RULES and REGULATIONS
Sday of ,2006
CHARLES W. TURNBULL
VI Coastal Zone Management
DEAN C. PLASKETT, Esq.
Department of Planning
& Natural Resources
Rules and Regulations 2
98-1 Purpose; Management Plan; Effective Date
98-4 Prohibited Activities, Park Wide
98-5 Prohibited Activities by Park Zone
98-6 Emergency Regulations
98-7 Permits application procedures and issuance criteria.
98-8 Marine Park Office; Marine Park Advisory Committee
98-10 Revocation of Marine Park Permit
98-11 Hearings and Due Process Procedures
98-12 Penalties and Fines
Appendix I St. Croix East End Marine Park Map;
Boundary Coordinates of the St. Croix East End Marine Park and its
Wildlife Preserve Zone, No-Take Zone, Open Zone and Recreational
Appendix II Wildlife Preserve Zone Access Restrictions (Reserved)
98-1 Purpose; Management Plan; Effective Date
(a) These regulations are promulgated pursuant to and shall supplement 12 V.LC
Section 98. These Marine Park ("Marine Park" or "Park") Rules and Regulations
are promulgated in order to protect territorially significant marine resources,
promote sustainability of marine ecosystems including coral reefs, sea grass beds,
wildlife habitats and other resources and to conserve and preserve significant
natural areas for the use and benefit of future generations, pursuant to V.I. Code
Annnot. tit. 12, Chapter 1, Section 98, as amended.
(b) The Coastal Zone Management (CZM) Commission (Commission) will
review the Management Plan 7 years after initial adoption by the Virgin Islands
Legislature, afterward the Management Plan will be reviewed every 5 years. The
Commission shall review these Marine Park Regulations at the fifth anniversary
of their enactment to determine their effectiveness.
(c) Upon the Effective date of these Rules and Regulations, the Division of
Coastal Zone Management shall cause marker buoys to be installed to delineate
the boundaries of the St. Croix East End Marine Park and the Recreational, Open,
Wildlife Preserve and No-Take Zones therein. The Enforcement provisions of
these Rules and Regulations shall go into effect following a 30-day public notice
period, which shall begin upon the completion of the installation of the marker
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98-2 St. Croix East End Marine Park Boundary
The shoreline boundary is delineated by the highest tide line, and beginning at the
western most point of Chenay Bay (17.76103049 N, -64.6682224 W), proceeding
around the eastern tip of St. Croix, and ending at the western most point of Great
Pond Bay (17.71424314 N, 64.66470456 W). Following the northwestern
boundary latitude line associated with the western-most point of Chenay Bay, 64
degrees 40' 5.6" W (latitude converted to degrees minutes format), the boundary
extends geographically north to the three nautical-mile limit and follows the three
nautical-mile limit to the latitude line associated with the western-most point of
Great Pond Bay, 64 degrees 39' 52.9" W (latitude converted to degrees minutes
format), excluding areas under federal jurisdiction.
The following definitions apply to the Marine Park Regulations:
"Act" means Act No. 6572 promulgated by U.S. Virgin Islands Government establishing
the St. Croix East End Marine Park and authorizing the establishment of other marine
"Adjudication" means the Department of Planning and Natural Resources' process for
formulating a final administrative decision.
"Adverse Effect" means any factor, force, or action that independently or cumulatively
damages, diminishes, degrades, impairs, destroys, or otherwise harms any Park resource
as defined in this section or any of the qualities, values, or purposes for which the Park is
"Airboat" means a vessel operated by means of a motor driven propeller that pushes air
"Anchored" or "Anchoring" means that a vessel is held, wholly or partially, by the
resistance of the anchor dropped to the bottom and attached to the bow.
"Authorized Permit" means a permit issued by the Department of Planning and Natural
Resources that allows for the removal of marine resources for commercial, recreational or
scientific purposes within the Park's boundaries.
"Cast Net Bait Fishing" means
(a) the use of a hand-thrown, conical net made of nylon or monofilament, weighted on
the bottom edge, to encircle and catch baitfish, such as herring (a.k.a. sprat and fry)
(Family Clupeidae redear sardine, false pilchard, thread herring and dwarf herring),
anchovy (Family Engraulidae dusky anchovy) and halfbeaks (Family
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(b) the use of a gill net that does not exceed eight (8) feet in depth and a span of six
hundred (600) feet.
"Closed" means that all entry or use is prohibited.
"Commercial Activity" means an activity undertaken for financial gain.
"Commission" means the Virgin Islands Coastal Zone Management Commission
established by V.I. Code Annot. Title 12, Section 904(a).
"Commissioner" means the Commissioner of the Department of Planning and Natural
"Committee" means the committee established by VI. Code Annot. Title 12 Section
904(a) whose jurisdiction includes the park; such committees include the St. Croix
Coastal Zone Management Committee, the St. Thomas Coastal Zone Management
Committee and the St. John Coastal Zone Management Committee. With respect to the
St. Croix East End Marine Park, "Committee" or "CZM Committee" means the St. Croix
"Conservation ticket" means a form, prescribed by the Commissioner or the
Commission, upon which a Notice of Violation or a Notice of Violation and Assessment
may be written.
"Concessionaire" means a person operating a concession (business) for profit (i.e. boat
tours, guide fishers, kayaking, SCUBA guides, etc.).
"Coral" means the corals of the Class Hydrozoa, Order Milleporina (fire corals); Class
Anthozoa, Subclass Octocorallia (gorgonians, telestaceans, soft corals), Subclass
Hexacorallia, Order Scleractinia (stony corals), and Order Antipatharia (black corals).
"Coral communities" means the marine habitat where coral growth occurs.
"Decision" means an initial or final decision of the hearing officer.
"Department" means the Department of Planning and Natural Resources.
"Emergency" means an unexpected situation that poses an immediate danger to life,
health, property, Park or marine resources and demands immediate action to prevent or
mitigate loss or damage to life, health, property or essential public services.
"Existing Management Area" means areas within or near the Park that are managed by
other agencies or another Federal or Territorial authority of competent jurisdiction as of
the effective date of these Marine Park Regulations where restrictions already exist.
