Teach-In on MITT impact on Guam’s environment and quest for self-determination Aug. 17
August 15, 2017 – As part of their ongoing series of monthly Teach-Ins that provide insight into important issues affecting Guam, Independent Guåhan will be holding its next meeting on August 17 from 6:00 – 7:30 P.M. in UOG HSS 106 to discuss the Mariana Islands Training and Testing study area or MITT. The MITT is something relatively unknown to most in Guam or the Marianas Islands, but is an essential part of Guam’s strategic value and a key reason the island is under current threats from North Korea. The community will have until September 15, 2017 to provide comments on the MITT and this Teach-In is organized to help inform the public on the issue and how to provide comments. It is free and open to the public.
The MITT aims to expand the range of the Department of Defense training area in the region to 984,469 square nautical miles—larger than eight US states combined. The MITT allows for 12,580 detonations of various magnitudes per year for 5 years and 81,962 takings of 26 different marine mammal species per year for 5 years due to detonation, sonar, and other training and testing activity. Additionally, the MITT allows damage or kill of over 6 square miles of endangered coral reefs plus an additional 20 square miles of coral reef around the island of Farallon de Medinilla, through the use of highly explosive bombs.
Guam’s community has until September 15th in order to provide public comment on this activity that puts the region’s resources at risk and also increases our status as a target for enemies of the United States.
The Teach-In will discuss the specific threats these actions by DOD will affect our environment and natural resources, but also in general how it will affect issues of indigenous rights and political status change. Currently as a colony, Guam is limited in ways it can protect itself from these adverse activities. Looking to the future, the Teach-In will conclude with a discussion on how as an independent nation, Guam could enact policies that protect our resources and that honors and respects our relationship with our lands and waters.
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