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No more Buck Island days! Say it ain't so!

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marlene
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September 2, 2010 8:46 pm  

On St. Croix, the park service has told the major players taking tourists to Buck Island they have to stop. they are also going to put several mooring balls out and only allow those moored to stay at the island for personal use. No anchoring! There is an article in the Source and I think the Daily News. If anyone has the Source online, please link the article.

The Park Service needs to realize they are here for the people and are supposed to serve the public. Not the other way around.


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rks
 rks
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September 2, 2010 9:00 pm  

Calm down. It's standard for the National Parks to close temporarily after a storm. The Parks will reopen soon, if they haven't already by the time you read this. Since the NPS gets sued whenever someone stubs their toe, it is reasonable for them to conduct closures and damage assessments after a storm.

Anchoring is very destructive to the park. Through a long process of public meetings, scoping and outreach, the NPS is finalizing a general management plan for Buck Island which will phase out most anchoring with the installation of mooring balls.


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East Ender
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September 2, 2010 9:36 pm  

People were very upset when the park on St John went to moorings only. However, the sea grass has come back and with it, the turtles. If they allowed people to anchor willy-nilly, St John would look like many of the anchorages in the BVI. If you have ever seen the pictures of "Christmas in July", you'll know what I mean.:-o


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Neil
 Neil
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September 2, 2010 10:03 pm  

Darn, another perfectly lit torch gone to waste. Maybe can march on their Salt River malfeasance instead.


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marlene
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September 3, 2010 12:59 am  

And when those mooring balls get set there will probably be only 7-10 set. On a given Sunday there are up to 20 boats. If we sail out to Buck, it would take 3 hours only to find there is no more room.


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Neil
 Neil
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September 3, 2010 10:43 am  

And when those mooring balls get set there will probably be only 7-10 set. On a given Sunday there are up to 20 boats. If we sail out to Buck, it would take 3 hours only to find there is no more room.

If that happens I will be right behind you as we storm the Bastille.

btw...how many mooring balls does the NPS have in bays on St John??


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marlene
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September 3, 2010 2:01 pm  

3 or 4 at each spot and the balls are a long distance from the beach. When you go to the Baths in Virgin Gorda, BVI, the balls have all been chopped by boaters that slice the tackle off and the ball floats away so in the beginning there were about 20 and now only about 8.


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NugBlazer
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September 3, 2010 4:04 pm  

Calm down my ass, the original poster is right: this IS ridiculous! "Phasing out anchoring" at Buck Island? Are you kidding me? On any given sunday, there are 40+ boats out there. Are they really prepared to install and maintain 40+ moorings? I highly doubt it. Seems to me that they're trying to further limit the number of visitors to the park. Which is just plain wrong! The park should be available to all who wish to enjoy it. It's OUR -- us, the people's -- park. I've paid the NPS their Buck Island access fee, I don't feel it is fair of them to try and further tighten their already-strict control.

And anchors "damaging" the park? Puh-lease! As it is, you can only anchor in a relatively small area on the west end of the island. And it's nothing but SAND there. Anchoring in sand doesn't hurt anything.

Sailing to Buck is one of my absolute favorite activities to do on STX. If the NPS tries to ruin it, then to hell with them. I will wait to see what they do before passing judgement, but I am not optimistic.


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rks
 rks
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September 3, 2010 4:04 pm  

The mooring ball plan was arrived at through public consensus and that included a great deal of input from local boaters. Did you involve yourself in the process? Obviously not, since your anger is rooted in misinformation. But remember that Buck Island Reef NM was created, by President Kennedy, to protect the natural resource it encompasses, not to cater to the drunk rowdy Sunday boating community. Park visitation is a priviledge in any park, not a right. And before you throw around accusations you might consider that other federal lands in the territory which have been set aside for the valuable natural resources they protect, are frequently or permanently closed to visitation and violators of those closures are subject to arrest. The National Park Service does a pretty good, open and transparent job of seeking input and balancing competing interests, considering.


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aussie
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September 3, 2010 7:17 pm  

But remember that Buck Island Reef NM was created, by President Kennedy, to protect the natural resource it encompasses, not to cater to the drunk rowdy Sunday boating community.

