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MVA and Hyatt remove close to 1,000 lbs of trash from public beach

The Marianas Visitors Authority and Hyatt Regency Saipan joined forces last Friday and removed close to 1,000 lbs of trash and green waste during their third endeavor of cleaning the public beach nestled between Crowne Plaza Resort Saipan and the Hyatt in Garapan.

Despite the temperamental weather and rain, teams from MVA and Hyatt, with the help of the Division of Parks and Recreation under the Department of Lands and Natural Resources, removed truckloads of green waste, debris, and trash from the beach, a nearby jungle area, as well as floating debris on the ocean.

The public beach, often mistaken as Hyatt’s beach, borders the resort-hotel and extends toward the neighboring Crowne Plaza hotel and, although the property is not part of the hotel, Hyatt had been receiving complaints about the cleanliness and condition of the beach, so it decided to take an active role in helping clean the area.

Hyatt Regency Saipan general manager Simon Graf, MVA managing director Chris Concepcion, and projector coordinator Ray Villagomez were all on site helping the cleanup.

Graf said that, although Hyatt would try to maintain the grounds of the public beach as well as their own, it is often difficult and frustrating as the traffic of recreational users in the area continue to leave trash behind, making the job almost impossible, with the buildup of the trash and the debris requiring heavy machinery to move—machinery that they don’t have.

As the beach was one of the only beaches open during the COVID -19 pandemic, it quickly became a hot spot for parties and recreation, Graf sees nothing wrong with this, but it only became a problem when beachgoers became irresponsible with their trash. It not only affected the beauty of the site, but gave visiting tourists a bad impression.

Another thing that concerns Graf are the cars that would drive onto the beach and park close to the water. There had been times where 15 cars were driven out and parked on the sandy stretch of the beach, he said.

According to Concepcion, these cars shouldn’t be able to drive all the way onto the beach like that. After hearing Hyatt and Crowne Plaza’s requests, MVA spoke with DPL and other stakeholders and were able to purchase a chain and padlock to block off and prevent vehicular access to the beach.

Graf shared his appreciation to MVA for responding and working with them, especially in preventing vehicle access to the beach, which has greatly improved the area.

During the team’s break, Graf thanked the participating volunteers who had come out to help. “…It’s not really only a Hyatt effort but it’s a community effort,” adding that their care goes beyond the borders of the hotel property. “We can’t do it alone.”

Concepcion said that both Hyatt and Crowne Plaza had reached out to them for help in clearing up the area, and they were happy to help partners in the tourism industry.

“…The partnership with Hyatt and the Crowne group and the relevant government agencies that are involved is critical so that there’s a concerted effort from everybody to make sure the little things that affect the tourism industry are taken care of,” said Concepcion.

Villagomez said they were able to remove nearly 1,000 lbs of waste and heavy debris that had been on the public beach and water, some caused debris washing up from eroding beach areas. The next goal is to make the spot “more enjoyable and safer for tourists.”

He thanked Coastal Resource Management for the permits, the CNMI Division of Fish and Wildlife, the Department of Environmental and Coastal Quality, Department of Lands and Natural Resources, and the Saipan Mayor’s Office for helping.

For this week, Villagomez said, they have scheduled to remove the metal remains of what used to be a beach volleyball court in the area. He said they tried to contact the Saipan Volleyball Association several times but has not received any word from them yet, “…so we’re just helping Hyatt remove that because…it’s kind of dangerous for tourists.”


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