Rain gardens are sunken depressions, or ‘dips,’ that allow stormwater to soak into the ground. Stormwater becomes a problem when it picks up pollutants, like dirt, or oil and other toxic materials, or when it goes through piggeries, farms, and gardens full of fertilizers. This polluted stormwater eventually goes into our oceans and directly affects our coral reefs. Rain gardens can help slow down, collect and filter stormwater. They can help reduce the amount of stormwater, and as a result, reduce the amount of pollutants and sediment that goes into our ocean after rainfall.
Click on the image to the right to learn more about one way you can make your yard ocean friendly!
The Northern Mariana Islands are surrounded by coral reef ecosystems. They give us food, enjoyment, economy and protection. For all these reasons, the coral reefs our important to us. The CNMI's Marine Monitoring Team regularly observes our reefs to track their health. They've collected data from the Northern Islands all the way down to Rota. Their observations (and, maybe yours someday) have given us a better picture of how well our coral reefs are doing.This site was created to introduce you to work of the marine monitoring team. Through this site you will learn to conduct one type of monitoring called a reef flat survey. Begin your lesson by clicking on WHY CORAL REEFS? on your left to explore the everyday value of our reefs. Then go on to WHY MONITOR? to learn about the importance of science for managing impacts to coral reefs. Finally, go to LEARN TO SURVEY to take the Reef Flat Survey Course, play the quadrat game and learn your species using flashcards.
Wherever you see bare soil, you're seeing water pollution waiting to happen! When land is cleared and left bare, the soil is easily washed away by rain and strong winds. This is called soil erosion. The loose soil runs into the streams and pollutes our waters. Coral reefs are affected by the dirty water. Keeping our watersheds healthy protects the quality of our ecosystems on land and in the ocean.
Every time we disturb the soil or cut down a tree in any part of our island, we affect the watershed. Because much of the low parts of the island forest has been cleared for houses and villages, the upper watershed is even more important in providing clean water for us and our reefs.
Tour operators and their clients have some of the greatest impacts on our beaches, lagoon, and protected areas. They also have the greatest capacity to help us protect them, to ensure the continuity of our islands' economies, our natural resources, and our culture. Use the image below as link to learn more about how tour operators and tourists can help to protect our marine environment.
For conservation managers, the module compiles the latest scientific research and tools to help address impacts of climate change and other major threats and promote healthy reefs that persist over time. Watch the video for an introduction, godirectly to a section of the module using the navigation menu that appears on the left of each page, or click through the slides below to see what's inside. Or follow this link to a simple 1 hour course on reef resilience for the general public.
Follow this link.
Coral reefs are some of the most diverse ecosystems in the world. Thousands of species rely on reefs for survival. Thousands of communities all over the world also depend on coral reefs for food, protection and jobs.
The Coral Tutorial is an overview of the biology of and threats to coral reefs, as well as efforts being made to conserve and protect them. It includes images, animations, and videos. The Roadmap to Resources complements the tutorial. It directs you to specific online coral data and information from the National Ocean Service and NOAA.
The world’s oceans currently absorb approximately 79 million tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) released into the atmosphere every day. Over the past 250 years, the world's oceans have absorbed about one third of the CO2 released due to human activities. Corals are only adapted to very specific physical and chemical environments. Even slight changes in ocean acidity can make an area deadly for corals, and the species which depend upon them.
Carbonic acid is formed as a result of dissolving CO2 in water. In seawater, some of the acid (H+) is consumed by reacting with carbonate ion (CO32-) to form bicarbonate ion (HCO3-). Thus, ocean acidification not only reduces surface ocean pH, but also reduces the availability of carbonate ion.