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HomeNewsArchivesSTEER Stakeholders Collaborate on Conservation

STEER Stakeholders Collaborate on Conservation

From left, Randy Stefferson, Lindy Schweickert, Chuck Schweickert, and Jean Pierre Oriol at Wednesday's STEER meeting.Concerned with protecting and improving the marine environment of Cas Cay, the Mangrove Lagoon, St. James and the Compass Point Marine Reserves and Wildlife Sanctuaries, the St. Thomas East End Reserve held a stakeholder’s meeting Wednesday evening at Antilles School to discuss strategies for the management plan they are developing.
STEER is a collaborative effort between personnel from the Virgin Islands Department of Planning and Natural Resources Divisions of Coastal Zone Management, Fish & Wildlife, and Environmental Enforcement, the University of the Virgin Islands Center for Marine and Environmental Sciences, The Nature Conservancy, Friends of Christmas Cove, the Environmental Association of St. Thomas and concerned community members.
The group is developing the plan using The Nature Conservancy’s Conservation Action Planning Methodologies, a process that incorporates community input and scientific data to determine the best way to protect and manage the natural resources.
“This was triggered by the Leylon Sneed trying to open a floating bar in Christmas Cove and has grown from there," said Drew Russo, representing Friends of Christmas Cove. "We are continuing the efforts in order to make sure it doesn’t happen again.”
The core planning group, which meets monthly, is made up of members of the agencies listed previously and the STEER stakeholders include members of the community who live, work and play in and around the east end waters.
The goal of the group, according to Sandra Romano, associate professor of Marine Biology at UVI, is to identify the targets they want to protect, figure out the things that might threaten or impact the targeted areas, and come up with a plan to protect and improve those areas, involving the community in the process.
“Regulations have been established but not enforced,” said Romano. “One of the ideas is that this would be part of a “territorial park system”.”
The 13 members at Wednesday’s meeting spent hours discussing types of recreation to be allowed, highlighting areas on large maps provided. They hope in the next few months to have a management plan drafted that will eventually be submitted to the legislature.
Happy to donate of her time, Romano stated, “It’s a community service where I can use my knowledge to work on conservation and the marine environment.”

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From left, Randy Stefferson, Lindy Schweickert, Chuck Schweickert, and Jean Pierre Oriol at Wednesday's STEER meeting.Concerned with protecting and improving the marine environment of Cas Cay, the Mangrove Lagoon, St. James and the Compass Point Marine Reserves and Wildlife Sanctuaries, the St. Thomas East End Reserve held a stakeholder’s meeting Wednesday evening at Antilles School to discuss strategies for the management plan they are developing.
STEER is a collaborative effort between personnel from the Virgin Islands Department of Planning and Natural Resources Divisions of Coastal Zone Management, Fish & Wildlife, and Environmental Enforcement, the University of the Virgin Islands Center for Marine and Environmental Sciences, The Nature Conservancy, Friends of Christmas Cove, the Environmental Association of St. Thomas and concerned community members.
The group is developing the plan using The Nature Conservancy’s Conservation Action Planning Methodologies, a process that incorporates community input and scientific data to determine the best way to protect and manage the natural resources.
“This was triggered by the Leylon Sneed trying to open a floating bar in Christmas Cove and has grown from there," said Drew Russo, representing Friends of Christmas Cove. "We are continuing the efforts in order to make sure it doesn’t happen again.”
The core planning group, which meets monthly, is made up of members of the agencies listed previously and the STEER stakeholders include members of the community who live, work and play in and around the east end waters.
The goal of the group, according to Sandra Romano, associate professor of Marine Biology at UVI, is to identify the targets they want to protect, figure out the things that might threaten or impact the targeted areas, and come up with a plan to protect and improve those areas, involving the community in the process.
“Regulations have been established but not enforced,” said Romano. “One of the ideas is that this would be part of a “territorial park system”.”
The 13 members at Wednesday's meeting spent hours discussing types of recreation to be allowed, highlighting areas on large maps provided. They hope in the next few months to have a management plan drafted that will eventually be submitted to the legislature.
Happy to donate of her time, Romano stated, “It’s a community service where I can use my knowledge to work on conservation and the marine environment.”