Caneel Bay: The 2013 Environmental Assessment

Caneel Bay, June 2019
Caneel Bay, June 2019

Earlier this month, we told you that the current leaseholder of Caneel Bay wants $70 million to walk away and that he wants protection from any environmental liability. Well we finally got our hands on the 2013 environmental assessment performed at Caneel that mentions these environmental hazards among other things. It’s Monday morning and many of you are back to work after a wonderful weekend, so I thought I would give you a good amount of reading to pass the time today. 🙂

“The 2013 Environmental Assessment was prepared for the National Park Service to evaluate the proposed relinquishment of the Caneel Bay Resort Retained Use Estate Indenture Agreement (RUE) and award of a long-term lease of the RUE property (and certain property associated with the RUE) to be entered into by NPS and the owner of the relinquished RUE,” the report states. “Public Law 111-261, signed by the President in 2010, expressly authorizes NPS to enter into this transaction, provided that, under the lease, as stated in the law, the general character of the Caneel Bay Resort must remain unchanged during the lease term, including a prohibition against any increase in the overall size of the resort and any increase in the number of guest accommodations available at the resort. In addition, as required by the law, such a lease must include provisions that ensure the protection of the natural, cultural, and historic features of the resort and associated property, consistent with the laws and policies applicable to property managed by NPS.”

So basically, this assessment was performed to see the impacts a lease would have on the Caneel Bay property and what the impacts would be if a RUE continued. The alternative is that the Park take control of the land.

One interesting that I read, which really doesn’t have much to do with the current Caneel situation, is how they mentioned potentially paving the Lind Point Trail from the National Park Visitor’s Center in Cruz Bay to Honeymoon beach to make it ADA compliant. I personally would love to see that happen as a momma who has very few shady places to walk her nearly one-year-old son. 🙂

Ok, but back to Caneel… There’s a lot of pages to get through, so let’s get right to it!

Click here to view the Caneel Bay 2013 Environmental Assessment.

Click here to view the Caneel Bay 2103 Environmental Assessment Appendix and Consultation.

12 thoughts on “Caneel Bay: The 2013 Environmental Assessment”

  1. The links do not seem to be working and the article cuts off at “. . . so let’s get right to it.” Is this strictly on my end?

  2. right click “open in new tab”, then click on link. Worked for me. Lots to Digest, thank you for tracking it down.

  3. Looking forward to the day when Caneel is CBI free. My extended family has been visiting the resort since the late 80s, but we won’t go back until they have divested themselves from it. They have ruined so many lives and this beautiful location.

  4. Hey Jen, good to see your journalist “chops” are still sharp..

    Thanks for your dedication to this issue.

    My wife and I had a not-so-great experience at Caneel bay a few years ago (nothing serious- just bad juju on their part)

    Keep up the good work

  5. Have read the EA, dated July of 2013, and thank you for posting it here. As it is an Environmental Assessment that was developed to look at the alternatives for the property once 2023 comes, it determined that a long term lease based on no changes (no new buildings or additional development), and the management plan in existence for the premises extant, would be the best way to go as far the the NPS is concerned. As it was done in 2013, it did not foresee the 2017 hurricane season which changed everything. It is a good picture of 2013. Another EA needs to be done given the ravages of Irmaria, and even more importantly, an EIS (Environmental Impact Statement) may also be in order. If Caneel Bay is to come back, rebuilding and new development in the form of more storm resistant structures (in keeping with the original footprint, if that’s what the NPS wants) getting a handle on what needs to be repaired, needs to be rebuilt, and whatever infrastructure the property needs to rebuild, or update must be assessed. As the report is good, and fulfilled the purpose for which it was written, it is now obsolete and the project needs to be reconsidered almost from square one.

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