Guam – Guam has a problem with erosion and runoff that ends up in the ocean and kills the reef and surrounding ecosystem. That was the message given by Guam Coastal Management Administrator Vangie Lujan during a legislative roundtable meeting Tuesday.
The roundtable discussion was called to figure out how to improve storm water management on the island and reduce the erosion that is contributing to the destruction of the island’s reefs.
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Lujan told lawmakers that several things are causing erosion on Guam. Poor construction practices, farming, wild pigs and deer, recreational activities like off roading, and wild fires. Lujan says that in just the first four months of this year alone over 2000 acres of vegetation have burned due to wild fires. Lujan gave several suggestions for ways to prevent erosion.
She suggested increasing education for developers and the construction industry, increasing enforcement and permitting staff, training for agency staff, developer certification courses, reducing wild-fire arson through education and enforcement, educating farmers and people about clearing land, and converting badlands into forests.
“It takes a while but like what we see in Ugum, is that once you have it it provides a lot of things fire breaks, holding down the soil, habitat, so there’s a lot of value…resistance to fire[for example],” explained Lujan.
The Guam Coastal Zone Management Administrator says there are other natural ways to prevent erosion for example making rain gardens that use native plants and materials that hold water instead of running it off into the ocean.