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"Exotic Species" means a species of plant, invertebrate, fish, amphibian, reptile or
mammal whose natural zoogeographic range would not have included the waters of the
Caribbean and adjacent tropical waters without passive or active introduction to these
areas through anthropogenic means.
"Final Administrative Decision" means an order or decision of the Department, by a
hearing officer, assessing a civil penalty or permit sanction which is not subject to further
Departmental review under these Marine Park Regulations and which is subject to
collection proceedings and judicial review in an appropriate court, as authorized by law.
"Fish" when used as a noun, means fish, oysters, clams, conchs, crabs, lobsters, shrimps,
turtles and other marine or aquatic animals, mammals, mollusks and crustaceans and
includes any part, product, egg, or offspring thereof, or the dead body or parts thereof, as
stated in the Virgin Islands Code Title 12, Section 302.
"Fisheries Enhancement Device" means a natural or man-made material at the surface,
in the water column or on the bottom, to serve as habitat for the colonization or
aggregation of fish.
"Fishing" or "fisheries" means the catching, taking, or harvesting of fish, all acts
involved in the use, setting up or operation of any device employed in killing, catching,
taking, or harvesting fish, the attempted catching, taking or harvesting of fish; or any
other activity which can reasonably be expected to result in the catching, taking, or
harvesting of fish or any operation within the park in support of, or in preparation for, any
activity described in this subparagraph. The verb "to fish" in all its modes and tenses
means to take, capture, kill, or harvest or attempt to take, capture, kill or harvest fish by
any method or means, whether or not such method or means results in their capture.
(1) "Recreational Fishing" means any fishing using hand line or rod and
reel from the shoreline or from a vessel not operated for commercial
purposes or for the purpose of scientific research. Recreational Fishing
must not involve the sale, barter or trade of part or all of the catch.
(2) "Commercial Fishing" means the sale, barter, or trade of part or all
of a catch.
(3) "Catch and Release Guide Fishery" means a for-profit fishery in
which guides, registered and licensed to fish in the USVI and The Park,
employ rod and reel line fishing techniques from vessels or the shoreline
to catch and release inshore recreational gamefish species. Only barbless,
single J- hook baits (live, dead or artificial) or barbed or barbless circle
hooks may be used.
"Forfeiture" includes, but is not limited to, surrender or relinquishment of any claim to
an item by written agreement or otherwise; or loss of any claim to, and transfer of title to
an item to the Park or the Department by court order or by order of the Commissioner,
pursuant to statute.
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"Gray water" means untreated wastewater that does not contain black waste (sewage)
"Hardbottom" means a flat, hard, carbonate-based material having a low percent live
cover of scleractinian and milleporid corals. Portions of this habitat type may be covered
by a thin veneer of sand with occasional coral and gorgonian outcroppings.
"Hearing Officer" means any person designated by the Commissioner to preside over
hearings under these Marine Park Regulations.
"Historical /Cultural Resources" means a structure, place, site or object having historic,
archaeological, scientific, architectural or other cultural significance to the United States
"Idle Speed Only/No Wake Zone" means a portion of the Park where the speed at
which a boat is operated does not produce a wake.
"Injure/Injury" means damage, either accidental or intentional, to park, marine,
cultural or historic resources within the boundaries of the Marine Park.
"Initial Administrative Decision" means a decision of the Hearing Officer which, under
applicable statute and these Marine Park Regulations, is subject to review by the
Commissioner, but which becomes the final administrative decision in the absence of
"Live Rock" means any living marine organism or an assemblage thereof attached to a
hard substrate, including dead coral, rock, or mollusk shells.
"Marine Life Species" means any species of marine mammal, reptile, seabird, fish,
invertebrate, or plant.
"Marine Park Advisory Committee (MPAC)" means a group of stakeholder
representatives that provide advisory services to the Commissioner of DPNR, including
periodic consultation, effectiveness evaluations, progress reviews, work plan review, and
assist in developing management plans.
"Marine Park Office" means an office focused on activities within the Marine Park.
"Marine Protected Area" or "Marine Park" or "Park" means an area of the marine
environment that has been reserved by federal, state, territorial, or local laws or
regulations to provide lasting protection for part or all of the natural, historic and cultural
"Marine Resource(s)" means all biotic (living organisms, e.g. marine life species) and
abiotic (non-living, physical environment, e.g. sand, rock, bedrock) components of the
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"Military Activity" means any activity conducted by the U.S. Department of Defense
with or without participation by foreign forces, other than civil engineering and other
civil works projects conducted by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
"Moored" when applied to a vessel, means that the vessel has cast and fastened to a
mooring cable which will hold it and not allow it to detach itself therefrom for a greater
distance than the length of the cable and where the vessel's anchor has not been cast from
"Mooring" means a semi-permanent anchorage installation consisting of an approved
"Mooring Areas" mean those areas which are portions of waters within the Park that are
designated as such by the appropriate Rules and Regulations.
"Mooring Permit" means a written authorization by the Department of Planning and
Natural Resources to place a mooring as defined in Title 25 Section 405 of the Virgin
Islands Code. The issuance of a mooring permit is contingent upon payment of the
appropriate mooring permit fee.
"Mooring Year" means the period for which a mooring space is assigned.
"No Access Buffer Zone" means a portion of the Park where vessels are prohibited from
entering regardless of the method of propulsion.
"No Motor Area" means an area of the Park where the use of internal combustion
motors is prohibited. A vessel with an internal combustion motor may access a no motor
zone only through the use of a push pole, paddle, sail, electric motor or similar means of
operation but is prohibited from using its internal combustion motor.
"No-Take Zone" means an area where all living marine resources are protected through
prohibitions on fishing and the removal or disturbance of any living or non-living marine
resource, except as necessary for research or monitoring to evaluate Park effectiveness.
"Not available for immediate use" means not readily accessible for immediate use, i.e.,
by being stowed unbaited in a cabin, locker, rod holder, or similar storage area, or by
being securely covered and lashed to a deck or bulkhead.
