Sept- Oct 08 Newsletter

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					                            September-October, 2008 REPORT
                               To promote conservation of environmental resources, provide education,
                                       and advocate for environmentally responsible actions.

     Message From the Chair                                   WOW, What a Summer!
Greetings SEA members and friends,                     SEA’s education staff has been very busy delivering
                                                       environmental lessons, field excursions, snorkel clin-
This month we are highlighting SEA’s Advocacy          ics, and much more. Read on for an overview of our
program, and asking for your support.                  summer accomplishments.

A year and a half ago when we surveyed some of         SEA Creatures Summer Program
our members and supporters, nearly everyone we         Once again the dynamic duo of Maria Turner and
asked identified advocacy and a “watchdog” role as     Lorraine Cadet delivered SEA’s summer program in
a core focus for SEA. The Board agrees. Advocacy,      camps all across the island. These two energetic
along with conservation and environmental educa-       women teach together at Juanita Gardine Elemen-
tion, is at the heart of SEA’s mission.                tary School and they are serious about their work
                                                       but also know how to have fun! In just five weeks
I am pleased to report that SEA’s advocacy pro-        they were able to serve 737 children from ten sum-
gram has grown well beyond the “watchdog” role.        mer camps. Students learned about wetlands,
While demanding environmental enforcement and          beaches, and forests with hands-on activities and
compliance remains important, we are working hard      field trips. Thanks again to all who made donations
to broaden our strategies and the scope of our ef-     to support this program!

For example:

•   SEA recently partnered with a developer to suc-
cessfully implement a new model for collaboration
to assure that environmental concerns are met, and
we are working to employ this model with others.
• We are expanding our focus to include the ad-
verse health effects of degradation of our island
•   SEA played an instrumental role in forming the
    VI Renewable Energy Alliance, which is promot-     Mangroves vs. sediment! Students at 4H Camp demon-
    ing the transition to renewable energy sources     strate how mangroves (stationary) capture sediment
    as part of the solution to high energy costs and   (running) protecting corals and other marine organisms.
    pollution of our environment.
                                                       Snorkel Clinics
And there is much more. See our letter inside.         SEA teamed up with VINE’s International Year of the
                                                       Reef (IYOR) 2008 Committee to provide snorkel
Of course, all of this takes a tremendous amount of    clinics for St. Croix youth. Each month a clinic is
staff and volunteer time – and money. So today we      held at a popular St. Croix beach and everyone is
ask for your financial support for SEA’s advocacy      welcome.       Participants are divided into groups
program. This is an important part of SEA’s core       based on their level of swimming ability so even
mission. Please use the enclosed envelope, give        non-swimmers can take part and parents are en-
generously, and help SEA keep this effort going.       couraged to join the fun. This summer we held three
                                                       special clinics for summer camp groups from Wil-
Thank you!                                             liams Delight, 4H Camp, and Grove Place in addition
Don Diddams, Board Chair                               to public clinics at Southgate in June and August.
                                                       Continued on page 2...
                                                               Summer cont’d from page 1.
       New Signs at Southgate
                                                               Beach games and contests, prizes, and refresh-
The Southgate Coastal Reserve (SCR) got a little               ments are all part of the fun and learning. SCUBA
facelift recently thanks to volunteers from Overland           instructors are on hand to provide an added level of
summer program. Young people from all across the               safety and to demonstrate their gear.
United States visited St. Croix to work on community
service projects. SCR benefited from several days              The IYOR team has done a super job with the kids!
of their labor removing invasive exotic plants, col-           They deserve recognition and thanks: Karlyn Lang-
lecting litter from the beach and wetlands, and in-            har, NOAA Fellow working for DPNR East End Ma-
stalling new signs at the entrance to the Reserve              rine Park; Emily Tyner, UVI Marine Advisory Ser-
and at the beach.                                              vice; Kim Ishida, Ocean Conservancy; and Melanie
                                                               Feltmate, TNC. IYOR 2008 is a program of the Vir-
                                                               gin Islands Network of Environmental Educators.
                                                               Bring your family out for the next clinic at Dorsch
                                                               Beach on September 20th!

