plan (SLUMP). The SLUMP gives guidance to DCRM coastal planners and permit managers regarding coastal and marine resource use in the lagoon. Information in the SLUMP is used to identify priority issues and pursue management projects in order to ensure economic activity and habitat conservation within the lagoon are balanced in a way to benefit the CNMI public. The SLUMP was first developed in1985 and then updated in 1997 and in 2012. DCRM updates the SLUMP on a regular basis in order to adapt to changes in environmental and economic conditions and user groups.

The 2017 update will include a focus on the following topics:

a) a review and assessment of lagoon use impacts on ecological systems, especially benthic habitats;
b) the prioritization of lagoon ecosystems for potential conservation and management;
c) a review of management standards and use priorities related to pollutant/wastewater discharge, specifically in relation to BECQ's water quality monitoring program; and
d) an assessment of the multiple recreational, commercial, and subsistence uses in the lagoon and a review of DCRM’s marine sports regulations and permitting system.

The SLUMP update will include a review of the current state of the lagoon, a review and synopsis of relevant technical data and reports, GIS data, needs assessments, and stakeholder input. This information will feed into prioritization and recommendations for future management of the economic and biological resources of the lagoon, including the application of coastal and marine spatial planning and resource management tools.

“Every problem has a solution. You may not see it in front of you, but, sooner or later, a solution will appear before your eyes.” ― Ubaldina M. Gibbs