I am registering my opposition to the Great St. James CZM application. As a Virgin Islander and a resident of the island of St. Thomas, I continue to be amazed at the lack of enforcement of the rules and regulations put forth in the VI CODE for the protection of the Virgin Islands natural environment.
As is, our Virgin Islands infrastructure is falling apart by the seams with failing wastewater treatment facilities, declining water quality of water surrounding the Virgin Islands due to non-point-pollution, lack of enforcement of erosion controls and no plan to meet the needs of future Virgin Islanders who will inherit the messes we continue to perpetuate.
I know the first thing DPNR says is the agency doesn't have the manpower to enforce, let alone advise developers to follow the VI CODE, our laws. If all these developments over $500,000 were assessed impact fees, your agency could do what it is mandated to do, educate, preserve & protect our precious and slowly disappearing natural environment.
There is currently no infrastructure to support the plans to divide up and sell plots on Great St. James Island. We are blindly destroying the very same tourism product we advertise for short-term goals. If we continue at this pace without regard for our limited natural resources, we will have no tourism product and those of us who call the Virgin Islands home will be living in a concrete jungle, a paradise lost and a place of lost opportunity.
As a person who grew up on St. John, I am reduced to tears every time I need to travel to St. John. It is horrific to see the monstrosities being built on St. John from the Red Hook ferry dock & the eastern part of St. Thomas. In my humble opinion a moratorium on certain types of development should be considered until we have a viable Comprehensive Land and Water Use Plan. Unless the intent is to approve all these developments and then say there is no need for a plan because there is nothing to save.
Caroline A. Browne
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