Publication Date

2013-04-30

Availability

Open access

Embargo Period

2013-04-30

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Marine Affairs and Policy (Marine)

Date of Defense

2013-04-12

First Committee Member

John McManus

Second Committee Member

Maria Estevanez

Third Committee Member

Daniel Suman

Abstract

The island Territory of Guam is about to experience a large U.S. military buildup. This buildup will set Guam as host of the largest U.S. military presence in all of Asia, with correspondingly advanced Naval base facilities. Part of Naval Base Guam capacity improvements will include significant dredging in Apra Harbor, home to the island’s only deep-water lagoon. This lagoonal area is not only host to a United Stated Naval base, but is also host to Guam’s commercial port and a highly attractive area for many recreational tourism activities. As a preparatory step before dredging activities occur, the island’s dive businesses have been surveyed in order to establish baseline socioeconomic information on the use of Apra Harbor’s coral reefs and to assess the potential impacts a Navy dredge project might have on dive businesses utilizing Apra Harbor coral reefs. This study concludes that Apra Harbor’s coral reefs are an incredibly important asset to Guam’s dive businesses, as the reefs are used for approximately 60% of dives annually conducted by surveyed businesses. One hundred percent of surveyed businesses utilize Apra Harbor coral reefs for dive and/ or snorkel trips, which cater mostly to the industry’s largest clientele: novice divers/ snorkelers. Depending on the amount of dredge-based sediment settling on Apra Harbor’s reef areas, the Navy dredge project has the potential to impact $1,253,340 in annual total revenues made by surveyed dive businesses. Given that Apra Harbor’s coral reefs are highly utilized and depended upon by surveyed businesses, it is presumed that dredge-based sediment settling on the Harbor’s coral reefs will directly impact dive business activity occurring within Apra Harbor both during and after dredging occurs.

Keywords

Guam; Apra Harbor; Dive Industry; Coral Reefs

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