Local business supports ‘green’ causes

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THE Micronesian Islands Nature Alliance recently received a monetary donation from Salty Skin Pacific to support MINA’s mission of empowering communities for conservation.

MINA is supported by project grants and generous contributions from local businesses and community members such as Salty Skin Pacific.

 “Salty Skin's donation is a great example of what this empowerment means to our conservation efforts here in the CNMI and the acknowledgment that our programs are valued by our business partners and the community at large,” said MINA program director Becky Ada Furey.

 “This is particularly meaningful during the challenges that the CNMI is currently facing from the Covid-19 pandemic and the climate crisis. This time is more crucial than ever to support local nonprofits,” she added.

Salty Skin Pacific, she said, recognizes the importance of partnership to move forward and “the message is that we — as a community — can make a difference by doing the little things that matter.”

Founded by James Lee and Joseph “Joe” Villacrusis, Salty Skin Pacific sells products that are available at Boarderline in Garapan.

“When we first decided to build this company, we already knew that we wanted to share our profit with helping our environment,” Villacrusis said. “We are aware of the current issues surrounding our environment, especially our surrounding waters. These issues are at a global scale and we want to first start locally when it comes to our efforts to have a healthier environment.”

He added, “We knew that MINA would be our first non-governmental organization that would benefit from us. We didn't expect for the current pandemic to happen — it has slowed our first year's sales. We projected to donate more than we did, but given our circumstances we are happy with our efforts.”

Salty Skin Pacific, he said, is currently working with newly crowned Miss Northern Marianas Earth Maria Terlaje on some of her environmental projects.

Salty Skin Pacific co-founders Joseph “Joe” Villacrusis, left, and James Lee, right, participated in the 35th International Coastal Cleanup this year. Salty Skin Pacific photo

“We would like the public to know that although we are in a for-profit business, our main goal and movement is to help contribute to a cleaner environment through outreach and education, partnerships with government agencies and non-government organizations, and services such as beach cleanups,” Villacrusis said.

Most of their outreach for now involves sharing information from other agencies through the Salty Skin Pacific social media accounts, mainly Instagram, he added.

“Most of the information we share are from MINA, local agencies [such as the Division of Coastal Resources Management] that are related to the environment and other organizations from around the world,” he said.

Salty Skin Pacific also participates in beach and underwater cleanups with friends and supporters, including other organizations and local businesses such as Saipan Cleanup, Ginen Tasi, and SpnDylus, Villacrusis said.

“This year we did our second International Coastal Cleanup and drew in so many volunteers. In our first year, there were less than 15 of us. This year, we had over 30 volunteers and we partnered with Ina's Kitchen in providing lunch while Marpac sponsored our drinks in the morning.”

Villacrusis said Miss Northern Marianas Earth Maria Terlaje joined Salty Skin Pacific in the 2020 International Coastal Cleanup.

“We are also proud to share that we sponsored her during her run for the pageant and we have plans to continue supporting her throughout her reign,” he added.

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To support MINA in empowering communities for conservation, visit

November 2020 pssnewsletter

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