"Notice of Violation" ("NOV") means a written notice issued by an Environmental
Enforcement Officer, or other authorized personnel, which accuses a respondent of a
violation of these Marine Park regulations.
"Notice of Violation and Assessment" ("NOVA") means a written notice issued by the
Commissioner which accuses a respondent of a violation of these Marine Park
Regulations and assesses a civil penalty for the violation.
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"Officially Marked Channel" means a channel marked by Federal, Territorial, or Park
officials with competent jurisdiction with navigational aids except for channels marked
idle speed only/no wake.
"Open Zone" means an area where there are no special restrictions on fishing, boating
and diving activities, as prescribed by these Marine Park Regulations contained herein
and consistent with Title 12, Section 98 of the Virgin Islands Code.
"Owner" means the person listed as owner on the vessel Certificate of Registration or
the documentation certificate.
"Park Wildlife" means any species of fauna, including avifauna, which occupy or utilize
the Park's resources as nursery areas, feeding grounds, nesting sites, shelter, or other
habitat during any portion of their life cycles.
"Party" means a Respondent or the Department. It also includes joint respondents,
vessel owners or permit holders and any other persons allowed to participate in any
administrative proceeding concerning these rules and regulations.
"Payment Agreement" means any promissory note, security agreement, settlement
agreement or other contract, specifying terms according to which a permit holder agrees
to pay a Marine Park Civil Penalty.
"Permit" means any license, permit, certificate or other approval issued by the Marine
"Permittee" means the person to whom a valid permit has been issued by DPNR or any
agent or employee of said person authorized to act under the terms of the permit.
"Permitting" means the process for granting, revoking, renewing, denying or otherwise
limiting, amending or conditioning a permit.
"Person" means any individual, corporation or governmental body, other than a party,
competent to make an oath or affirmation, offer testimony and otherwise assist in the
"Personal Watercraft" (also known as "water scooter", "jet-ski", "wave runner", "sea-
doo", etc.) An engine-driven watercraft, usually driven by an inboard motor powering a
water jet pump, capable of quick maneuverability and reaching speeds of up to, and in
excess of, forty (40) miles per hour and upon which the driver (and passengers) sits,
kneels or stands rather than in the conventional manner of sitting or standing inside of the
"Prop Dredging" means the use of a vessel's propulsion wash to dredge or otherwise
alter the seabed. Prop dredging includes, but is not limited to, the use of propulsion with
deflectors or similar means of dredging or otherwise altering the seabed. Prop dredging
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does not include the disturbance to bottom sediments resulting from vessel operation
according to safe boating standards.
"Prop Scarring" means the injury to seagrass or other immobile organisms attached to
the seabed caused by operation of a vessel in a manner that allows its propeller or other
running gear, or any part thereof, to cause such injury (e.g. cutting seagrass rhizomes).
"Recreational Zone" means an area designated for swimming, snorkeling, diving,
boating, shoreline take line fishing, catch and release line fishing, and cast net bait fishing
and where activities that would compromise the recreational values of the area are
"Recreational Shoreline Fishing" means personal use (take) or catch and release fishing
with handline or rod and reel fishing techniques within 100 feet of the shoreline. Only
barbless, single J-hook baits (live, dead or artificial), or barbed or barbless circle hooks
may be used.
"Seagrass" means any species of marine angiosperms (flowering plants) that inhabit
portions of the seabed. These species include, but are not limited to: Thalassia
testudinum (turtle grass); Syringodium filiforme (manatee grass); Halodule wrightii
(shoal grass); Halophila decipiens (paddle grass), H. engelmannii (star grass), H.
johnsonii (Johnson's seagrass); and Ruppia maritima (widgeon grass).
"Shoreline" for the purposes of these Rules and Regulations shall mean the area along
the coastlines of St. Croix from the seaward line of low tide, running inland a distance of
fifty (50) feet; or to the extreme seaward boundary of natural vegetation which spreads
continuously inland; or to a natural barrier; whichever is the shortest distance.
"Special-use Permit" means a permit that temporarily allows a permitted to conduct
work in a specific area of the Park and includes, but is not limited to scientific research,
educational purposes, special events, recovery or restoration of a Park resource,
monitoring to prevent use or user conflicts, monitoring to facilitate access and use, or
monitoring to promote public use and understanding of Park resources.
"St. Croix East End Marine Park (STXEEMP)" an area established by legislative
approval on December 23, 2002 to protect territorially significant marine resources,
promote sustainability of marine ecosystems, including coral reefs, seagrass beds,
wildlife habitats and other resources and to conserve and preserve significant natural
areas for the use and benefit of future generations, as a unit of the territorial system of
"St. Croix East End Marine Park Management Plan" means the document that sets
forth the management objectives, policies and strategies for managing the St. Croix East
End Marine Park and addresses the St. Croix East End Marine Park's administrative
structure, resource use, boundaries, use zones, financial support, staffing and monitoring
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plans, and which was approved by the Virgin Islands Coastal Zone Management
Commission on July 19, 2002.
"Traditional Fishing" means those commercial or recreational fishing activities that
were customarily conducted within the Park prior to its designation as a protected area in
the Management Plan for the Park. These fishing activities include, but are not limited to,
the use of fish traps, seine nets, gill nets, trammel nets, spear fishing, hand collection or
gigs for conch, lobster, octopus and whelk (with or without the use of scuba gear), bottom
"Vessel" means a watercraft of any description, including, but not limited to, motorized
and non-motorized watercraft, airboats, and floatplanes which, while maneuvering on the
water, are capable of being used as a means of transportation in/on the waters of the Park.
For purposes of this section the terms "vessel," "watercraft," and "boat" are
"Wildlife Preserve Zone" means an area where some or all of the biological resources
are protected from removal or disturbance; term includes reserves established to protect
threatened or endangered species.
98-4 Prohibited activities Park-wide
(a)The following activities, whether purposeful or not, are prohibited throughout
the Park and thus are unlawful for any person to conduct or cause to be
(1) Removal of injury to or possession of coral or live rock
(A)Moving, removing, taking, harvesting, damaging, disturbing, breaking,
cutting, or otherwise injuring, or possessing (regardless of where
taken) any living or dead coral, or coral formation, or attempting any
of these activities except as permitted pursuant to section 98-7 of these
Rules and Regulations.
