Friends of the Mariana Trench Mon

aka Friends of the Mariana Trench   |   SAIPAN, MP   |  www.friendsmarianatrench.org

Mission

To be the guardians of the Mariana Trench Marine National Monument and our ocean resources by empowering communities with ocean conservation strategies and research grounded in traditional teachings.

Ruling year info

2018

Chair

Ms. Sheila Jack Babauta

Vice Chair/Treasurer

Mr. Franco Santos

Main address

PMB 162 PPP Box 10,000

SAIPAN, MP 96950 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

66-0896909

NTEE code info

Alliance/Advocacy Organizations (C01)

Natural Resource Conservation and Protection (C30)

Community Improvement, Capacity Building N.E.C. (S99)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

Communication

Blog

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Our community is struggling to hold on to its natural, traditional conservation values. Less that 2% of natural science-degree holders in our community are indigenous community members, and less than .01% of the total population are employed in science related occupations. Academically, science in the CNMI Public School System (PSS) is struggling to meet student needs. Only 28% of CNMI 6th grade students are meeting national standards for science in the PSS compared with national average of 47%. In 2017, 667 out of 695 total enrolled 6th grade students participated in the ACT Aspire Test. A full 52% of these were categorized as “need support”. Additionally, the percentage increases as they progress into high school. The Marianas Trench Marine National Monument has been poorly administered since its declaration in 2009. 12 years later there is no management plan, no direct federal presence in our community and management council as prescribed by law.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Project HOPE: Healthy Oceans & People Empowerment

Project HOPE (Healthy Ocean & People Empowerment) is an educational collaboration between PSS sixth-graders, NMC ENRO college students, and community elders. Funded by a grant from the Administration of Native Americans (ANA), Project HOPE strives to improve CNMI sixth-graders’ ACT Aspire test scores by offering them a free ocean science program uniquely tailored to their needs; by incorporating local elders’ ocean expertise into a Western science curriculum, the program acts as a bridge between traditional culture and modern conservation science. In the long term, we hope to see this initiative foster interest in conservation careers among CNMI youth, ultimately leading to the development of 30 more local conservation professionals by 2030.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
Adults

Building capacity ocean stewardship capacity and knowledge village by village standing up mid-career professionals to be the leaders on 30 x 30 in their villages.

Population(s) Served
Pacific Islanders
Adults
Children and youth

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of individuals in the target audience that expresses intent to adopt (or continue) desired behavior

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults, Adolescents, Preteens, Pacific Islanders

Related Program

Project HOPE: Healthy Oceans & People Empowerment

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of stakeholders/stakeholder groups with whom communication has been achieved and expectations shared

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults, Preteens, Children, Adolescents, Pacific Islanders

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of stakeholders/stakeholder groups identified

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Older adults, Seniors, Young adults, Pacific Islanders

Related Program

Ocean Conservation Corp

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of trainees successfully carrying out desired practices at least once to appropriate problems

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults, Pacific Islanders

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

The Friends of the Mariana Trench is focused on ocean conservation. Our long term vision is that we would see 30 new ocean science students at our local college and that we would help the local college re-establish its marine science program by 2030. Moreover as these students graduate, they will make better informed stakeholders and decision makers. And new economic paradigms may arise with new a policy direction.

Additionally, we serve as guardians and advocates for compelling the federal government to follow through on its mandates.

Project HOPE - Healthy Oceans & People Empowerment: Project HOPE (Healthy Ocean & People Empowerment) is an educational collaboration between PSS sixth-graders, NMC ENRO college students, and community elders. Funded by a grant from the Administration of Native Americans (ANA), Project HOPE strives to improve CNMI sixth-graders’ ACT Aspire test scores by offering them a free ocean science program uniquely tailored to their needs; by incorporating local elders’ ocean expertise into a Western science curriculum, the program acts as a bridge between traditional culture and modern conservation science. In the long term, we hope to see this initiative foster interest in conservation careers among CNMI youth, ultimately leading to the development of 30 more local conservation professionals by 2030.

