A derelict vessel in the waters adjacent to the Svend Ovesen Seaplane Terminal in Christiansted Harbor has been removed by the Department of Planning and Natural Resources, Commissioner Jean-Pierre Oriol announced in a news release issued Wednesday.
According to Oriol’s release, “This marks the beginning of the derelict vessel removal portion of the USVI Marine Debris Sweep program, which aims to remove hurricane debris throughout the territory.”
On Sunday, DPNR’s Division of Environmental Enforcement, accompanied Cruzan Maritime Services during the removal of a derelict vessel in the Christiansted Harbor. Howard Forbes Sr., director of DEE, and Education and Outreach Coordinator Juan Cruz supervised the raising and towing of the vessel. The entire process was overseen and documented by DEE to ensure the safety of the public and the protection of the natural resources surrounding the vessel that was removed, according to the news release.
The funds for this project are being provided by a grant acquired by the Division of Coastal Zone Management from the NOAA Marine Debris Program. This supplemental funding from Congress was offered to areas affected by the 2017 hurricane season. The USVI received $4.2 million for the removal of hurricane debris ranging from small-scale community cleanups to large-scale vessel removals throughout the territory.
This program will continue throughout the territory as more derelict vessels are removed from important mooring and transient areas. The next scheduled vessel to be removed will be the derelict vessel adjacent to Hotel on the Cay in the Christiansted Harbor.
More information on the removal of hurricane debris in the territory is available by contacting Kristina Edwards at 340-774-3320 or by email at Kristina.firstname.lastname@example.org.