(Washington D.C., May 29, 2012) The Pacific Island Historic Preservation Officers visited the Office of Insular Affairs on May 29, to discuss the status of their efforts and initiatives in historic preservation in the U.S.-affiliated Pacific Islands. The group also held an open meeting at Interior for interested Interior officials and are looking for ways to ensure that discussions on economic development in the islands includes the rich cultural heritage of the region. The group also came to advocate for more support in current efforts to restore and document the cultural heritage. The Republic of the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of Palau, and the Pacific territories of American Samoa, Guam, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands were all represented.
The Pacific Island Historic Preservation Offices are funded by the Historic Preservation Fund grant program, administered by the National Park Service, Department of the Interior. The National Historic Preservation Act is the enabling legislation that establishes the annual appropriation of funds.
The overarching theme this year focused on the economic and social benefits of Heritage Tourism. The Pacific Island Historic Preservations officers provided presentations on Blunts Point National Historic Landmark in American Samoa, Nan Madol National Historic Landmark in Pohnpei, Micronesia and also provided a slide show of historical sites across the Federated States of Micronesia.