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HomeNewsArchivesDPNR Awarded Coral Reef Protection Grant Over $500,000

DPNR Awarded Coral Reef Protection Grant Over $500,000

The Virgin Islands has won a federal grant to fund programs that protect coral reefs at the St. Croix East End Marine Park.
The U.S. Department of Commerce, through the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, awarded $543,132 to the Virgin Islands Department of Planning and Natural Resources to advance the park’s mission of managing the natural and cultural resources within the 60 square miles it occupies on the east end of St. Croix.
“The St. Croix East End Marine Park is a remarkable place where we can study our natural environment, protect our territory’s priceless resources and monitor threats to our marine ecosystem. This grant is evidence of the deJongh/Francis Administration’s continuing commitment to advance conservation projects in the Virgin Islands,” DPNR Commissioner Alicia Barnes said.
The NOAA grant will help fund several positions at the park, including a coral reef initiative coordinator, a marine park coordinator, two marine park interpretive rangers, and an education and outreach coordinator. The money will also go toward park administration costs and the maintenance of park boundary markers, a mooring buoy system and navigational aids.
The grant will further enable programs monitoring lobster populations and coral reefs, as well as implementation of a lionfish response plan. Some of the money will also be spent on educational programs, including an eco-camp for children and a traveling education display for high school students.
The Marine Park, a project envisioned for decades, was finally established in January of 2003 thanks to collaboration between the Virgin Islands and the federal government.

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The Virgin Islands has won a federal grant to fund programs that protect coral reefs at the St. Croix East End Marine Park.
The U.S. Department of Commerce, through the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, awarded $543,132 to the Virgin Islands Department of Planning and Natural Resources to advance the park’s mission of managing the natural and cultural resources within the 60 square miles it occupies on the east end of St. Croix.
“The St. Croix East End Marine Park is a remarkable place where we can study our natural environment, protect our territory’s priceless resources and monitor threats to our marine ecosystem. This grant is evidence of the deJongh/Francis Administration’s continuing commitment to advance conservation projects in the Virgin Islands,” DPNR Commissioner Alicia Barnes said.
The NOAA grant will help fund several positions at the park, including a coral reef initiative coordinator, a marine park coordinator, two marine park interpretive rangers, and an education and outreach coordinator. The money will also go toward park administration costs and the maintenance of park boundary markers, a mooring buoy system and navigational aids.
The grant will further enable programs monitoring lobster populations and coral reefs, as well as implementation of a lionfish response plan. Some of the money will also be spent on educational programs, including an eco-camp for children and a traveling education display for high school students.
The Marine Park, a project envisioned for decades, was finally established in January of 2003 thanks to collaboration between the Virgin Islands and the federal government.