The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has awarded the V.I. Department of Planning and Natural Resources an $841,000 grant for managing the territory’s Coastal Zone program.
V.I. Delegate to Congress Donna Christensen announced the grant award in a news release Friday.
According to Christensen’s announcement, NOAA provides ongoing funding through the National Coastal Zone Management Program to the Virgin Islands to help administer the territory’s federally approved coastal management program. The National Coastal Zone Management Program, under the Coastal Zone Management Act, is a voluntary federal-state partnership that protects, restores, and responsibly develops our nation’s coastal communities and resources by balancing economic development, coastal uses, and natural resource protection.
According to an award notice issued by NOAA, the funds support jobs and provide continued assistance to the Virgin Islands coastal management program to address coastal issues in the territory including permitting, program administration, public access, education and outreach and coastal resource protection.
Key projects include the continued participation of the territory in the regional planning efforts with Puerto Rico among others, the announcement said.
The funding also helps the territory to build momentum for the integration of climate-change adaptation into their permitting processes and continues to support a watershed coordinator that will actively facilitate greater community involvement in planning and implementation in the watersheds that bound coastal areas.
This award also supports the assessment and development of an implementation plan to address the impacts of the Magens Bay watershed with a view towards improving coastal water quality in this important economic and recreational area.
More more information about the grant award and its implementation can be obtained by calling the DPNR commissioner’s office at 1-340-773-1082.