(B)Harvesting, or attempting to harvest, any live rock from the Park, or
possessing (regardless of where taken) any live rock within the Park,
except as permitted pursuant to section 98-7 of these Rules and
(2) Alteration of or construction on, the seabed
Drilling into, dredging, or otherwise altering the seabed of the Park, or
engaging in prop dredging; or constructing, placing or abandoning any
structure, material, or other matter on the seabed of the Park, except as an
incidental result of:
(A) Anchoring vessels in a manner not otherwise prohibited by these
Marine Park Regulations;
(B) Traditional fishing activities not otherwise prohibited;
(C) Installation and maintenance of navigational aids by, or pursuant
to, valid authorization by any Federal and/or Territorial authority;
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(D) Construction, repair, replacement, or rehabilitation of docks, piers,
or marinas with less than ten slips authorized by any permit,
approval, or other authorization issued by the Commissioner, the
Committee or any Federal agency;
(E) Scientific investigations permitted in compliance with section 98-7
of these Rules and Regulations;
(F) Establishment of artificial reefs and fisheries enhancement devices;
(G) Installation or maintenance of mooring or marker buoys.
(3) Discharge or deposit of certain materials
Within the boundary of the park, discharging, depositing, placing, or
abandoning, or allowing the discharge, deposit, placement or
abandonment of, any natural or man-made material that a person or vessel
has brought into the Park from outside of the Park except:
(A) Fish, fish parts, chumming material, or bait used or produced
incidental to and while conducting a traditional fishing activity in the
(B) Water generated by routine vessel operations (e.g. deck wash down
and graywater) excluding oily wastes from bilge pumping;
(C) As permitted pursuant to section 98-7 of these Rules and Regulations,
or other valid permit issued by a Federal or Territorial agency with
jurisdiction to issue said permit.
(4) Method of Operating Vessels
(A) Operating a vessel in such a manner as to strike or otherwise injure
coral, seagrass, or any other immobile organism attached to the
seabed, including, but not limited to, operating a vessel in such a
manner as to cause prop scarring;
(B) Having a vessel anchored or moored in a manner inconsistent with
these Marine Park Regulations;
(C) Except in officially marked channels, operating a vessel in a manner
which creates a wake:
(i) Within an area designated idle speed only/no wake;
(ii) Within 100 yards of navigational aids indicating
emergent or shallow reefs (international diamond
(iii) Within 100 feet of the red and white "divers down"
flag (or blue and white "alpha" flag in Federal waters); or
(iv) Within 100 feet of stationary vessels.
(v) Operating vessels in such a manner as to harass, or
injure or to take wading, roosting, or nesting birds,
turtles, or marine mammals.
(vi) Operating vessels in such a manner which
endangers any life limb, marine resources or property.
(5) Diving without a flag
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The red and white "divers down" flag or the blue and white "alpha" flag
must be flown in a conspicuous manner while SCUBA diving.
(6) The release of exotic species
Introducing or releasing an exotic species of plant or animal.
(7) Damage or removal of markers
Marking, defacing, damaging, moving, removing, or tampering with any
official Park signs, notices, or placards, whether temporary or permanent,
or any navigational aids, monuments, stakes, posts, mooring buoys,
boundary buoys, trap buoys, scientific equipment or other property or
equipment belonging to the Government of the Virgin Islands or any of
the departments under its supervision without proper authorization.
(8) Movement of removal of injury to, or possession of the Park's historical
or cultural resources
Moving, removing, injuring, possessing, or attempting to move, remove,
injure, or possess, any Park historical resource.
(9) Taking or possession of marine life species
Taking, possessing, or landing any marine life species or part thereof,
within the Park in any manner inconsistent with these Rules and
(10) Commercial activity
The sale of any consumer item, or the conduct of any commercial activity
except as authorized by special permit issued by the Marine Park Office.
(11) Interference with law enforcement
Interfering with, obstructing, delaying or preventing an investigation,
search, seizure, or disposition of seized property in connection with the
enforcement of these Marine Park Rules and Regulations or a permit
issued under these rules.
(12) Anchoring vessels in hardbottom or coral communities
The anchoring of vessels is permitted in sand only. Anchoring is
prohibited in hardbottom or coral communities.
(b) Notwithstanding the prohibitions in this section and any access and use restrictions
imposed pursuant thereto, a person may conduct an activity specifically authorized
by, and conducted in accordance with the scope, purpose, terms, and conditions of a
Park permit issued pursuant to Section 98-7 of these Marine Park Regulations.
(c) Notwithstanding the prohibitions in this section, and any access and use restrictions
imposed pursuant thereto, a person may conduct an activity specifically authorized by
a valid Federal, or Territorial lease, permit, license, approval, or other authorization in
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existence on the effective date of these Marine Park Regulations, or by any valid right
of recreational use or access in existence on the effective date of these Marine Park
Regulations, provided that the holder of such authorization or right complies with
Section 98-7 and with any terms and conditions on the exercise of such authorization
or right imposed by the CZM Committee as a condition of a permit, as he or she
deems reasonably necessary to achieve the purposes for which the Park was
(d) Notwithstanding the prohibitions in this section and in Section 98-7, and any access
and use restrictions imposed pursuant thereto, a person may conduct an activity
specifically authorized by any valid Federal or Territorial lease, permit, license,
approval, or other authorization issued after the effective date of these Marine Park
Regulations, provided that the applicant complies with Section 98-7, the St. Croix
CZM Committee notifies the applicant and authorizing agency that he or she does not
object to the issuance of the authorization, and the applicant complies with any terms
and conditions the St. Croix CZM Committee deems reasonably necessary to protect
the Park's resources and qualities. Amendments, renewals and extensions of
authorizations in existence on the effective date of these Marine Park Regulations
constitute authorizations issued after the effective date of these Marine Park
(e) The prohibitions contained in this section do not apply to Environmental Enforcement
Officers while performing enforcement duties and/or responding to emergencies that
threaten life, property, or the environment in their official capacity.
