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Senator Calls on Community to Identify Dam Wreckers

Jan. 21, 2005 – Sen. Neville James wants to know when something will be done about the situation at Jolly Hill dam. A portion of the dam, which has been there since the 1930's, was destroyed recently in an act James called "environmental terrorism."
The story unfolded last week when residents who frequent the area noticed a large portion of the dam's wall damaged by what could have been a jackhammer. James, who is chairperson of the Economic Development and Environmental Protection committee, said his office will continue to "monitor the situation."
Department of Planning and Natural Resources personnel were called in to assess the damage and possible impact on the environment. According to Jamal Nielsen, DPNR public relations officer, the department is still investigating the matter.
James issued a press release on Thursday indicating there are "no local leads" as to who may have damaged the sturdy structure, which is 40 feet long and more than 6 feet wide. James is requesting assistance from the community to identify those responsible. "This could not have been done without neighbors hearing anything out of the ordinary," said James.
Megan Schoenfelt, executive director of the St. Croix Environmental Association (SEA) said on Thursday the damage done to the dam could impact the coral reef. Shoenfelt said the dam prevented sediments and non-source point pollution from flowing into the sea. "It's all cumulative," said Shoenfelt. "Everything we do on the island eventually impacts the sea. It is a distance, but it's a steep area."

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