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HomeNewsArchivesCZM PROGRAM WINS NATIONAL RECOGNITION

CZM PROGRAM WINS NATIONAL RECOGNITION

Oct. 3, 2001 – Wednesday was the V.I. Coastal Zone Management program's day to shine in the nation's capital, as Planning and Natural Resources Commissioner Dean Plaskett accepted an "Excellence in Local Government" award from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on behalf of his staff.
"This government agency is being commended on a national level," a proud Plaskett said from Washington, D.C.
The CZM program falls under Planning and Natural Resources. Plaskett, CZM program director Janice Hodge and DPNR public relations person Annette Morales went to Washington for the presentation ceremony, held in the Rayburn Building, which houses offices for members of the House of Representatives. Plaskett said the federal government picked up the tab.
The commissioner said the territory was one of four locales chosen to receive the 2001 Walter B. Jones Award. The others were Old Saybrook, Conn.; Jefferson Parrish, La.; and St. Lucie County, Fla. The award, named for former congressman Walter B. Jones, honors organizations and individuals for their efforts in preserving coastal and ocean resources.
Plaskett said the NOAA judges looked for entities that inspired changes in the coastal management field, were effective in advancing the goals of the federal CZM act, succeeded in increasing public awareness of coastal issues, and used innovative techniques in administering the program. As a result of the recognition, "We're also able to serves as a model," he said.
He said the judges like the fact that the territory was involved in the U.S. Coral Reef Task Force, a group formed by then-President Bill Clinton in a 1998 directive to address critical issues in the protection and restoration of coral reef ecosystems around the country. The Virgin Islands is part of the Coral Reef Initiative Coordinating Committee, which is part of the task force, he said.
Other things that impressed the judges, Plaskett said, were the V.I. government's efforts to establish a territorial marine park and the way the CZM program works to balance the protection of natural resources with the need for development.
Delegate Donna Christian Christensen, who had nominated DPNR for the award, said at the breakfast presentation ceremony that she was pleased to see it receive the national recognition, "for I know of the hard work and diligence that the department has employed over the years" to preserve and maintain V.I. coastal and ocean resources.
"This is not always an easy task," Christensen added, as the Virgin Islands "is blessed with vast and beautiful waters and a delicate and complex ecosystem that, while loved by its people for its productivity over the years, is often overused and put at risk." She called the department's efforts "wise work" that will benefit future generations in immeasurable ways.

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Oct. 3, 2001 - Wednesday was the V.I. Coastal Zone Management program's day to shine in the nation's capital, as Planning and Natural Resources Commissioner Dean Plaskett accepted an "Excellence in Local Government" award from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on behalf of his staff.
"This government agency is being commended on a national level," a proud Plaskett said from Washington, D.C.
The CZM program falls under Planning and Natural Resources. Plaskett, CZM program director Janice Hodge and DPNR public relations person Annette Morales went to Washington for the presentation ceremony, held in the Rayburn Building, which houses offices for members of the House of Representatives. Plaskett said the federal government picked up the tab.
The commissioner said the territory was one of four locales chosen to receive the 2001 Walter B. Jones Award. The others were Old Saybrook, Conn.; Jefferson Parrish, La.; and St. Lucie County, Fla. The award, named for former congressman Walter B. Jones, honors organizations and individuals for their efforts in preserving coastal and ocean resources.
Plaskett said the NOAA judges looked for entities that inspired changes in the coastal management field, were effective in advancing the goals of the federal CZM act, succeeded in increasing public awareness of coastal issues, and used innovative techniques in administering the program. As a result of the recognition, "We're also able to serves as a model," he said.
He said the judges like the fact that the territory was involved in the U.S. Coral Reef Task Force, a group formed by then-President Bill Clinton in a 1998 directive to address critical issues in the protection and restoration of coral reef ecosystems around the country. The Virgin Islands is part of the Coral Reef Initiative Coordinating Committee, which is part of the task force, he said.
Other things that impressed the judges, Plaskett said, were the V.I. government's efforts to establish a territorial marine park and the way the CZM program works to balance the protection of natural resources with the need for development.
Delegate Donna Christian Christensen, who had nominated DPNR for the award, said at the breakfast presentation ceremony that she was pleased to see it receive the national recognition, "for I know of the hard work and diligence that the department has employed over the years" to preserve and maintain V.I. coastal and ocean resources.
"This is not always an easy task," Christensen added, as the Virgin Islands "is blessed with vast and beautiful waters and a delicate and complex ecosystem that, while loved by its people for its productivity over the years, is often overused and put at risk." She called the department's efforts "wise work" that will benefit future generations in immeasurable ways.