(f) Notwithstanding paragraph (a) of this section, in no event may a permit issue under
Section 98-7, authorizing, or otherwise approving, the exploration for, leasing,
development, or production of minerals or hydrocarbons within The Park, the
disposal of dredged material within the Marine Park or the discharge of medical or
hazardous waste, discharge of solid waste, burning or stockpiling of debris, or the
discharge or disposal of untreated or primary treated sewage.
98-5 Prohibited Activities by Park Zones
(a) In addition to the prohibitions set forth in Section 98-4, which apply park-
wide, the following Marine Park Regulations apply with respect to activities
conducted within the Park zones described in this section and in Appendix (II) to
these Marine Park Regulations. Activities located within two or more overlapping
Park zones are concurrently subject to the Marine Park Regulations applicable to
each overlapping zone.
(b) No-Take Zone
Operating a vessel greater than 150 feet in registered length is prohibited in all
No-Take Zones, except if such vessel is a public vessel and its operation is
essential for national defense, law enforcement, or responses to emergencies that
threaten life, property, or the environment.
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(1) Removing, taking, damaging, breaking, cutting, spearing or similarly
injuring any marine resource, by hand or by hand gear is prohibited.
(2) Fishing is prohibited. No commercial or recreational fishing is
allowed. Gear capable of harvesting fish that may be aboard a vessel
in a No Take Zone, must be stowed in such a manner that it is not
available for immediate use when entering and during transit through
No Take Zones. Vessels measuring 150 feet or less may transit
through a No Take Zone with legally harvested fish or other catch,
provided that all fishing gear is stowed on board such that it is not
available for immediate use.
(3) The removal of or injury to any living or nonliving marine resource,
except as necessary for research or monitoring to evaluate Park
effectiveness is prohibited.
(4) Operating a personal watercraft, operating an airboat, or water skiing is
(c) Wildlife Preserve Zone
(1) With respect to vessel traffic, marine portions of the Wildlife Preserve
Zone listed in Appendix II to these Marine Park Regulations or portions
thereof may be designated by the Committee to be "idle speed only/ no-
wake," "no-motor" or "no-access buffer" areas or "closed". The Marine
Park Coordinator, in cooperation with other Federal and Territorial
resource management authorities, as appropriate, shall post signs
conspicuously, using mounting posts, buoys, or other means according to
location and purpose, at appropriate intervals and locations, clearly
delineating an area as an "idle speed only/no wake," a "no-motor," or a
"no access buffer" area, and allowing instant, long-range recognition by
boaters. Such signs shall display the official logo of the Park.
(2) The following activities are prohibited within the Wildlife Preserve Zone
listed in Appendix II to these Marine Park Regulations:
(A) operating a vessel at a speed greater than idle speed only/no wake
in those marine portions of the Wildlife Preserve Zone designated
as an "idle speed only/no wake" area in Appendix II to these
Marine Park Regulations,
(B) using an internal combustion motor or engine in those marine
portions of the Wildlife Preserve Zone designated as a "no-motor"
area which will be listed in Appendix II to these Marine Park
Regulations. Persons may access a "no-motor" area only through
the use of a push pole, paddle, sail, electric motor or similar means
(C) entering by vessel those marine portions of the Wildlife Preserve
Zone designated as a "no-access buffer" area which will be listed
in Appendix II to these Marine Park Regulations,
(D) using gill or trammel nets
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(3) The Committee shall coordinate with other Federal and Territorial
resource management authorities, as appropriate, in the establishment and
enforcement of access restrictions described in paragraph (c) (2)(A) (C)
of this section in the marine portions of the Wildlife Preserve Zone.
(4) The Committee may modify the number and location of access restrictions
described in paragraph (c) (2)(A) -(C) of this section within the marine
portions of the Wildlife Preserve Area if the Committee finds that such
action is reasonably necessary to minimize disturbances to Park wildlife,
or to ensure protection and preservation of Park wildlife consistent with
the purposes of the Park designation and other applicable laws governing
the protection and preservation of Park's wildlife resources. The
Committee will effect such modification by:
(A) Publishing a notice and an opportunity for public comments in a
newspaper of general circulation in the Virgin Islands;
(B) Posting a notice regarding the time and place where maps
depicting the precise locations of such restrictions will be made
available for public inspection; and
(C) Posting official signs delineating such restrictions.
(d) Recreational Zone
(1) This zone provides an area for swimming, snorkeling, diving, and
boating, shoreline recreational take line fishing.
(2) Catch and release guide fishing and cast net bait fishing are allowed
only with a valid Marine Park Permit issued pursuant to Section 98-7
of these Rules and Regulations. Gill nets used for bait fishing cannot
exceed eight (8) feet in depth and a span of six hundred (600) feet.
(2) All other traditional fishing methods, as defined in Section 98-3, are
98-6 Emergency Regulations
All Park activities are subject to immediate temporary regulation or prohibition
where such temporary regulation or prohibition is necessary to prevent or
minimize the destruction of, loss of, or injury to life, public health, or a Park
resource or quality or to minimize the imminent risk of such destruction, loss, or
injury. Such emergency Marine Park Regulations or prohibitions shall not take
effect in the Park's Territorial waters until approved by the Committee. Any
temporary regulation may be in effect for up to ninety (90) days, with one 90-day
extension. Additional or extended action, if warranted, is at the discretion of the
Committee with notice in local newspapers, notice to mariners, and press releases.
98-7 Permits Application Procedures and Issuance Criteria
(a) When required, terms and conditions
(1) On or after the effective date of these Marine Park Regulations, any
person wishing to perform or undertake any commercial activity, or
scientific research or other activity that involves any extraction or
Rules and Regulations 16
alteration of or addition to any Marine Park resource in the Park
(excluding recreational fishing) shall obtain a Department of Planning
and Natural Resources permit for such activity in addition to obtaining
any other permit required by law from any public agency or under 12
V.I.C. 910 (d) of the Coastal Zone Management Act, if applicable,
prior to performing or undertaking such activity. Said permit will be
effective for one year.
