“This grant, in addition to the $250,000 provided by the local government, will help fund the educational materials to our people as required before a self-determination vote. The request for this support was made about a year ago, in light of the federal government’s support for the Puerto Rico plebiscite but more importantly because we need to press forward.”
– Governor Eddie Baza Calvo
$1.5M in Interior funds includes climate change, cultural preservation
Guam received word this morning that $1.5 million in federal funds will help pay for the self-determination public outreach campaign as well as climate change projects, natural and cultural resource preservation, and other programs.
Governor Calvo pushed for a $250,000 in local funds for the Office of Decolonization to help fund education outreach, providing information on the three status options as required by law. Those options are: free association, independence and statehood.
Last year, the Governor also sent a letter to the U.S. Department of the Interior requesting the courtesy extended to Puerto Rico be extended to Guam. The federal government has provided Puerto Rico with money for the U.S. territory’s plebiscite.
“It is essential that we, as a people, have the opportunity to determine for ourselves, and declare to the rest of the world, our political status,” Governor Calvo stated.
In a written statement, U.S. Department of the Interior’s Assistant Secretary for Insular Areas Assistant Secretary Kia’aina, noted her appreciation of the island’s leaders to move Guam’s self-determination vote forward.
“This year’s funding reflects the priorities and issues of importance to the people of Guam including self-determination, public safety, climate change, natural and cultural resources, and capacity building for non-governmental organizations,” said U.S. Department of the Interior’s Assistant Secretary for Insular Areas Assistant Secretary Kia’aina.
The various Technical Assistance Program grants, including one Maintenance Assistance Program grant awarded for 2016 follow:
Guam Self-Determination Community Education Outreach Program — $300,000 to the Commission on Decolonization to implement a comprehensive community educational outreach program in preparation for a planned 2018 plebiscite.
Boat Ramp Feasibility Study — $260,000 for the Guam Economic Development Authority to conduct a feasibility study that will look at possible boat ramp locations on the eastern shore of Guam, to assure the quality of life and enhance public safety. Such access would also create economic development opportunities by allowing easier public access that would ultimately benefit Guam’s tourism and recreation industry.
Guam Preservation Trust for the Pacific Preservation Project — $126,473 to develop and conduct a series of natural and cultural resource preservation trainings throughout the Pacific, to give communities and stakeholders the tools necessary to preserve these resources, historic sites, and cultural heritage from the threatening effects of climate change.
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Guam for the Leadership Collaborative Project – $66,321 for the second year of this successful initiative that focuses on capacity building of nonprofit organizations to better serve the constituents of Guam. With trainings, curriculum and program enhancements and volunteer developments, especially in regards to domestic violence, poverty, and disenfranchisement, the staff and volunteers of these organizations will be better equipped to aid both the indigenous and Micronesian populations on island.
Guam Humanities Council “Taking Root — Growing Youth Empowerment for Island Sustainability” — $48,523 to support the development of an outdoor youth initiative that will provide an educational program that focuses on natural and cultural resources, climate change, capacity building, life skills development and cross-cultural exchange through a three-week summer program, a yearlong series of events and activities centered on a youth-led climate change action plan and Guam’s first Youth Sustainability Conference.
Climate Change Action Plan Projects — $450,000 for various projects that support multi-sector collaboration and long-term planning developed by the Guam Climate Change Task Force established by the Calvo Tenorio Administration’s Executive Order 2015-08:
- Vulnerability Analysis of Built Environments at Coastal Bays ($190,000) — The University of Guam will produce a comprehensive report of long-term climate change impacts on infrastructure and other assets to educate the community at large, promote responsible policies regarding resilient infrastructure, sustainable land use and economic models.
- Pilot Climate Geographic Information System (GIS) Project ($83,500)— The Guam Office of Technology (OTECH) will develop a visual demonstration of existing conditions and different climate scenarios, within a predefined area, to understand the geography of climate and predict change. OTECH will use this pilot as a template for a Government of Guam GIS system, which would allow the Government of Guam to better understand climate change’s effects on the surrounding geography, such as temperature changes, rainfall, stream flow, etc.
- All-Planners Climate Training Workshops ($48,000)— Sustainability planning workshops will be conducted, aiming at educating municipal planners in various sectors, including building professionals, cultural and natural resources entities, insurance and finance.
- Multi-Sector Resiliency Workshops ($48,500)— The University of Guam will conduct workshops in order to provide climate change risk guidance and solutions for smaller community entities, such as village mayors and businesses, in order to build resiliency and strengthen climate change adaptation measures.
- Update & Plan Storm Water Program and Implementation ($80,000)— The Department of Public Works will update both the Storm Water Management Plan and existing Storm Water Manual to account for climate change effects including sea level rise, storm surge, and rainfall and which will aid in planning of mitigating efforts.
And finally, the Maintenance Assistance Program was awarded to Guam Department of Corrections for an Assessment and Master Plan Project —$250,000 for a comprehensive facilities assessment and plan. Currently operating at 274% above its rated capacity, the Department of Corrections will conduct an assessment of its facilities and prepare a master plan to accommodate improvement and future growth.