CBCC Members Welcome Patricia Reed as Environmental Projects Manager

Patricia Reed recently joined the Coral Bay Community Council as the group’s environmental projects manager.

Patricia Reed has wasted no time getting to know the Coral Bay community.

As the new environmental projects manager for the Coral Bay Community Council, Reed brings technical expertise, a passion for the environment and a dedication to the community.

Reed first arrived on St. John last year with her husband, who worked at Concordia Eco-Preserve as an exchange employee. The relationship worked and Concordia asked him to return as a full-time employee this season.

While Reed’s husband was settling in on the south shore, the environmental projects manager focused on offering her expertise on storm water and wetlands issues to CBCC.

Thanks to a three-year grant, currently wrapping up, from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, CBCC officials completed about 20 projects throughout the Coral Bay watershed aimed at stemming the tide of storm water runoff.

CBCC partnered with the Fish Bay Homeowners Association, and the V.I Resource Conservation and Development Council to obtain the multi-million-dollar federal grants.

From paving projects to restoring natural gut flows, the projects brought together neighborhood associations, territorial and federal agencies all working with CBCC to reduce the amount of runoff in the watershed.

The NOAA grant, funded by the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act funds, allowed CBCC officials to save money on the non-profit’s operating costs. During the life of the grant, CBCC was able to hire temporary employees including storm water engineer Joe Mina, who was replaced by Chris Laude. The group also hired Blake Parker, who served for 18 months as the NOAA project coordinator under the federal grant.

Saving on operations costs during the grant period allowed CBCC the opportunity to hire a full-time employee, and the group looked for someone with a strong environmental background.

With a master’s degree in environmental management from Duke University, Reed brought just the right skill set for which CBCC officials were looking.

“As the NOAA projects were completed, the CBCC Board began to assess how future CBCC work should be conducted,” said CBCC president Sharon Coldren. “It was decided to hire an environmental projects manager, with expert skills to write and manage grants and also perform and manage environmental research and analyses.”

In addition to overseeing the technical aspects of CBCC’s projects, Reed will also allow the group to expand its educational efforts, Coldren added.

“This new position will allow us to continue and expand our environmental protection activities and grants on a professional basis, while freeing up volunteer resources to address more of the broad range of community needs,” she said.

Reed officially started working for CBCC in October and has been enjoying her position already.

“My passion is ecology and I’m excited for the opportunity to work for CBCC,” said Reed. “I really like the community and am excited about expanding CBCC’s projects and outreach.”

As the group’s environmental projects manager, Reed will oversee water monitoring and analyses and hopes to broaden the group’s water quality testing. She also plans to identify additional storm water issues in the watershed.

“I come from an education background; my parents and my grandparents were all educators,” said Reed. “So I’m really happy to be a part of a group like CBCC.”

Reed invited community members to stop by CBCC’s office across from Skinny Legs in Coral Bay and say hello.

For more information about CBCC, call the organization at 776-2099 or check out their website www.coralbaycommunitycouncil.org.