CNMI Watersheds Assessment and Planning

To kick off a week of field assessments, Brian Kuchar (HW) and Rob Jordan (KOA Consulting) view Saipan Lagoon from the headwaters of the Achugao watershed on Saipan.

Project Description

Horsley Witten Group, KOA Consulting, TNC, and Sea Change Consulting are teaming up with the CNMI Bureau of Environmental and Coastal Quality and the NOAA Coral Reef Conservation Program to develop three watershed plans on Saipan: Garapan, Achugao, and Laolao Bay watersheds. These watersheds represent different development densities, land use patterns, and socioeconomic priorities. All three, however, suffer from bacteria, nutrients, and other land-based pollutants. This project will help define the watershed services valued most by the people of the CNMI and the management approach for each watershed moving forward.

Garapan and Laolao Bay watersheds both have a Conservation Action Plan that will form the framework of the watershed plan. More information on the Garapan and Laolao bay watersheds can be found on the BECQ-DCRM website.

Watershed Mapping

Field crews conducted rapid watershed assessments the week of January 20th - just in time for Chinese New Year and to return home before the realities of COVID-19 became apparent. 

Click here to access ArcGIS Online mapping of drainage infrastructure and potential restoration project sites.

Click here for a blog describing field activities.

Click here for Laolao Bay Watershed Report Maps.

Click here for Achugao Watershed Report Maps.


Agency & Public Engagement

Stakeholder workshops were conducted the week of January 20th to develop a better understanding of agency priorities in and visions for management of each of the watersheds. Additional opportunities for public input will be provided post-coronavirus social distancing.



View Map

Check out watershed maps and access drainage infrastructure mapping data and locations where potential watershed restoration projects were identified


Laolao Bay Watershed Existing Conditions and Opportunities Report-DRAFT

2020 Achugao Watershed Conditions and Opportunities Interim Report DRAFT

Appendix A Achugao Field Forms

2020 Garapan Integrated Watershed Report FINAL


Send us an email with your questions/comments/photos

Zachary Williams, Watershed Coordinator, Division of Coastal Resources Management
Anne Kitchell, Horsley Witten Group, Inc.
Becky Skeele , KOA Consulting
Meghan Gombos, Sea Change Consulting
Robbie Greene, NOAA Coral Reef Conservation Program