Coral Bay Community Council,Inc.

AIA Community Vision Project

St. John Environmental Building Guidelines
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The Coral Bay Watershed
Management Project

Click 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 demonstration projects.
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.

The Coral 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 help!



EPA-CARE funded Planning and Design, and Partnership Relations:
Minimizing Environmental Toxins



NOAA-ARRA funds to impliment construction of BMPS to Minimize Main Toxin:
Sedimentation into Shoreline and Marine ecosystems.



Numerous small grants to implement projects, and local govt. participation

     

Volunteers and HOA funding and donations



Also Investigation : Air Quality, Drinking Water, Solid Waste, Waste Water, and
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.


Storm water runoff - Coral Bay's worst Problem: Photos taken by CBCC members. Click Here


Sedimentation 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 systems

CORAL BAY COMMUNITY COUNCIL, INC.
Office: 8-1 Estate Emmaus, Coral Bay, St. John, U. S. Virgin Islands
Mailing: 9901 Estate Emmaus, St. John, VI, 00830-9587
E-mail: coralbaycommunitycouncil@hotmail.com
Phone 340-776-2099