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Charlotte Amalie
Monday, July 15, 2024
HomeNewsArchivesV.I. RC&D Awarded $2.7 Million Economic Stimulus Grant

V.I. RC&D Awarded $2.7 Million Economic Stimulus Grant

The Virgin Islands Resources Conservation & Development Council Inc. (V.I. RC&D) and its partners have been awarded over $2.7 million in National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Coastal and Marine Habitat Restoration funding under the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) for their USVI Coastal Habitat Restoration through Watershed Stabilization project.
The main goal of the two-year stabilization project is to reduce sediment loading rates into the coastal waters of three Virgin Islands watersheds [East End Bay on St. Croix and Coral and Fish Bays on St. John] by approximately 100 tons, by implementing erosion and sediment control practices to improve portions of foot trails and unpaved roads in each of the three sites. The project also contains terrestrial and marine monitoring components designed to both assess the effectiveness of erosion control measures in reducing sediment loads and improve an understanding of the linkages between terrestrial sediment inputs and coastal habitat condition.
Such actions benefit the island communities in a multitude of ways: 1) protecting fragile downstream coastal habitats such as mangroves, seagrass beds and coral reefs from damaging sediment-laden runoff; 2) creating approximately 26 full and part-time jobs over the two-year term of the project; and 3) improving infrastructure and safe public access by proper stabilization of erosion-prone land and roads. Results of this project will increase V.I. quality of life in direct and indirect ways by protecting the soil and creating jobs, and also by improving the health and resiliency of the coastal ecosystems that the islands depend upon for food production, storm protection, aesthetic value and tourism.
This project builds upon several decades-worth of educational, research and resource management efforts by V.I. RC&D, Island Resources Foundation, the National Park Service, U.S. Geological Survey, Colorado State University, the University of the Virgin Islands, V.I. Department of Planning and Natural Resources, NOAA, U.S. EPA, USDA-NRCS and many other local agencies and NGOs.
For more information about the V.I. RC&D’s USVI Coastal Habitat Restoration through Watershed Stabilization, or about the council itself, contact the V.I. RC&D office at 692-6932, ext. 5 or visit www.usvircd.org .

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