The EPA’s Community Action for a Renewed Environment program has announced a $300,000 grant to help reduce environmental damage and problems brought on by development in Coral Bay over the past two decades. The award to the Coral Bay Community Council was announced in Cruz Bay outside the V.I. National Park office.
The Council will use the EPA funding to expand efforts to stop sediment and storm water from entering Coral Bay, improve local solid waste management, and heighten awareness about other toxic pollution issues, according to an EPA news release. It will undertake a two-year program which will involve hiring a technical expert to monitor pollutants in the bay, organize workshops and outreach efforts and to encourage green building techniques.
Between 1990 and 2000, the community grew by 80%, making it the fastest growing area in the U.S. Virgin Islands, the EPA said. “New residential housing construction, agriculture, tourism and industrial development have generated excessive waste, which is polluting the bay. Sediment, toxic chemicals, nutrients and potential biological pathogens are being carried through storm water into the bay.”
The Coral Bay Watershed Management Program that is being funded by the EPA: http://www.coralbaycommunitycouncil.org/watershed.htm