Coastal and Ocean Sustainability for the Mariana Islands Community (COSMIC) Hub: The Hub will aim to transform our community’s reactive and sporadic approach to proactive and comprehensive by addressing research, planning and policy development supporting sustainable management of our ocean resources. Incorporating citizen participation in determining current societal needs, using science advancements and closing data gaps, our research will build local capacity to study, assess and plan coastal management efforts to balance current, multiple ocean and coastal uses with conservation. Findings will serve further research as well as regional resource management, policy and law to integrate solutions into Mariana Islands governance frameworks. Key for health and sustainability, our community will be empowered to make informed decisions by maximizing their voices based on science, technology, and traditional knowledge and cultural systems.

Mariana Trench Marine National Monument Management Plan: Maintain vigilance in monitoring information and actions taken by the federal government. Convey information to our local community. Strategy with the local government to compel the federal government towards action.

Our greatest strength is our people. Our board members and staff are passionate and committed. Presently, we are building our capacity including adding new projects, new staff, and new board members. We have strong foundational organizational policies and procedures in place to guide our growth. We use a blended approach to project management. Our team members are dedicated to our projects and very capable of creating or executing objective-specific work plans. Weekly staff check-in meetings ensure that priorities are monitored and adjustments made in real time. We are experts at contingency plans and resilient by numerous experiences of adjusting to changing circumstances. We document all of our activities from timekeeping and project costing to social media and regular project reporting.

We rededicated ourselves to our community in 2017 with a strong direction for rebuilding and making research and education our focus. We are especially passionate about helping facilitate communications and community involvement.

In 2018 our 501c3 was approved and we partnered with other NGOs and community partners to deliver our first underwater robotics workshop. In the same year, we produced the traveling photo exhibit to share with our community to help them learn about marine life in the Mariana Trench. We also participated in two capacity-building activities sponsored by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and the National Wildlife Refuge.

In 2019, we were awarded a 3-year grant from the Administration for Native Americans to create ocean science clubs for our public school 6th-grade students. This is an inter-generational learning exchange between our college students, our ocean elders, and 6th graders blending STEM with traditional science teaching and learning methods. Additionally, we were selected for additional technical assistance support from the David and Lucile Packard Foundation to join in a communications training. By the end of 2019, we were further awarded two small capacity-building awards from the Refuge Retirees Association and the National Wildlife Refuge Association.

In 2020, we were awarded a grant from the Northern Mariana Islands Humanities Council to establish our website and build our digital history archive on this website. While we were challenged to reach our goals in 2020, we were able to work with our community partners to deliver modified services and still engage with the college students, the elders, and the 6th-graders. We also worked on developing projects for high school students based on a similar learning model and began project development and scoping for COSMIC Hub: Coastal and Ocean Sustainability for the Mariana Islands Community.

In 2021, we were awarded a capacity-building grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, which provided for our membership drive and using The Board Doctor to help us review our policies, identify our strengths and weaknesses, and to craft our 3-year strategic plan. We delivered workshops for our community on how to participate in the public commenting process for the Mariana Trench Marine National Monument (MTMNM) management plan as well as the history of the creation of the monument. We engaged with Wonder Strategies for Good to help our college students, board members, and ocean elders engage with our community more effectively and how to structure a multi-generational approach to teaching 6th-graders. By mid-year, we were awarded another grant from the David and Lucile Packard Foundation; this time to begin developing our mid-career professionals volunteer corp and helped to initiate two research papers that will help with establishing baseline information for marine protected areas and fishing effort in the Mariana Islands.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.), Focus groups or interviews (by phone or in person), Community meetings/Town halls, Constituent (client or resident, etc.) advisory committees, Suggestion box/email,

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals,

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    Our staff, Our board,

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We look for patterns in feedback based on demographics (e.g., race, age, gender, etc.), We look for patterns in feedback based on people’s interactions with us (e.g., site, frequency of service, etc.), We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive, We tell the people who gave us feedback how we acted on their feedback,

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    We don't have any major challenges to collecting feedback,

Financials

Friends of the Mariana Trench Mon

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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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Friends of the Mariana Trench Mon

Board of directors
as of 3/2/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board co-chair

Ms. Sheila Babauta


Board co-chair

Mr. Franco Santos

Larisa Ford

Ignacio Cabrera

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 03/02/2022

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Asian American/Pacific Islanders/Asian
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

The organization's co-leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Asian American/Pacific Islanders/Asian
Gender identity
Male, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

Disability

We do not display disability information for organizations with fewer than 15 staff.

Equity strategies

Last updated: 09/26/2020

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
Policies and processes
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.