Values, Principles, & Priorities


As guardians and advocates of our oceans, the Friends of the Mariana Trench strive to inspire and influence people through RESPECT (Research, Education, Stewardship, People Empowerment, and Cultural Traditions).

Guiding Principles

When the ocean thrives, we thrive too.

Our ocean, our oldest ancestor, our life blood provides us sustenance, good health and joy. Without our ocean and natural resources, we are lost as a people. We need to respect, protect and honor our oldest ancestor, the ocean and her creatures. When the ocean thrives, then our island traditions can thrive too.

The Marianas Trench is worth protecting.

We live just outside the deepest oceanic trench on Earth. That means our waters aren’t just important to our community and the rest of the living creatures in our ecosystem; our home is full of invaluable information that can expand the horizons of human understanding. As CNMI residents, we are guardians of this rare gem, and we must do everything we can to preserve and protect it.

Growing our Grassroots

Our educational programs serve the CNMI community as a whole, harnessing the potential of our youth, the vision of our leaders, and the experience of our elders. By creating conservation opportunities that align partners from across the public and private sectors, we’re planting seeds for a more sustainable CNMI.



We base our objectives off of cutting-edge research in the fields of natural science and conservation. When possible, we support top-of-the line scientists working here in the CNMI to expand our understanding of our waters and our home.


Through creating conservation learning opportunities for our community and the rest of the world, we enable individuals to make informed decisions that reflect their best interest and the best interest of our planet as a whole.


We believe that it’s our responsibility as community members of the CNMI and citizens of the world to preserve our natural environment so that it can be enjoyed by everyone, now and in the future.