Coral Bay Watershed
here for July 2013 update on activities.
Phase 2, the second
five years of the the Coral Bay Watershed Management Project, began November
15th, 2012 with start up meetings of the partners and stakeholders. Click
here for the presention. Everyone is welcome to participate actively.
The new elements will be a number of planning activities. Funding sources
are being sought for these efforts.
Background: With less than
1200 people in the 1990s, in a 3,000 acre watershed, Coral Bay experienced
severe environmental pressures starting in the early 2000s due to a rapid
increase in population and land development that clearly outpaced the
capacity of the government to provide public services and infrastructure
that could support proper management of construction-related stormwater
runoff and other development-related environmental hazards.
To help deal with these problems,
in 2003, the Coral Bay Community Council (CBCC) was formed, with one of
its purposes to act as a watershed management association. CBCC has a
volunteer board and Executive Director, and a membership that has grown
to more than 350 residents and landowners in 2012, (who typically each
provide financial support of $30 to $100 annually).
CBCC has sought to develop
a consensus about common issues of concern among the diverse small community
– especially focused on securing quality government services –
within the larger Coral Bay watershed. From the beginning, the collective
concern most widely held was the need to address the construction-related
sediment laden stormwater run-off plumes entering into the well-known
beautiful blue waters and marine nursery habitat in Coral Bay.
Watershed Protection: Because of the nature of the soils and steep terrain,
coupled with an escalated rate of property development within the Coral
Bay Watershed, it has been a common experience for large loading of sediments
to reach the bay after only modest rain storms. This major concern is
caused by uncontrolled land development, cutting of roads, and lack of
appropriate stormwater management infrastructure. Watershed Management
is needed. CBCC’s approach in addressing these concerns is to forge
real solutions through planning, technical expertise on-the-ground available
to community residents, technical and educational outreach to construction
contractors, and implementation of Best Management Practices (BMPs) through
In addition to seeking attention from the territorial Department of Planning
and Natural Resources (DPNR), CBCC approached and sought the assistance
of federal agencies, in particular, NOAA and EPA for help on this major
problem. As a result, in 2007, NOAA funded the development of a Watershed
Management Plan for Coral Bay to serve as an assessment ‘pilot plan’
to address existing water quality issues within the Coral Bay watershed,
as a DPNR demonstration project for communities territory-wide.
Bay Watershed Management Plan (click underlined title to
download plan) is based on site visits in August 2007 and finalized in
March 2008 through a collaborative effort of multiple local and Federal
agencies, CBCC, and many local land owners and developers -- to serve
as a guide for developing ways to protect Coral Bay from sediment and
stormwater pollution. The plan provides a comprehensive set of objectives
and actions that address land use planning, protection and restoration
of sensitive lands and aquatic buffers, better site design and construction
techniques, and effective stormwater management. Please note that the
selected example sites are representative; there are many more sites in
Coral Bay that deserve equal attention.
Grants: This plan document
has been used since 2008 as a helpful outline of goals and objectives
that underpinned the receipt of two major grants – 1) the EPA
CARE grant and the NOAA
ARRA grant. Between 2008 and 2012, with the completion of
these grants, CBCC and the community have implemented aspects of 7 of
the 11 key objectives in the Coral Bay Watershed Management Plan.
In 2012, CBCC has a National
Fish and Wildlife Foundation Grant (requiring 1 to 1 funding matching)
to restore the wetlands across from
the dumpster site. CBCC will also be continuing to work with the community
on the full range of watershed concerns in Coral Bay, including helping
the Waste Management Authority find a better site for the dumpsters. CBCC
encourages community initiative in all of these areas. Please
contact CBCC by phone, email or stopping by the office if you want to
EPA-CARE funded Planning and Design, and Partnership Relations:
Minimizing Environmental Toxins
NOAA-ARRA funds to impliment construction of BMPS to Minimize
Sedimentation into Shoreline and Marine ecosystems.
Numerous small grants to implement projects, and local govt.
Volunteers and HOA funding and donations
Also Investigation : Air Quality, Drinking Water, Solid Waste, Waste
Land Use Planning Parameters
To increase public
awareness, a brochure insert has been created with
watershed information and suggestions for Coral Bay development. Here
it is in .pdf form: Coral
Bay Watershed Info If you cannot read it, go to http://www.adobe.com/
and download the free adobe reader to your computer.
water runoff - Coral Bay's worst Problem: Photos taken by CBCC members.
research is being conducted in Coral Bay and other St. John bays led by
Dr. Sarah Gray of the University of San Diego: Here are links to two reports
on the research: ICRS
sediment poster and GrayNOAAreport.pdf
Check out our new wastewater
systems page: A compilation of articles to encourage discussion in this
important area: wastewater