A Boaters’ Paradise That Preserves Coral Reefs: Creating an Anchorless Park in the VI
By Joe Kessler, President of the Friends of Virgin Islands National Park
Imagine boating to paradise and then—without meaning to—causing it harm. Thanks to more than a decade of work in the Virgin Islands, a national park visit by boat is now gentler on the marine environment.
The spectacular coastal scenery, crystal clear waters, reliable winds, and beautiful bays of Virgin Islands National Park and the Virgin Islands Coral Reef National Monument have made them popular destinations for boaters. In the past, these visitors had to use anchors to secure their vessels, causing considerable, albeit unintentional, damage to sea grass beds, coral reefs, and other benthic (seabed or seafloor) resources. To combat this problem, the park embarked on a mooring program to provide a safe and reliable alternative to anchoring with the long-term goal of creating an anchorless park.
See link for rest of story here featured in Newsletter to National Parks Conservation Association:
Perhaps now the Friends could help out ST Croix with our dive site mooring problem. There are not many moorings left. The ones that still exist are in terrible shape, and (according to hearsay) they can't be replaced due to permit problems with the Army Corps of Engineers. The dive shops have had to start dropping anchors and potentially damaging corals at the sites where they're taking divers to see the corals! And some of those sites are visited several times a day!
Maybe you can contact them to see if they can help or point you in the right direction for help?
Friends of Virgin Islands National Park
PO Box 811
St. John, Virgin Islands 00831
Here's the website: http://www.friendsvinp.org/about-us/contact-us
Also you may be able to get all of the diveshop owners together and contact the EPA as they are concerned about the quality of our reefs and water. PM me for the name of the person to contact at EPA. They can help push local agencies to get involved and will know the right ones to contact.