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Charlotte Amalie
Thursday, June 1, 2023
HomeNewsArchivesTechnical Help Available for Coral Bay Stormwater Issues

Technical Help Available for Coral Bay Stormwater Issues

May 18, 2009 — The Coral Bay Community Council has hired an engineer to help the area solve its rampant stormwater issues.
On the job about a month, engineer Joe Mina was on hand last week when torrential rains began and Coral Bay Harbor turned brown from sediment running down the hills.
"I was running around and saying 'look at the water,'" Mina said, gleeful at the firsthand look he got at what happens when heavy rains fall.
Mina addressed a Community Council meeting held Monday at Sputnik Restaurant in Coral Bay. About 20 people attended.
The Community Council hired Mina with funds from a $300,000 U.S. Environmental Protection Agency grant. Council President Sharon Coldren said the money is supposed to last two years, but the group hopes to extend the time limit to three.
The grant will pay for Mina to provide stormwater expertise to homeowners who want to retrofit their properties to alleviate runoff issues.
The organization plans to develop 24 projects for Mina to tackle. Coldren said half will concern Coral Bay homeowners and half will deal with the government.
Extensive development on the hillsides above Coral Bay Harbor has created problems for the downhill neighbors as well as the harbor. Mina said that it usually takes about five to seven years for people to fully understand that what they do upstream impacts those who live downstream.
"The new gut under my house is the result of construction above," Coral Bay resident Pam Gaffin pointed out.
According to Mina, neighbors must agree to work together to solve problems.
The grant money will also go to help Coral Bay evaluate its drinking water and to try to find a solution to smoke reaching Coral Bay from the Tortola dump, Coldren said.
"And we're working on getting the Dumpsters out of the mangroves if we can," she said, referring to an area along Route 107 that's adjacent to the mangroves that fringe Coral Bay Harbor.
In other Community Council news, Coldren said a cleanup of the mangroves adjacent to Coral Bay Harbor resulted in the removal of truckloads of trash that included small boats and containers filled with mosquito-breeding water. Additionally, she said that volunteers cleaned up squatter camps.
Paul Devine of the Recycling Association of St. John provided an update on the group's activities. He said that in the year since recycling got off the ground, the organization transported 220,000 cans to a St. Thomas recycler. The recycler ships them off island to be recycled.
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