CBCC Invites Residents to Watershed Management Visioning Meeting on Dec. 3

A previous Coral Bay meeting on the Watershed Management Plan

The Coral Bay Community Council (CBCC) will host a community visioning meeting from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m., Tuesday, Dec. 3, at Caribbean Oasis restaurant in Coral Bay for all who live or work in Coral Bay and are interested in taking actions that will protect the environment by helping to update the Coral Bay Watershed Management Plan.

The future is based on balancing environmental protection and development from ‘Ridge to Reef.’ “Stormwater runoff, wastewater, fertilizers and other chemical contamination harm our water and negatively impact our community’s health and livelihood,” said Rachel McKinley, CBCC’s project leader. “This is why it is so important that the community continues to prioritize and plan actionable strategies to remedy and prevent future water quality issues. Everyone lives in a watershed and can do their part to protect our waters.”

In June 2019, CBCC and Watershed Consulting Associates LLC (WCA) hosted the kick-off meeting attended by over 35 residents to introduce the community to the planning process and collect residents’ observations and concerns related to all factors that influence the Coral Bay watershed. The community was asked what they love about living in Coral Bay, which areas are special and deserving of protection, and where they think funding and efforts should be focused. Watershed Consulting Associates also visited sites that were identified by residents to examine stormwater problem areas and other current areas of pollution concern within the Coral Bay watershed.

At the upcoming public meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 3, CBCC and Watershed Consulting will provide the community with an update on the project’s progress and lead visioning exercises to draw out local ideas and actionable goals for a shared future. This input will serve as the basis of the 2020 Coral Bay Watershed Management Plan that will include actions to reach the community goals.

All are invited and encouraged to share their thoughts and experiences. Working together on watershed management and planning will help develop critical alliances and promote cooperative efforts allowing all of us to serve the community in the most effective way possible.

The 2020 Coral Bay Watershed Management Plan is supported by a WaterSMART grant to CBCC from the U.S. Department of the Interior and by a grant from the Virgin Islands Department of Planning and Natural Resources’ Coastal Zone Management Program.

St. John residents working on Coral Bay Watershed Management Plan

The Coral Bay Watershed Management Plan has been instrumental in securing federal and local grants for stormwater mitigation, solid waste, drinking water and wastewater issues by providing measurable objectives and strategies for these areas of work. To find out more about watersheds and watershed management, check out CBCC’s website at: www.CoralBayCommunityCouncil.org/watershed-management-project/.

This 2020 Plan is part of the overall Coral Bay Watershed Management Project. The goals of the Coral Bay Watershed Management project are to empower the community to:
1) effectively reverse the past environmental and infrastructure degradation caused by poor construction practices, badly designed roads, disturbed wetlands and other development choices; and
2) to envision and plan for future physical and economic development that does not exceed the carrying capacity of the land and environment, while still providing all infrastructure needs such as water, wastewater systems, solid waste management, roads and public services.

For more information, contact the Coral Bay Community Council at 776-2099 or email Plan@CoralBayCommunityCouncil.org