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Charlotte Amalie
Sunday, January 29, 2023
HomeNewsArchivesEPA Holds Listening Session on Coral Protection Next Week at UVI

EPA Holds Listening Session on Coral Protection Next Week at UVI

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Caribbean Coral Reef Protection Group and its government partners will hold a public listening session from 1 to 3:30 p.m. Monday at the University of the Virgin Islands in St. Thomas. The sessions will be broadcast via video to locations in St. Croix and San Juan, the EPA said in a press release.

The Caribbean Coral Reef Protection Group was recently formed to facilitate a closer working relationship among its member agencies to coordinate government strategies in protecting coral reefs.

During the listening session and at the accompanying broadcast locations, members of the Caribbean Coral Reef Protection Group will solicit input from the public regarding the state of coral reefs throughout the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico and how best to protect them.

The EPA has three locations lined up for the listening session: From the first floor conference room at UVI’s Administration and Conference Center on St. Thomas; and broadcast live to UVI’s Great Hall in St. Croix and at the EPA offices in Guaynabo, Puerto Rico.

Coral reef ecosystems throughout the Caribbean are being damaged by a growing number of problems such as overfishing, sediment runoff, pollution, disease and climate change, which causes the water to become warmer and more acidic. By implementing measures to reduce those stresses that can be addressed locally, coral health can be improved and reefs can become more resilient.

To let EPA know you’ll attend and to sign up to speak at the listening session on St. Thomas, or at the public broadcast on St. Croix, contact the EPA’s Keshema Webbe at 714-2333 or webbe.keshema@epa.gov. To sign up to speak at the public broadcast in San Juan and to let EPA know you’ll be there, contact David Cuevas at 787-977-5856 or cuevas.david@epa.gov.

In addition to the EPA, the Caribbean Coral Reef Protection Group includes the V.I. Planning and Natural Resources Department, the Puerto Rico Environmental Quality Board, the Puerto Rico Department of Natural and Environmental Resources, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service, the National Park Service, U.S. Geological Survey and the U.S. Coast Guard.

For more information on the Caribbean Coral Reef Protection Group, visit www.epa.gov/region2/coralreefs.

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