All I want is to Save Coral Bay ! Update
All I want is to Save Coral Bay !
And that's exactly what we are doing, with the support of thousands, with top notch legal talent, with a relentless media campaign, and with the power knowing we are on the RIGHT SIDE of this attempted destruction of Coral Bay in the name of greed. The legislature has recessed without considering the permit, not only because of the legal appeals but also because they have SERIOUS DOUBTS about the total lack of environmental scrutiny that has gone into these permits. We will prevail, but it may take some time. Thank you this holiday season for your support and commitment to Coral Bay.
STOP THE MEGA YACHT MARINA IN CORAL BAY !!!
The Fund to Save Coral Bay
Coral Bay Harbor is a unique body of water on the undeveloped, eastern part of St John, US Virgin Islands. Its lush sea grass meadows are habitat for endangered sea turtles, its fringing mangroves are a shark nursery, and on its shores are historic structures dating back hundreds of years.
Today Coral Bay Harbor is under attack from outside investors who only see it as a destination for mega yachts and luxury stores. They want to take over the harbor, destroy its natural habitat, and replace all of that natural beauty with a massive, over-built, environmental disaster of a marina. Our campaign's mission is to protect and rehabilitate the environment of Coral Bay for future generations.
Our immediate need is for funds to pursue legal appeals in order to fight the permits that were given to the developers from local authorities in the Virgin Islands. Lacking proper environmental considerations and with other flaws, these permits now need to be appealed. We will also be fighting our defense campaign at the federal level, since this project will need to be approved by the Army Corps of Engineers, the EPA, NOAA, and NFWS. All of this takes money, which we don't yet have. Once we have defeated the immediate threat, our next task is to plan the small sustainable improvements to Coral Bay that will ensure its health for future generations.
Every dollar of your contribution received by us will go to the fight to preserve, protect, and enhance Coral Bay.
Funds for these purposes will be managed by the Coral Bay Community Council, a trusted local nonprofit organization.
Excerpt from Coral Bay Community Council Newsletter:
Most Coral Bay residents and landowners were amazed at the huge size of the proposed Summers End Marina on the "Island Blues" side of the bay: 145 slips -(49 for megayachts) taking up 28 acres in the harbor. The "unintended consequences" and negative impact to the community tourism business, plus the damage to the flourishing marine seagrass and mangroves habitat for fish, seaturtles, baby sharks and corals spurred strong public opposition to the local CZM permitting, including from CBCC, in detailed analyses and comments.
The permit was nevertheless approved on October 1st 2014, with no modifications at all, although this is only the first step in final project approval. The community opposition is strong and there is a request for central coordination from CBCC going forward. Environmental analyses, engaging actively in the federal Army Corps permitting process, which coordinates NOAA, EPA and other federal agency concerns about marine habitat, water quality, and appropriate uses of "the waters of the U.S.", and other appeals processes are being explored.
With another marina proposal on the horizon behind the fire station, these issues - and finding a solution to providing desired marine services vs. turning the bay into a boat parking garage (while impairing the environment) - need to be dealt with.
If you want to support this effort, please provide CBCC with general support and/or send a special donation check here ...thank you.
For larger donations for which you want a written charitable donation acknowledgement, please visit the CBCC website and send donation directly to CBCC, and include your snail mail address. Mailed donations are kept confidential, unless you request otherwise.
Keep up to date with these important planning concerns at www.coralbaycommunitycouncil.org
Governor-Elect Mapp Pledges Support to Save Coral Bay, Says Marina Is “Too Big”
Written by Jaime Elliott
Created: 20 December 2014
CORAL BAY — The night before facing veteran Delegate to Congress Donna Christensen in a run-off election for Virgin Islands Governor seat, candidate Kenneth Mapp traveled to Coral Bay to talk with residents opposed to a permitted mega marina.
About 20 residents and members of Save Coral Bay, which formed in opposition to Summers End Group’s planned 145-slip mega marina for Coral Bay harbor, met with Mapp in at a relaxed town hall style meeting at Pickles in Paradise which stretched on for three hours on November 17.
The group, which has an online crowd funding site at www.GoFundMe.com/CoralBay to help cover legal costs, had already met with Christensen, explained David Silverman, a community activist and main organizer of the Save Coral Bay campaign.
“We had met with Donna Christensen before the General Election and had asked her for her views and expressed our community views about the Summer End Group marina,” said Silverman. “Then it turned out that they were headed to a runoff election and I was urged to reach out to Mapp and invite him out here, which I did.”
Silverman made it clear to Mapp what exactly Save Coral Bay members’ main concerns were, he explained.
“Prior to the meeting, I shared with him [Mapp] the questions that I intended to ask,” said Silverman. “I asked him about Guy Benjamin School and I asked him about sustainable economic development on St. John. And my final question was, if he were elected Governor would he, with the powers that he has under the Coastal Zone Management Act, revoke the permits that had been signed by Governor John deJongh.”
Responding to his stand on the shuttered Coral Bay public elementary school Guy Benjamin School, Mapp explained that education was a top priority, according to Silverman.
“He [Mapp] said that the Department of Education was a top priority and he felt that the community of St. John would best be served by a central school for the island,” Silverman said.
At first Mapp, was unaware that he could strike down the permits which sailed through a questionable St. John Coastal Zone Management Committee process, Silverman explained.
“Initially he didn’t know if he would have those powers and I asked if, hypothetically, he had the powers would he revoke the permits and he said he would have to consider it,” said the community activist.
In several short videos from the meeting with Mapp, which were posted to the Save Coral Bay website, the newly elected governor clearly states that Summers End Group’s planned marina is too large.
“It’s too big,” Mapp says on the video. “From the time it was proposed, we’ve said it’s too big. We don’t believe the bay can handle it and to be quite candid, I don’t think it can pass the muster of the Army Corps of Engineers.”
“When I saw it I just said, this is just ridiculous; the whole size of it, the whole enormity of it,” Mapp says in a second video posted on the Save Coral Bay website. “In the governmental process, locally as well, there are more progs to go.”
There is an effort to push the project through the governmental process of permitting for submerged lands, Mapp said in the video.
“Clearly there is an effort to try to beat the clock on January 5,” said the governor-elect. “And they really aren’t going to be able to beat that clock. Without going too far, I’m suggesting that time is on the side of the community.”
Mapp makes it clear in a third video that developers have no intention of reducing the size of the large-scale project.
“I asked one of the developers if the reason they made it so large was so that when there was a clamor about it they would be prepared to reduce it to a size that was amendable to the community and they get the marina,” Mapp said in a video. “And the person responded, ‘No, we want it that size.’”
With Mapp taking over the territory’s top governmental job soon, last month’s meeting was a great opportunity, Silverman explained.
“It was very gratifying that on the eve of a run-off election, he chose to come all the way out to Coral Bay,” he said.
For more information about the Save Coral Bay campaign, go to http://savecoralbay.com. To donate to the group go to www.GoFundMe.com/CoralBay.
Source: Trade winds newspaper