Accessible Boardwalk Will Promote Habitat Protection and Education

The Takeaway: The commonwealth’s coastal program joined a multi-partner effort to protect water quality and important wildlife and marine species.

Tourists at popular Jeffrey’s Beach on the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands were driving over and destroying a fragile estuarine riverbed, ruining a rare wetland. The commonwealth’s Coastal Resources Management Program worked with partners to address the problem, designing a 250-foot boardwalk that will start at the designated parking lot and run all the way to the beach. This path, conforming to Americans with Disabilities Act accessibility guidelines, will protect water quality and the estuarine and dune habitat while educating visitors on native wildlife, including goby and rock flagtail fish species not seen elsewhere in the commonwealth.

In creating the path, the partners will restore important plantings that buffer an intermittent streambed and filter water. Completion of the boardwalk is slated for 2021. (2019)

Partners: Marianas Visitors Authority, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands Coastal Resources Management Program, Department of Public Works, and Department of Public Lands