(2) For the purposes of scientific research, the required Department of
Planning and Natural Resources permit for the purposes shall be the
permit issued by the Division of Fish and Wildlife pursuant to Title 12,
Chapter 2, Section 106 of the Virgin Islands Code, except that the
approval of the Director of Coastal Zone Management is also required
for all research activities in the Marine Park and the permit will also
include the requirement that the results of all research or other
scientific activity be furnished to the Marine Park Office within a
(3) In the case of persons performing commercial activities within the
Park, including catch and release guide fishing and cast net bait
fishing, the DPNR permit shall be a Concessionaire Permit obtained
from the Coastal Zone Management Director, in addition to obtaining
all additional permits and licenses required by the Virgin Islands Code.
The Concessionaire Permit shall be available at the Marine Park
Office. The Commission shall have the authority to set fees for the
Concessionaire Permit after a public hearing held in accordance with
the Rules and Regulations governing Coastal Zone Management
Committee meetings, Title 12, Chapter 21 of the Virgin Islands Code.
(4) The Director shall approve an application for a permit under this
section, subject to appropriate terms and conditions, if the Director
(A) The applicant, or agent has obtained any other applicable
licenses or permits, permanent, temporary or otherwise as may
be required by Title 12 or Title 27 of the Virgin Islands Code
to conduct and complete the proposed activity;
(B) For a scientific activity permit, the applicant has adequate
financial resources available to conduct and complete the
(C) The duration of the proposed activity is no longer than
necessary to achieve its stated purpose;
(D) The methods and procedures proposed by the applicant are
appropriate to achieve the proposed activity's goal in relation to
the activity's impacts on Park resources and qualities;
(E) The proposed activity will be conducted in a manner
compatible with the primary objective of protection of Park
resources and qualities, considering the extent to which the
conduct of the activity may diminish or enhance Park resources
Rules and Regulations 17
and qualities, any indirect, secondary or cumulative effects of
the activity, and the duration of such effects;
(F) It is necessary to conduct the proposed activity within the Park
to achieve its purposes; and
(G) The reasonably expected value of the activity to the
furtherance of Park goals and purposes outweighs any potential
adverse impacts on Park resources and qualities from the
conduct of the activity.
(H) Further research or monitoring related to Park resources and
(I) Further the educational value of the Park;
(J) Further the natural or historical resources value of the Park;
(K) Assist in managing the Park; or
(L) Otherwise further Park purposes, including facilitating multiple
use of the Park, to the extent compatible with the primary
objective of resource protection.
(b) No person or vessel may utilize any moorings located within the Park without
obtaining a mooring permit from the Marine Park Office. The Commission
has the authority to set the amount of permits that will be issued per year and
the amount that will be charged for the permit fees after a public hearing
called for that purpose.
(c) When may be waived
Where immediate action by a person or public agency is required in order to
prevent or minimize the destruction of, loss of, or injury to life, public health,
or a Park resource or to minimize the imminent risk of such destruction, loss,
or injury, the requirement of obtaining a permit under this section may be
waived by the Commissioner or the Committee.
98-8 Marine Park Office; Marine Park Advisory Committee
(a) Marine Park Office
(1) The Marine Park Office is an Office within the Division of Coastal
Zone Management responsible for overseeing the daily operations of
(2) The Marine Park Office will be headed by the Marine Park
Coordinator, to be named by the Commissioner of the Department of
Planning and Natural Resources, who will oversee the daily
management and function of the Park. The Marine Park Coordinator
will develop the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) that will serve
as a reference for all activities conducted by Park staff. These SOPs
should anticipate events related to user/visitor conflicts as well as
protocols for data collection, storage, and analyses. The main function
of the SOPs is to provide the details of the daily operations of the Park.
Rules and Regulations 18
(b) Marine Park Advisory Committee
(1) The Marine Park Advisory Committee (MPAC) serves as a liaison
between the appropriate Committee of the CZM Commission and the
Marine Park Office, and provides advisory services, including periodic
consultation, effectiveness evaluations, progress reviews, assists in
developing management plans, and engages in public outreach
initiatives to keep both direct stakeholders and the general public
educated and informed about the Marine Park. The MPAC will be
composed of the following individuals:
(A) Staff from the Department of Planning and Natural Resources
(DPNR), including the Coastal Zone Management Division,
Division of Fish and Wildlife, Division of Environmental
Protection, and Division of Environmental Enforcement, to be
designated by the respective offices.
(B) Representatives from stakeholder groups that may include, but
not be limited to: involved government agencies, local
scientists, fishers (commercial and recreational), Fishery
Advisory Council members, dive operators, tour operators,
boaters, hoteliers, landowners, and non-governmental
(C) Potential MPAC members will be recommended to the
Commissioner of DPNR for appointment by the MPAC
Chairman, or may be appointed by the Commissioner directly;
the term of appointment to the MPAC is two years upon
appointment by the Commissioner or until such time as there is
a replacement appointed. The composition of the MPAC
should ensure even representation of all member groups.
(D) The MPAC will promulgate by-laws, subject to the approval of
the Commissioner, to govern its composition and decision
(2) Coordination between the Marine Park Coordinator and the MPAC.
Decisions relating to the Standard Operating Procedures and permits
issued pursuant to Section 98-7 of these Rules and Regulations shall
be summarized in a report and submitted to the MPAC for the
MPAC's information, comments and recommendations. The MPAC
shall then submit the report with recommendations and/or
recommended changes, if any, to the appropriate Committee of the
(a) The Marine Park Office, its agents or Enforcement Officers of the Department of
Planning and Natural Resources may issue a verbal or written order to any person
they observe undertaking activities in violation of these Rules and Regulations to
cease and desist with such activities. These activities shall include but are not limited
to the following:
Rules and Regulations 19
(1) Undertaking, or in any manner threatening to undertake, any activity
within the Park that is prohibited by these Rules and Regulations.
(2) Undertaking, or in any manner threatening to undertake, any activity
that may require a Park permit without first securing such a permit.
(3) Any activity which is inconsistent with or in violation of any
provision of a Park permit.
