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Tuesday, June 18, 2024
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Environmentalists to Commemorate Turtle's Surprise Visit

Environmentalists, neighbors and turtle fans gathered at the Emerald Beach Resort over the weekend to decide how best to honor “Lindy,” the 600-pound leatherback turtle that surprised staff and guests on July 12 last year when she came ashore and laid her eggs on the beach at Lindbergh Bay.
At first envisioning a “Lindy” week to honor the anniversary of the night the leatherback arrived, planners downsized their ambitions and decided on a one- or two-day festival at the resort and beach on the weekend of July 10-11.
Just beginning their plans, participants said they wanted to use the anniversary as a way to teach island youth to value and protect the marine environment.
“If anyone has to be impacted by this, it’s the next generation,” said Sen. Shawn-Michael Malone, one of about 25 people who took part in the discussion.
Speakers Saturday said they wanted the anniversary to help them maintain some of the momentum they mustered while opposing the $12 million plan to dredge St. Thomas harbor to accommodate the latest class of cruise ships and deposit 162,000 cubic yards of material in Lindbergh Bay.
That plan was scrubbed by Gov. John deJongh Jr. in October.
“Lindy” became a convenient poster child for that opposition, both by showing that the bay was a viable ecosystem and by putting a face on the marine life they said would suffer if the dredged materials were deposited there.
Elizabeth Kadison, a UVI marine biologist who spoke Saturday, said the bay is healthy and getting healthier with the help of conservation-minded residents.
“What’s really evident is the new growth, or re-growth” of sea grasses and coral, she said. “It’s a dynamic, living bay and not something we want to lose.”

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