Yup


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Neil
 Neil
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September 4, 2010 2:39 am  

The problem with Buck Island is that it's the only island we got off of StX. And we have few good natural bays to drop anchor in and goof off.

Buck needs protected in such a way so that we CAN enjoy it.

I'm confident the NPS can figure this out.


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TimB
 TimB
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September 4, 2010 2:41 am  

Calm down my ass, the original poster is right: this IS ridiculous! "Phasing out anchoring" at Buck Island? Are you kidding me? On any given sunday, there are 40+ boats out there.

Exactly...thanks for defending the point!!!!


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marlene
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September 4, 2010 3:09 am  

Thank you NugBlazer!

I'm mad as hell! Public concensus? B)) $h1++!!!!

Edited:
I have a permit to go to Buck Island. Was I contacted for these meetings? No.
How were the meetings posted? I know the key players were aware of the meetings and they weren't happy with what was being decided for the public concensus


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kieren
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September 4, 2010 11:30 am  

It really upsets me when people act like this. I promise, nobody is out to personally screw you out of a good time. They are trying to preserve the area so future generations can enjoy it just as much as we all have. I can understand that u are disappointed that you may have to find other things to do while the parks are closed, but I promise it's nothing personal against you. The park comes first, end of story. While your anchor may not be doing much damage, the beer cans and cigarette butts that end up in the water and on the island most certainly do.

It's good to let the area rest for a bit, especially after the damage that is done to the fragile Eco system there after a storm. It's not all about you.


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marlene
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September 4, 2010 12:43 pm  

If you knew me you would know I am not a 'me' person. I am a peoples servant in my work and my personal life. My husband and I love going for a sail to the west end or to Buck Island. Some days we have seen alot of garbage on those trips but with a sailboat, we can't stop to pick it up. We jump in the dinghy and grab stuff when we see a large quantity of trash floating. It just didn't come from Buck Island partyers. They only closed the island for a short period to assess the restrooms and trails. It's open now. Over on St. John we sail into areas that the national park service has moorings like Hawksnest and there are people partying on the beach who came from the island. Where I know the problem they are trying to resolve is the people who back up stern-to and drop their anchor into the beach. When they do that they are not thinking of the people walking the beach who have to walk around this, or whether a turtle nest may be under the sand. I just think the balls would make things worse. People will still anchor and when the balls get chopped off, they will float away and it will take forever to get a new one in its place. We'll just see how it is maintained.....and policed....


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TimB
 TimB
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September 5, 2010 2:37 am  

Marlene, you may say you are not a "me" person but your post are the total opposite.

You are upset because you can't get your personal joy and will not even look at the big picture,

I rarely post and will not again to you because you are about personal enjoyment and not about what is best. Please listen to others and get over yourself. It is not about you sailing out for a day but more about two generations from now being able to enjoy the same thing.


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Neil
 Neil
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September 5, 2010 12:35 pm  

Marlene, you may say you are not a "me" person but your post are the total opposite.

You are upset because you can't get your personal joy and will not even look at the big picture,

I rarely post and will not again to you because you are about personal enjoyment and not about what is best. Please listen to others and get over yourself. It is not about you sailing out for a day but more about two generations from now being able to enjoy the same thing.

I think you're wrong TimB. I re-read Marlene's last post and it's not about "me."
I've met Marlene several times and look forward to doing so again.
She has some legitimate worries/complaints.

The NPS could do A LOT MORE to encourage people like Marlene who are out there often to HELP THEM manage the place and keep it clean. Wouldn't hurt to patrol these areas more often either. Enforcement/personnel are too scarce.


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rks
 rks
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September 5, 2010 3:02 pm  

Funding is an uphill battle with them...the restorations you see in Christiansted are being done with money that was fought for from Omar recovery. It was a bitter battle as I understand it. The SE regional office, which administers parks in the region, often takes what little money is allotted to the VI parks for other pet projects. It is hard for the territorial parks to compete with places like Everglades when we don't have a voting representative and they have both senators and congressmen. Just so ya know.


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marlene
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September 5, 2010 6:41 pm  

Marlene, you may say you are not a "me" person but your post are the total opposite.