In the case of a verbal Cease and Desist Order issued pursuant to this subsection,
said order shall be effective upon issuance of the verbal order, provided that the
verbal order shall be followed by a written Cease and Desist Order served within
2 business days following the issuance of a verbal Cease and Desist Order.
(b) The Commissioner, the Committee or the Committee's designee may issue a
written order directing any person to cease and desist from any activity which
may constitute a violation of these Marine Park Regulations.
In the case of a written Cease and Desist Order issued pursuant to this subsection,
said order shall be effective upon issuance by the Committee, its designee or the
Commissioner, and shall be served by certified mail or by hand delivery upon the
person or persons whose activity may constitute a violation of these regulations,
upon the permitted, or upon the agent or agents of any such persons.
(c) A written Cease and Desist Order shall state the alleged violation and may state
the steps necessary to ensure compliance with the relevant Marine Park
(d) A Cease and Desist Order shall state the time and place for a hearing for the
purpose of determining the facts relating to the alleged violation of the Marine
Park Regulations and of determining an appropriate remedy. The hearing shall be
scheduled for a date no later than seven (7) working days after issuance of the
written order, provided that a reasonable postponement may be granted on the
request of the person to whom the order is directed. A hearing is required
regardless of whether the person or persons whose activity is alleged to constitute
a violation of the Marine Park Regulations chooses to attend or be represented,
provided that the hearing may be cancelled if the violation is remedied prior to the
date of the hearing.
(e) When a Cease and Desist Order is issued by the CZM Committee, the Committee
shall appoint a designee, who shall be the presiding officer at the hearing. If the
presiding officer designee deems it necessary, he/she may arrange for a verbatim
transcript of the hearing to be prepared.
(f) At any hearing, the person or persons whose activity is alleged to constitute a
violation of these Marine Park Regulations shall have an opportunity to be heard,
to present evidence, and to cross-examine witnesses.
Rules and Regulations 20
(g) Promptly after the hearing, the presiding officer shall make a determination in
writing, which shall be accompanied by findings of fact and conclusions of law in
support thereof. When a Cease and Desist Order is issued by the Commissioner,
the Committee or its designee, the entity that issued the Order shall have the
opportunity to review and amend said determination and the supporting findings
and conclusions. Said determination, together with supporting findings and
conclusions, shall be promptly served on all persons upon whom the Cease and
Desist Order was served and shall be made available to other interested persons.
If the presiding officer determines that a violation has occurred, then the
determination may also include:
(1) In the case of violation of an existing Park permit, an order that the
violations be remedied by fulfilling the requirements and conditions of the
Park permit (including restoration); or that a modification to the Park
permit be applied for;
(2) In the case of undertaking of activity without obtaining a Park permit, an
order that application be made for a Park permit and/or that appropriate
remedial action be taken at the site of the violation;
(3) A statement that the Cease and Desist Order shall remain in effect until
lifted by the entity that issued the Order only after the prescribed steps are
taken that are designed to ensure compliance with these Marine Park
(4) A recommendation on whether a revocation preceding be instituted;
(5) A recommendation on whether the violations be prosecuted by the
Attorney General or other appropriate authority before the appropriate
court or administrative tribunal; and
(6) Any other appropriate statement, order of remedial action, or
If the presiding officer determines that there has not been a violation of these Marine
Park Regulations, then the Cease and Desist Order shall immediately terminate.
(h) Enforcement officers may issue conservation tickets for any violation of these Marine
Park Rules and Regulations that they observe, pursuant to the authority vested in
them under Title 12, Chapter 99a of the Virgin Islands Code.
98-10 Revocation of Marine Park Permit
(a) Failure of a permitted or applicant to comply with the requirements of these Marine
Park Regulations or the provisions of a Marine Park permit shall constitute grounds
for revocation of the permit.
(b) When the Committee, the Commissioner or the Marine Park Coordinator has reason
to believe that grounds for revocation exist or requests a designee to investigate
whether such grounds exist, the Committee, Commissioner, Coordinator or the
designee shall conduct an investigation if such investigation has not previously been
conducted. If the investigation results in a determination that grounds for
revocation exist, the Committee or its designee shall consider the matter.
Otherwise, the Committee, or its designee, shall report the results of the
Rules and Regulations 21
investigation on its own motion, and determine that sufficient grounds exist to
consider the matter.
(c) Upon the Committee's or the Committee designee's determination to schedule a
hearing, notice containing the following information shall be served by certified
mail or hand delivery upon the permitted or his authorized agent or representative
and shall be published in a newspaper of general circulation and shall include:
(1) Identification of the Marine Park permits in question;
(2) The grounds which gave rise to the determination that a hearing should be
(3) The place of the hearing; and
(4) The time of the hearing, which shall be at least fifteen (15) working days after
notice is served on the permitted.
(d) The failure of the permitted to appear or be represented at the hearing may result in
a decision to revoke being rendered in his absence.
(e) The Chair of the Committee or the Chair's designee shall preside at the hearing, at
which a quorum of the Committee shall be in attendance. The presiding officer
shall cause a verbatim transcript of the hearing to be prepared.
(f) At the hearing, the permitted and the Marine Park Office shall each have an
opportunity to be heard, to present evidence, and to cross-examine witnesses; the
Committee shall have an opportunity to question witnesses.
(g) Promptly after the hearing, the Committee shall make its determination in writing,
which shall be accompanied by findings of fact and conclusions of law in support
thereof. Said determinations, together with supporting findings and conclusions,
shall be promptly served on the permitted. The Committee may determine either to
revoke the permit or to take other appropriate action including but not limited to:
(1) Requiring the permitted to apply for an amendment to the permit;
(2) Ordering that violations of the permit be remedied by a particular date
(3) Ordering the permitted to cease and desist from further violations of the
terms and conditions of the permit or these Marine Park Regulations.
