PRESS RELEASE (GUAM) United States Coral Reef Task Force (USCRTF) Meeting October 3-6, 2003

The Government of Guam is pleased to announce that it will host Part II of the 10th U.S. Coral Reef Task Force Meeting on October 6th, 2003. Co-hosted with the Government of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) and the U.S. Departments of Commerce and Interior, all meetings and events will take place from October 3-7, 2003. This is the first time the meeting will be held on Guam and the CNMI. The meeting will open on Saipan at the Dai Ichi Hotel and close on Guam at the Hilton Guam Hotel and Spa. Both meetings are from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm. The public is invited to participate at no charge.

The Governor of Guam, Felix Camacho, is a member of the USCRTF. Other members include the heads of the U.S. Departments of the Interior, Commerce (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration), Justice, Agriculture, Defense, Transportation, State, the Environmental Protection Agency, National Science Foundation, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, U.S. Agency for International Development, U.S. Coast Guard, and Governors from CNMI, Puerto Rico, American Samoa, State of Florida, State of Hawaii and the U.S. Virgin Islands. In addition, the Federated Sates of Micronesia, the Marshall Islands, and Palau have observer status.

During the meeting, the USCRTF will discuss implementation of the National Coral Reef Action Strategy, recognize significant contributions to coral reef conservation, and discuss implementation and development of three year Local Action Strategies. In addition, there will be a presentation on the Mariana Islands Research Cruise, a panel discussion on Traditional Coral Reef Management, and opportunities for public comments. Public testimony will be received on Guam on October 6, 2003. Written statements may also be submitted to the Task Force before or after the meeting, and will be accepted until October 20, 2004. Further information on registering for public comment is available in the Federal Register Notice.

Once finalized the agenda will be published on the web at Organizations and individuals wishing to attend should register on line at or contact: Becky Cruz Lizama, CNMI Point of Contact
Coastal Resources Management Office
Office of the Governor
P.O. Box 10007
Saipan, MP 96950
Telephone: (670) 664-8305

Several field trips are planned in Guam for October 5, 2003: a) A trip to Guam's Wildlife Refuge, Ritidian b) Southern Guam Tour to include discussions on the Ugum Watershed Project and Guam's Marine Protected Areas and c) Dive around Guam's coastline. More information on these trips will be available at

The public outreach and education message for the Coral Reefs on Guam is "Welcome to Our Home: Watch where you step, Don't Leave anything behind and Take only pictures."

For more information on Guam's participation, please contact Gerry Davis at the Department of Agriculture's Division of Aquatic and Wildlife Resources at (671) 735-3955