IN honor of 2021 Environmental Awareness Month, the Bureau of Environmental and Coastal Quality is holding a storm drain mural painting contest for high school and college students until Friday, April 9 in Garapan.

Contestants are given the opportunity to paint their message that raises awareness about the effects that littering has on the ocean.

This year’s theme is “A Clean Environment for a Healthy Community.”

BECQ noted that water from all over the island flows down storm drains, taking with it all of the trash and pollution from watersheds.

These eventually end up in the ocean where people swim and fish.

High school and college students are encouraged to submit their storm drain art to BECQ for a chance to win monetary prizes: $200 for first place, $100 for second place, $75 for third place, and $50 for each of five honorable mentions.

Students will also receive service learning or community service hours for this event.

The BECQ Storm Drain Committee will provide paint and other materials for the contestants.

Painting will begin on Wednesday, April 14.

For more information, contact Olivia Tenorio at 664-8531 or olivia.tenorio@becq.gov.mp

All participants are advised to practice the 3 Ws: Wear a mask, wash your hands and watch your distance.

Winners of the Storm Drain Mural Painting Contest will be announced on Tuesday, June 8, which falls on World Oceans Day.

Other activities

BECQ will also host a Recycling in the Marianas Competition on Wednesday, March 30, open to all public and private schools in Saipan.

Individual entries for the recycling competition will not be accepted.

In addition, BECQ will hold a roadside waving event to show support and raise awareness about environmental protection and conservation.

Public and private schools on Saipan will also have an opportunity to take an in-person tour of the BECQ water surveillance laboratory on Friday, April 9; Friday, April 16; Thursday, April 29; and Friday, April 30.

Moreover, a two-day virtual Environmental Expo will be held on Tuesday, April 27 and Wednesday, April 28 in which all fifth graders in the CNMI are welcome to attend and learn more about the Commonwealth’s environmental agencies and organizations.

This year’s Earth Day falls on Thursday, April 22. BECQ will be closed for the restoration of the rain garden at Tanapag Elementary School.

The CNMI Environmental Awareness Month celebration will be capped by an island-wide cleanup on Saturday, April 24, open to all public and private groups in Saipan. The goal is to bring the community together to pick up trash and debris, and beautify the CNMI.

For more information about the 2021 Environmental Awareness Month in the CNMI, contact  BECQ at 664-8500.

Reporter

K-Andrea is a Gates Millennium Scholar who earned her bachelor of arts degree in political science from St. Francis College in Brooklyn, NY. Since joining the MV team in Feb. 2020, she has been covering the political, environmental, and community beats.

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