                                                               Special Programs
                                                               SEA staffers Vanessa Forbes and Carol Cramer-
                                                               Burke made special presentations on beach and
                                                               wetland environments to the 4H Shining Stars and
                                                               V.I. Waste Management Authority summer pro-
                                                               Also, three groups from the Overland Summers pro-
                                                               gram provided service work at Southgate Coastal
                                                               Reserve, installing signs, cleaning litter from the
Overland summer students demonstrate their skills at           beach, and removing invasive exotic vegetation
Southgate Coastal Reserve.                                     while learning about the wildlife and environmental
                                                               values of the Reserve.
The signs welcome visitors and list rules for low im-          Estate Thomas Teacher Training Workshop
pact use of the property such as:                              We wrapped up the summer with a teacher training
• Do not drive vehicles on the beach or into wet-              seminar held at TNC’s Estate Little Princess and Es-
   land areas;                                                 tate Thomas Experimental Forest in Sion Farm.
• Do not leave litter;
• Contact the V.I. Fire Service before building fires
   on the sand;
• Keep dogs on a leash;
• Do not cut or remove plants.
All of the rules are intended to protect the birds, sea
turtles, mangroves, and other natural resources of
SCR, and the people who use the beach for recrea-
tion. The rules are applicable to nearly all Virgin Is-
lands beaches since people and wildlife make use of
nearly every beach.
SEA worked with DPNR Division of Fish & Wildlife,
East End Marine Park, and Coastal Zone Manage-
ment staff to insure that rules are in keeping with V.I.       Vanessa Forbes guides teachers as they practice a Biodi-
                                                               versity Study at Estate Thomas Experimental Forest.
laws, rules and regulations. Caribbean Design
Group donated design and layout services.
                                                               Eighteen teachers and natural resource profession-
                  SEA Says Thanks!                             als learned about the history, ongoing research, and
 Many thanks to Veronica Gordon, Rick Starr, Ken               environmental education potential of the Forest.
 Haines, and Rudy O’Reilly, Jr. for leading SEA ac-            Funding for the workshop was provided by the V.I.
 tivities, and to all of the volunteers who helped make        Department of Agriculture Urban & Community For-
 our many summer programs successful.                          estry Assistance Program.

                            ST. CROIX ENVIRONMENTAL ASSOCIATION
              Phone: (340) 773-1989      Fax: (340) 773-7545
                  Activities and Events Offered by St. Croix Environmental Association
SEA offers a variety of free or low-cost activities to explore and better understand our island’s environment. Residents and visitors
are welcome! SEA strives to provide knowledgeable guides for such activities as shore walks or hikes to better understand our na-
tive flora and fauna; visits to the bird rehabilitation program; organic farm visits; star-gazing; and snorkeling trips, to name just a
           few. If you would like to know more about SEA activities, volunteer as a guide or make suggestions, please call
                                                            SEA at 773-1989.

                                                 Save the Date!
                    Mark your calendar now so you won’t miss these special SEA events.

 Wednesday, November 12th 6:30-9:00 p.m.: SEA Annual Meeting at the Buccaneer Hotel
 Mermaid Restaurant. Potluck dinner, business meeting, and special guest speaker.

 Saturday, February 28th: SEAing Green Masquerade Ball and Auction!

Saturday September 20, 10:00—12:00 noon: IYOR Snorkel Clinic and International Coastal Cleanup at
Dorsch Beach, Frederiksted. Come kick of Coast Weeks with this free snorkel clinic and beach cleanup! Fun
for the whole family. Drinks, snacks, and snorkel gear provided as well as games and prizes! IYOR 2008 is a
project of the Virgin Islands Network of Environmental Educators (VINE). Coast Weeks is a project of Ocean
Conservancy, coordinated locally by VIMAS and VIWMA.

