Congresswoman Plaskett, a member of the House Ways and Means, Budget and Agriculture committees, released the following statement on President Biden’s signing of the National Heritage Area Act into law:
In the 117th Congress, I introduced legislation to designate St. Croix as a National Heritage Area. My legislation previously passed the House as part of broader public lands legislation. My office was able to gain the support and engagement of Senator Angus King, who introduced S. 4222, the Senate companion bill of my legislation, H.R.1424, and held a hearing on Sept. 21, 2022, on this impactful legislation. S. 4222 was eventually passed by both Houses of Congress in December.
I am tremendously pleased to announce that President Biden signed S.1942, the National Heritage Area Act, which includes the designation of St. Croix as a National Heritage Area, into law on Jan. 5, 2023. The effort to achieve this designation started with former Congresswoman Donna M. Christensen with a bill to authorize a feasibility study for the NHA designation on St. Croix.
“The Virgin Islands State Historic Preservation Office is the local coordinating entity and will oversee and develop programs and projects that recognize, protect and enhance important resource values in the Heritage Area. The National Heritage Area designation provides funding to develop recreational and educational opportunities to inform and engage our youth on the heritage of St. Croix.
“Before signing this legislation, there were only 21 areas in the United States designated as National Heritage Areas. This is a tremendous boon for our beautiful, culturally rich home and an honor to our ancestors.”