Letter to the Editor: Concern over dredging of white sand on the reefs of “Parem-kep” or “Kepkepin-parem”

I write as a concerned citizen to the People of Pohnpei, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Conservationist NGOs and the Pohnpei leadership in which the good people of Pohnpei have entrusted to manage and protect present and future interests of the island within the three developing sectors Agriculture, Fisheries and Tourism.
Everyone who was born and still living right after both the US Navy and DOI administrations of our island would simply notice the dramatic changes not only to our modernization standards, but evidently more ongoing alarming impact to our marine environment. The modernization of Pohnpei has a tremendous touch on our social development as well as actual meeting demands of needed/required island growth. Long story short, under the name of progress and development, we are still witnessing the fast rising effects of enhanced transformation and more marine environmental oversight impacts which are still considered overlooked or less responsive.
I believe we have arrived at the point of serious contemplation and to move beyond such stage and begin addressing near future answers. In light of our close connections and encounters with the land and sea we grew up living, consuming and respecting what God has provided naturally. Consequently, in the name of current progress development, we now face unwanted environmental and ecological impacts that may take thousands of years to heal. Traveling abroad, I witnessed a very modernized and developed island nation which is still self-sustainable under most of her land/ sea/tourism economy resources, and as a matter of factm that island does not rely mostly on imports. The country managed her own building construction codes and related development policies or law. It is mandatory there that no building is constructed taller than the tallest tree on the island.
Now, perhaps it is time we must put in some serious thoughts. Please notice that as construction of many types of our infrastructure moves forward, it is manifestly clear that we will not only deplete or offset nature of our valuable concerned resources, but may directly produce a gloomy impact to the normal ecological system of our island. Here we are also looking at sea creatures (both big, small and microscopic) and, moreover the present effects under diverting the steady natural currents which will be for sure affected the land and reef thought erosion and remigration of ocean creatures, also considering the contributing impact of climate changes in the pacific.
I am a frequent visitor of the reefs and believe me it is not a good sight. Nonetheless, my observation is genuine and I don’t need to interview the mentioned parties. The sea is beautiful with clear waters, yet I have a frightful notion that the site may not be long for the next generation of Pohnpeians to cherish. I still believe there is a way to look into more effective alternatives to continue progress under less or no damaging impact to our reefs.
Tony Lucios

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