VI agrees to new coral protection steps

The government of the Virgin Islands has agreed to consider strategies to better protect its surrounding coral
reefs. “It puts us on the hook for
taking a serious look, and it puts them on the hook for helping us achieve it,”
said Bill Rohring, associate director of Coastal Zone Management, the Virgin
Islands Daily News
reported. During a conference
on St. Thomas scientists described the reefs as “in crisis" due to high water temperatures,
pollution, erosion and disease. Runoff
and sedimentation around the islands is part of the problem, the experts said,
according to the Daily News. A reef
researcher for the U.S. Geological Survey lamented that on St. John, “Every couple of days there’s
a new driveway cut, a new unpaved road."

Caroline Rogers said, "There’s a lot we don’t know, but
we know what happens when we pout a bunch of dirt on top of a reef,” the News reported.

4 thoughts on “VI agrees to new coral protection steps”

  1. This comment was posted to the “About” page, but doesn’t show up on the site. I’m republishing it here.
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    Dear Frank,
    We just returned from your fantasy land! My fantasy, not yours. Although I had previously did an excursion to St. John off of a passing cruise ship, I did not fully appreciate the beauty and the fragility of the island. One day we spent exploring and snorkeling the South side of the island with lunch at the Westin. Another days were spent snorkeling Cinnamon, Trunk, and Waterlemon with lunch at Skinny Legs!
    I am a developer and homebuilder in Western Tennessee. I understand the issues that come from the developing and building upon the island. We have a sandy soil that erodes very easily. I can’t image the amount of silt that must flow into those pristine bays on the island. I have been there during a heavy down pour in years past.
    I will be back as soon as possible. This time we are going to bring our three girls so that they will get to experience the truly unspoiled, while it still exists! Good luck in all of your work. I there is anything someone in my position can do please let me know.
    Kevin Clark

  2. Dear Kevin:
    Thank you for your kind words.
    Naturally, I am happy you found the island inviting and welcoming. A lot of folks feel the same way 🙂 Do bring the kids next time, and have a great time.
    This is election day, as you know, and there are great hopes that John deJongh, a longtime resident and businessman, will win – and throw some of the corrupt bums out, and do things logically and with intelligence. St. John is, I fear, seen as a cash cow for St T and St X, and gets little attention. Best thing you can do? 🙂 Buy a house, pay taxes, spend time on St. John, be “of” the island, not “on” it, and contribute to charities and volunteer to help people who do good works.
    Frank

  3. He Frank,
    As a visitor to St. John for the past several years I understand the fragile ecosystem of the island. It is truly a shame that the real estate market was driven so “sky high” enticing investors to buy up non-park lands and develop for the sake of high profits. Even if it is the case of one retiring there, let’s face it, St. John is a small island and cannot sustain a high population.
    It’s even hard (at times) for one to enjoy a vacation there with all the construction going on. I am not opposed to change but frankly enough is enough! It’s time to get a grip on the building craze. What part of party is over (I would like to know) do they not get. They rent the villas and homes for huge prices. Don’t they realize what the future brings should all the wonderful features of this beautiful island lose the pristine beaches as we know them. It is because of the reef and the fish that St. John has the white sands that exists. I cannot imagine St. John without the turtles, fish and many other wonderful creatures! The bleaching is harmful enough without the unwanted (unneeded run-off). I wonder, who is going to visit St. John then? Will it just become another party zone that offers nothing accept maybe the park and trails? The parks are wonderful but it is the ocean that really entices the magic. The builders (investors) need to see the light. It’s a small island and enough is enough. I hope that conscience finds its place in their soul. Oh and did I ask what will happen to the economy and the wonderful natives of the island that depend on tourism should the expansion continue.
    Regards,
    Mary E. Taeger

  4. Mary:
    You raise some very thoughtful questions.
    The individual villa owners kind of understand they are part of the problem, I believe.
    The Grande Bay/Sirenusa/Pond Bay crowd is another story …
    Frank

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