Saipan, the largest of the Northern Mariana Islands, has a land area of 122 square kilometers and is approximately
20 km long and 9 km wide. The island consists of a volcanic core enveloped by younger coral reef-derived limestone
formations. Saipan has the most diverse types of coral reefs and associated habitats of all the islands and banks in
the Commonwealth. A fringing and barrier reef system protects the majority of the beaches along the western shore and
coastal plains. The western side of the island is the most populated and the coral reefs along these areas are
negatively affected by human activity. Continuing sediment and nutrient pollution combined with sporadic stressors
such as outbreaks of crown-of-thorns starfish (Acanthaster planci) and temperature-induced bleaching affect many of
Saipan's western and southeastern reefs. Furthermore, coral habitat on two large offshore banks (18 km x 22 km) in
water depths between 30 m and 60 m on the western side of Saipan are negatively affected by the anchorage of commercial
and naval vessels.
Cruises CoRIS Metadata Record Names
Resource Description: Digital video images that are geo-referenced to navigation files.