Sam Sieber, Brandy Sieber, and Todd Fredricks are absolutely right; "a tragedy is brewing in the U.S. Virgin Islands!" Their article is an excellent ALERT to the people of the V.I. Its time for us to get up, stand up, and start some action to preserve our beautiful islands and cays!
The time is much overdue. As an activist to preserve the Hans Lollick Islands on the Northside, I understand your passion and your plight. I learned a lot of interesting facts about Great St. James from your article, which I did not know. It's so great to learn something new. What especially intrigued me was the tide pool on the east coast containing small deposits of jasper.
I can add a little bit of facts of my own, having worked on an underwater survey of that area. From Great St. James, across the channel to Banner Bay, lies an important ecosystem consisting of several species of seagrass. Many endangered sea turtles feed here. I have witnessed hundreds of juvenile conch (Strombus gigas) migrating through these areas. Although these areas are designated as a marine reserve, runoff and sediment of any degree could offset this delicate environment.
These battles are why we need a strong, intrinsic Comprehensive Land and Water Use Plan. What good is a marine reserve where development will threaten its cause? This is also why we need a Territorial Park System, which consists of people with vision and charisma to make our future a bright one. DPNR also needs a revamp of its enforcement strategies and a boost to add more officers and expand their powers.
25 million for the island now, will be 50 million in five years! The time is now! We the youth, need to preserve our homeland.
I live in the mainland now and have been planning my exit strategy back to my home, St Thomas. More Virgin Islanders should be enraged about issues of overdevelopment and poor environmental planning. I am one, which is on your side and will be unease until we get on the right track!
Gene C. Brin Jr