US military plans to dredge CNMI reef for assault vehicles

3:48 pm on 9 April 2015

The United States military says it plans to dredge 20 to 30 percent of Unai Chulu, a reef habitat off the Northern Marianas island of Tinian, so it can build a ramp for military assault vehicles.

The plan is detailed in the CNMI Joint Military Training Enviornmental Impact Statement, which was published by the military last weekend and is now open for public comment.

The reef is considered an essential habitat for fish to spawn, breed and grow, according to the Bureau of Environmental and Coastal Quality.

The Bureau says it will be expressing its concerns about the offshore construction, saying it plans to show how dredging such a large expanse of coral could have spillover effects for the CNMI.