U.S. Department of the Interior Assistant Secretary for Insular and International Affairs Carmen G. Cantor on Oct. 20 completed her first official visit to the U.S. Virgin Islands where she met with Gov. Albert Bryan and other island leaders to emphasize the agency’s commitment to the people of the territory.
“My discussions with leaders in the Virgin Islands have been focused on efforts related to tourism and the revitalization of the economy post-COVID-19 as well as ongoing efforts to manage disaster recovery assistance,” said Assistant Secretary Cantor. “We at the Department of the Interior remain committed to supporting the people of the U.S. Virgin Islands and will continue to support them in all the ways that we can.”
Cantor met with Gov. Bryan, U.S. District Attorney Delia Smith, Federal Emergency Management Agency USVI Director Kristen Hodge, and USVI Office of Disaster Recovery Director Adrienne Williams.
She also met with University of the Virgin Islands President David Hall to learn more about the university’s efforts and the recent support provided by the Office of Insular Affairs (OIA) for the university to conduct an oceanographic method and modeling project to monitor and document sargassum accumulation and to assess water and environmental quality in key coastal locations.
The assistant secretary also met with the President of the Virgin Islands Hotel and Tourism Association Lisa Hamilton, National Park Service Superintendent Nigel Fields, Superintendent of the St. Croix National Parks Angelita Alvino and the USVI Director of Fish and Wildlife Service Michael Evans. She also visited the Virgin Islands Territorial Emergency Management Agency Fusion Center and Limetree Bay.
In fiscal year 2022, OIA provided the USVI with nearly $3 million in Technical and Maintenance Assistance Program; $3.4 million under the Energizing Insular Communities program; $571,306 in Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funding; and $378,339 under the Coral Reef and Natural Resources Initiative. OIA also provides support to the USVI through the Executive Leadership Development Program and the Island Government Finance Officers Association managed under the Pacific and Virgin Islands Training Initiatives. More information about the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Office of Insular Affairs can be found at www.doi.gov/oia.