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HomeNewsArchives$1.1M GIFT LETS SEA BUY MORE SOUTHGATE LAND

$1.1M GIFT LETS SEA BUY MORE SOUTHGATE LAND

Oct. 17, 2001 — The anonymous benefactor who last year made it possible for the St. Croix Environmental Association to purchase nearly a million dollars worth of prime wetlands has come forward again.
Thanks to the person's recent donation of more than $1.1 million, SEA is set to close on 39 more acres at Southgate Pond on St. Croix’s east end.
Last year’s donation of $822,697 allowed the environmental group in May to buy 60 acres of prime nesting habitat for birds and endangered sea turtles.
The Southgate Pond Nature Preserve is now nearly 100 acres and essentially encompasses the property between Chenay Bay Beach Resort and Green Cay Marina. It is bordered on the north by Green Cay Beach and on the south by East End Road, SEA’s volunteer attorney, Andrew Simpson, said.
"It really is a great opportunity to do some great management things with that pond," he said. "It’s dedicated for conservation purposes."
Along with the key sea turtle nesting beach, the dominant feature of the property is Southgate Salt Pond, one of the most important ponds in the Virgin Islands for local and migrating birds. Some 96 species have been recorded at the site, including 26 that are considered threatened or endangered in the Virgin Islands.
Although the salt pond is owned by the V.I. government and therefore protected, acquiring the surrounding land will allow for a buffer zone so the pond can continue to be a stopover point for birds migrating between North and South America, as well as a habitat for those nesting locally.
As was the case with last year’s acquisition, SEA is not identifying the donor, is a part-time resident of St. Croix who is an avid bird watcher.
SEA has already started to develop a master plan for Southgate Pond Nature Preserve that calls for boardwalks, bird-watching sheds, camping areas and a visitor center.
According to SEA, the $1,115,000 donation includes $875,000 for the purchase of three land parcels totaling 39 acres. The remainder of the gift is to help the organization recover from financial difficulties that forced it to operate without an executive director. That position has now been filled by Bill Turner, who was hired in September.

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Oct. 17, 2001 -- The anonymous benefactor who last year made it possible for the St. Croix Environmental Association to purchase nearly a million dollars worth of prime wetlands has come forward again.
Thanks to the person's recent donation of more than $1.1 million, SEA is set to close on 39 more acres at Southgate Pond on St. Croix’s east end.
Last year’s donation of $822,697 allowed the environmental group in May to buy 60 acres of prime nesting habitat for birds and endangered sea turtles.
The Southgate Pond Nature Preserve is now nearly 100 acres and essentially encompasses the property between Chenay Bay Beach Resort and Green Cay Marina. It is bordered on the north by Green Cay Beach and on the south by East End Road, SEA’s volunteer attorney, Andrew Simpson, said.
"It really is a great opportunity to do some great management things with that pond," he said. "It’s dedicated for conservation purposes."
Along with the key sea turtle nesting beach, the dominant feature of the property is Southgate Salt Pond, one of the most important ponds in the Virgin Islands for local and migrating birds. Some 96 species have been recorded at the site, including 26 that are considered threatened or endangered in the Virgin Islands.
Although the salt pond is owned by the V.I. government and therefore protected, acquiring the surrounding land will allow for a buffer zone so the pond can continue to be a stopover point for birds migrating between North and South America, as well as a habitat for those nesting locally.
As was the case with last year’s acquisition, SEA is not identifying the donor, is a part-time resident of St. Croix who is an avid bird watcher.
SEA has already started to develop a master plan for Southgate Pond Nature Preserve that calls for boardwalks, bird-watching sheds, camping areas and a visitor center.
According to SEA, the $1,115,000 donation includes $875,000 for the purchase of three land parcels totaling 39 acres. The remainder of the gift is to help the organization recover from financial difficulties that forced it to operate without an executive director. That position has now been filled by Bill Turner, who was hired in September.