You are upset because you can't get your personal joy and will not even look at the big picture,

I rarely post and will not again to you because you are about personal enjoyment and not about what is best. Please listen to others and get over yourself. It is not about you sailing out for a day but more about two generations from now being able to enjoy the same thing.

Tim, yes, I am about personal enjoyment. A sailboat is a natural way to get out and use what nature gave us to get somewhere. I also work hard to make islanders think about the next generation. I am on the Recycling Association of the Virgin Islands and am the moderator of a Yahoo Group called Freecycle so people will hand over their trash instead of throwing it away. I have worked at in the past with SEA getting volunteers to hand out recycling bags to the public at Plaza Extra for several weeks to help stop plastic bags from being used. Did you know the class of 2011 at Good Hope School is trying to eliminate plastic bags before they graduate? If you feel so strong about helping out the next generations, PLEASE!! come to the next recycling meeting which is held the third Tuesday of every month at AARP; 5:30 - 7:00. I look forward to meeting you there Tim.

Marlene


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Bombi
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September 5, 2010 7:21 pm  

I read about the plan to install moorings at Buck a couple of months ago. I think it was a legal notice in the Avis or it may have been included in a communication with STX Environmental association, maybe the National Park website.
Anchoring to the beach would occasionally get out of control on holidays. I do it it but keep my shore anchor in the wet sand where no turtles nest. On major holidays it used to get a little crazy with the fast boats and the loud music or the 2 stroke blender but that was the scene.
Change is hard but I'll still sail out and hope to get a mooring. Maybe get there earlier or go during the week.

Buck is pretty much the only day sail location. Sometimes we go to Cramer or Smugglers Cove and tie up to a ball there but the sail to Buck is more fun.


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marlene
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September 7, 2010 4:03 pm  

Funding is an uphill battle with them...the restorations you see in Christiansted are being done with money that was fought for from Omar recovery. It was a bitter battle as I understand it. The SE regional office, which administers parks in the region, often takes what little money is allotted to the VI parks for other pet projects. It is hard for the territorial parks to compete with places like Everglades when we don't have a voting representative and they have both senators and congressmen. Just so ya know.

Just my point. This will be so much worse than you can imagine. What wrong has come from the 60's to now with anchoring? It has been 40 plus years since Buck Island has been declared a national monument and there are so many life beings in those waters now. No creature has become extinct or endangured. The sand on the west side is just the same as the sand anywhere else and if there is something that you have read that will be in dangure from people anchoring in sand, please post.

Those few balls will be placed and will not be policed or maintained and will disappear within a few years.


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aussie
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September 7, 2010 5:00 pm  

The sand on the west side is just the same as the sand anywhere else...

Except that the sand at Buck Island is within the boundaries of a national monument.

I understand your concerns about maintenance and enforcement but do you really think that the park service is switching to a mooring ball system for any other reason than to protect the environment and the ecosystems? Sand is not barren of life.

Anchoring is, by its very nature, destructive. This article is a little off point but some may find it interesting.

http://fw.dpnr.gov.vi/fish/Docs/FisheriesReports/2006/F7AnchorDamage.pdf

"An Investigation of Anchor Damage to the Frederiksted Reef System:
Impacts to Substrate, Benthic Communities, and Reef Fish Assemblages"


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marlene
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September 7, 2010 10:12 pm  

ok, here is a question to ponder.

With all the coconuts on this island, why is there not a palm tree on Buck Island? Do you think there may have been coconuts brought over to BucK? I think so. What happenes to palm trees when they grow on Buck Island? Ask the park service....they are so into living things... I would love to see a palm tree growing on Buck Island. Wouldn't you? But it doesn't matter what the people want.


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rks
 rks
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September 7, 2010 11:07 pm  

Coconut palms are non-native. A great deal of money and effort have gone into restoring the fauna and flora of Buck Island to the species that are native to the island, including a fantastic number of endangered species for such a small area.


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Bombi
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September 7, 2010 11:09 pm  

Marlene, a few years ago there was a project to remove all non indigenous species. Years ago lignam vitae trees grew there. At one time there was a pretty good size pond. A big storm breached the bank and it became brackish.

A few clusters of palm trees would be nice, especially for a little shade.


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