Saturday September 27, 7:30—10:00 a.m.: Celebrate Arbor Day with SEA at Southgate Coastal Reserve!
Bring your shovel, pick, and gloves to help plant native trees along the drive. Volunteers with pick up trucks
are needed to haul trees, mulch, and water. Please call 773-1989 to volunteer. Trees provided by the V.I.
Department of Agriculture Urban & Community Forestry Assistance Program.

Saturday October 4, 8:00—11:00 a.m.: Coast Weeks cleanup at Southgate Coastal Reserve. Trash in
the ocean kills more than 1 million sea birds and 100,000 marine mammals and sea turtles each year through
entanglement and ingestion ( Come out and do your part to protect wildlife!
Please protect yourself with hat, sunscreen, and closed shoes. SEA will provide drinks. Coast Weeks is a
project of Ocean Conservancy, coordinated locally by VIMAS and VIWMA.

Sunday, October 12, 10:00—12 noon: IYOR Snorkel Clinic at Altona Lagoon. Learn to snorkel or ad-
vance your skills! Meet at the Pavillion for snorkeling, games and prizes! Snorkel gear, drinks, and snacks
provided by IYOR 2008 and SEA. IYOR 2008 is a project of the Virgin Islands Network of Environmental
Educators (VINE).

Sunday, October 19, 9:00—11:00 a.m.: Salt River Park walk with Ken Haines, botanist and marine biolo-
gist, who has lived on St. Croix for 39 years. This walk will include examining the biological communities
found in the vicinity of the bay (mangrove and seagrass/seaweed communities) and the sandy beach commu-
nity behind the fringing reef, on the west side of Salt River estuary. The geology of Salt River will also be dis-
cussed, as well as an alternative theory about Columbus’ landing in 1493. Wear shoes that can get wet, sun
protection recommended. Pre registration is required. SEA members free, non-members $10. Call 773-1989.

Saturday, October 25, 8:00– 10:00a.m.: Sandy Point National Wildlife Refuge. Come explore and learn
about the dry forest plants with botanist Rudy O’Reilly. Bring hats, sunscreen, water, and a swimsuit for after
the walk! Pre registration is required. SEA members free, non-members $10. Call SEA 773-1989. Sandy
Point National Wildlife Refuge is managed by the US Fish & Wildlife Service.

            Virgin Islands Renewable Energy Alliance (VIREA)

SEA has taken a leadership role in producing a position paper to be published and distributed by the Virgin
Islands Renewable Energy Alliance (VIREA). The paper promotes energy conservation and use of renew-
able energy technologies in the USVI.
Conserve Energy! The first step to reducing required installed energy capacity is to reduce energy de-
mand. VIREA promotes improved efficiency of electric energy generation and distribution; use of energy effi-
cient appliances and solar water heating (SWH) systems; and energy efficient building design.
Renewable Energy Now, Not Later! VIREA urges WAPA to begin the shift to renewable sources
such as solar, wind and ocean thermal energy (OTEC) now, not 20 years from now. The report discusses,
energy independence, price stability of wind, solar and OTEC vs. the escalating price of coal, and health and
environmental risks from coal combustion. Check out the position paper on SEA’s website. Or call Claire at
773-1989 to receive a copy.

                                                                  THE ST. CROIX ENVIRONMENTAL ASSOCIATION
                              Check out our
                                                                     The SEA Report is a bimonthly publication of the St. Croix
                            website! All newsletters              Environmental Association (SEA), a chapter of the Virgin Islands
                            and the recycling directory          Conservation Society (VICS). VICS is a nonprofit membership group
                             (see Island Resources &                       affiliated with the National Wildlife Federation.
                              Links tab) are available.
                            Current list of activities and             SEA’s hours are Monday through Friday 9AM to 5PM.
                              events are also posted.
                                                                        Phone (340) 773-1989         Fax (340) 773-7545

                                                                                                               U.S. Postage Paid
St. Croix Environmental Association                                                                         Standard Mail Permit 39
5032 Anchor Way - Suite 3                                                                                   Christiansted VI 00820
Christiansted, St. Croix USVI 00820

              To promote conservation of environmental resources, provide education,
                      and advocate for environmentally responsible actions.

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