We’ve written quite a bit about the proposed Coral Bay marina lately. And as you may know, the Coastal Zone Management committee approved permits for it on October 1. Well there’s part of this story that we’ve yet to write about … until now.
What’s been happening in Coral Bay lately and, at the risk of sounding a tad dramatic, across parts of the world, is simply amazing.
As you all know, Coral Bay is a bit sleepier than Cruz Bay, has less residents and less visitors, but you’d never know that based on what it has accomplished over the past few weeks.
The overwhelming majority of people living in Coral Bay oppose the marina. And based on what I have read on this site, Facebook, Twitter and other internet sites, the majority of visitors also oppose the proposed marina. So Coral Bay did what it does best – it united as a community and has vowed to fight this marina from potentially altering what makes Coral Bay special forever. It has gained the support of thousands of residents and visitors who live across the world. It publicized its cause on social media. It even created bumper stickers to publicize the cause. And quite frankly, the response has been overwhelming.
For starters, check out this video:
But that’s not what prompted me to write about this today. Instead it was a GoFundMe campaign that was set up over the weekend to fund what may be a long legal battle. By midday Saturday, the Coral Bay Community Council raised $1,000 which will be used to defeat this marina in the coming regulatory reviews. By 9 p.m. Saturday night, they were just under $5,000. By Sunday night, this small grassroots campaign had raised more than $8,300. That, in my opinion, is absolutely incredible.
Here’s what the Coral Bay Community Council had to say about its campaign:
Coral Bay Harbor is a unique body of water on the undeveloped, eastern part of St John, US Virgin Islands. Its lush sea grass meadows are habitat for endangered sea turtles, its fringing mangroves are a shark nursery, and on its shores are historic structures dating back hundreds of years.
Today Coral Bay Harbor is under attack from outside investors who only see it as a destination for mega yachts and luxury stores. They want to take over the harbor, destroy its natural habitat, and replace all of that natural beauty with a massive, over-built, environmental disaster of a marina. Our campaign’s mission is to protect and rehabilitate the environment of Coral Bay for future generations.
Our immediate need is for funds to pursue legal appeals in order to fight the permits that were given to the developers from local authorities in the Virgin Islands. Lacking proper environmental considerations and with other flaws, these permits now need to be appealed. We will also be fighting our defense campaign at the federal level, since this project will need to be approved by the Army Corps of Engineers, the EPA, NOAA, and NFWS. All of this takes money, which we don’t yet have. Once we have defeated the immediate threat, our next task is to plan the small sustainable improvements to Coral Bay that will ensure its health for future generations.
Every dollar of your contribution received by us will go to the fight to preserve, protect, and enhance Coral Bay.
Funds for these purposes will be managed by the Coral Bay Community Council, a trusted local nonprofit organization.
None of us know how all of this will pan out. But if you’re like me, you’ll feel good knowing that the people of Coral Bay and the people who love Coral Bay, did everything they could to stop this marina from altering Coral Bay forever. Let’s hope they succeed.
For those of you interested in donating to the Save Coral Bay GoFundMe campaign, visit www.gofundme.com/coralbay