Boating Community at Critical Juncture

Letter to the Editor,

The St. John boating community is at a critical juncture. The growth, expansion and development on St. John is creating complex and multifaceted issues for the boating community. The current ongoing and proposed development in Cruz Bay, Great Cruz Bay, Chocolate Hole, and Coral Bay is making it increasingly difficult for boaters to have space in the bays and also retain land access to the bays.

In many ways the boating community is representational of St. John as a whole. Both are diverse, eclectic, caring and involved. These qualities were evident at the first meeting of St. John boaters on Tuesday, June 26th. The group hopes to work with DPNR, the Governor, the Senators, St. John Administrator and any other agency or individual necessary to facilitate a better situation for boaters on St. John.

The boating community consists of at least three  groups. The commercial charter boats provide a livelihood for many people. For most live aboards their boats are their home. The other group of private boats provide recreation for many to enjoy time on the water. Whatever kind of boat someone has, they want to know they have a secure and permanent place for it. There must be a way to accommodate the needs of all boaters.

The boating community and DPNR need to work together in a consistent and co-operative effort to provide legal moorings and land access to bays. All parties involved need to be receptive to ideas so a tangible, viable and long lasting solution can be achieved. It seems to be a daunting task to sort out each bays’ issues and reach an all around acceptable solution. However, I do believe the determination and perseverance of St. Johnians can get it done. Attend the next meeting.

Mary Hartman