US Virgin Islands Hotel & Tourism Association
On Sept. 25, the Virgin Islands Conservation Society, the Smith Bay Community Action Foundation, Coral World Ocean Park, Coki Dive Center, Blue Flag USVI, UVI and community volunteers joined the Ocean Conservancy for the annual International Coastal Cleanup events to clean Water Bay and Coki Point.
Volunteer divers and snorkelers met at Coki Dive Center for equipment and water provided free of charge. Land volunteers met in the Coral World parking area. The first 30 participants will receive a free day pass to Coral World Ocean Park.
The Virgin Islands Conservation Society has been spearheading the “Smith Bay – Water Bay Nonpoint Source Pollution Education/Outreach Project,” partially funded through the Federal Clean Water Act Section 319(h) grant. It is a combination of watershed assessment and management planning, and a watershed education and outreach campaign.
This project is the first of several steps necessary to alleviate the excessive flooding and non-point source pollution in the lower elevations of the Smith Bay and Water Bay watershed. For the past 50 years, the area has seen increased population and land development which have outpaced public services and infrastructure that could support the management of storm-runoff and other development related environmental hazards.
The watershed education and outreach portion of this project is committed to inform the watershed community about basic water quality challenges and actively engage stakeholders in the solution processes. Coastal clean-ups are one of several ways to get involved. Participants were also asked to take part in a survey to help identify some of the ongoing flooding concerns in Smith Bay.
We would like to give a special thank you to Caribbean Packaging for supplying trash bags for this and several other scheduled clean-ups for Coastweeks this Sept. and Oct.
Ocean trash is a serious pollution problem that affects the health of people, wildlife and local economies. Join the world’s largest volunteer effort for our ocean and waterways by participating in the International Coastal Cleanup. More than 800,000 volunteers picked up 18 million pounds of trash during the 2015 International Coastal Cleanup.
The Coastal Cleanups in the USVI are organized by the University of the Virgin Islands Marine Advisory Service. Anyone can participate in Coastweeks which runs from Sept. 17 to Oct. 30, and we encourage your support – help keep our oceans free of debris. If you would like to get involved, please send an email to Howard.Forbes@live.uvi.edu or call 340-513 7203.