98-11 Hearings and Due Process Procedures
(a) With regards to cease and desist orders and violations of these regulations where a
conservation ticket is not issued by an enforcement officer, the requirements of
due process are met when the responding party charged with violating these
regulations is afforded:
(1) Timely and adequate notice;
(2) A right to a hearing or other opportunity to confront adverse witnesses and
present oral evidence on its behalf;
Rules and Regulations
(3) The right to be accompanied, represented and advised by counsel or other
(4) A determination or decision based solely on the record and that identifies
the evidence relied upon and specifies the reasons for the decision;
(5) An impartial decision-maker.
(b) Written Warnings.
(1) A written warning may be issued by the Department in lieu of other law
enforcement action that could be taken for violation of these regulations if
the Department determines that the violation was minor in scope and
resulted in no harm to marine resources. The written warning shall:
(A) State that it is a written warning;
(B) State the factual and the statutory or regulatory basis for its
(C) Advise the violator of its effect in the event of a future
(D) State that the warning is kept on file for reference in
determining the appropriate legal or administrative action to
take if there is a subsequent violation;
(E) Inform the violator of the right of review and appeal.
(2) The Marine Park Office will maintain a record of written warnings that are
(3) If, within 120 days of the date of service of the written warning, further
investigation discloses a prior written warning of a violation by the
respondent for the same offense within three (3) years from the date of
service, or that the violation is more serious than realized at the time the
written warning was served, the Department of Planning and Natural
Resources may withdraw the warning and commence any other enforcement
which may be taken under these regulations.
(4) The written warning will be noted on the face of and attached to all Marine
Park permits issued, transferred or assigned to the respondent.
(c) Notice of Violation and Assessment.
A Notice of Violation and Assessment ("NOVA") is issued by the
Committee's designee and served personally or by mail, return receipt
requested, upon each respondent. A copy of the NOVA is similarly served
upon the permit holder, if the holder is not the respondent. The NOVA is
required to contain:
(1) A concise statement of the facts believed to show a violation of
these Marine Park Regulations;
(2) Specific reference to the regulation, permit or order allegedly
(3) The findings and conclusions upon which the Department of
Planning and Natural Resources bases the assessment;
(4) The amount of the civil penalty assessed; and
(5) A copy of the Marine Park Regulations in this section
governing the proceedings.
Rules and Regulations 23
(6) The NOVA is also required to advise the respondent of his
rights upon receipt of the NOVA.
In assessing a civil penalty, the Committee's designee takes into account
information available concerning any factor to be considered under the Marine
Park Regulations and any other information that justice or the fulfillment of
the purposes of the Marine Park Regulations requires.
(d) Appeal ofa Notice of Violation. A NOV may be appealed as follows:
(1) Within thirty (30) days of service of the NOV, a written request
seeking review must be addressed to the Chair of the St. Croix
Committee and delivered to the Department of Planning and Natural
Resources' main office.
(2) The request must present the facts and circumstances that explain or
deny the violation described in the NOV.
(3) The Committee may, using appropriate discretion, affirm, expunge or
modify the NOV and will notify the person of the decision in writing.
The decision constitutes the final action.
(e) Procedure upon receipt ofa NOVA.
(1) The respondent has thirty (30) days from the receipt of the NOVA in
which to respond. During this time the respondent may:
(A)Accept the penalty by taking the actions specified in the
(B)Seek to have the NOVA amended, modified, or rescinded under
clause (2) of this subsection;
(C) Request a hearing under clause (5) of this subsection;
(D)Request an extension of time under clause (3) of this
(E)Take no action, in which case the NOVA becomes final in
accordance with subsection (f) of this section.
(2) The respondent or the permit holder may seek amendment or
modification of the NOVA to conform to the facts or law as that
person sees them by notifying the Committee's designee specified in
the NOVA. Where amendment or modification is sought, the
Committee's designee will either amend the NOVA or decline to
amend it, and so notify the respondent or permit holder, as appropriate,
(3) The respondent, within the 30-day period specified in clause (1) of this
section, may request an extension of time to respond. The
Committee's designee may grant an extension of up to 30 days, unless
the Committee's designee determines that the respondent could,
exercising reasonable diligence, respond with in the 30-day period.
Where the Committee's designee does not respond to the request
within three working days of its receipt, the request is granted
automatically for the extension requested, up to a maximum of thirty
(30) days. A response to the request by telephone within three
Rules and Regulations 24
working days of receipt followed by a written confirmation is an
(4) The Department may, for good cause, grant an additional extension
beyond the 30-day period specified in clause (3) of this subsection.
(5) Where the respondent or the permitted desires a hearing, he shall mail
to the address specified in the NOVA or serve in person a written and
dated request. The request shall include a copy of the NOVA or refer
to the relevant Marine Park case number. The Department's official
shall promptly forward the request for hearing to the Marine Park
Office for scheduling.
(6) Any denial, in whole or part, of any request under this subsection that
is based on untimeliness is required to be in writing.
(f) Final Committee Decision.
(1) If no request for hearing is timely filed, the NOVA becomes effective
as the final administrative decision and order of the Department of
Planning and Natural Resources on the thirtieth (30h) day after service
of the NOVA or on the last day of any delay period granted.
(2) Where a request for hearing is timely filed the date of Final Decision is
30 days after service of the written decision upon the respondent.
(g) Payment of Final Assessment.
(1) Respondent shall make full payment to the Department of Planning
and Natural Resources of the assessed civil penalty within thirty (30)
days of the date upon which the assessment becomes effective as the
Final Decision and Order of the Department of Planning and Natural
Resources. The respondent is required to mail or deliver the assessed
amount to the Department by certified check or money order that is
payable in United States currency and is made payable to the
Department of Planning and Natural Resources.
(2) Upon any failure to pay the assessed civil penalty, the Department may
request the Department of Justice to recover the amount assessed in
the Territorial or District Court of the Virgin Islands, or may act under
subsection (h) of this section.
(h) Compromise qf Civil Penalty.
The Committee or its designee, in its discretion, may compromise,
modify, remit, or mitigate with or without conditions, any civil penalty
imposed, or which is subject to imposition.
(i) Factors Considered in Assessing Penalties.
Factors to be taken into account in assessing a penalty may include the
nature, circumstance, extent, and gravity of the alleged violation; the
respondent's degree of culpability; any history of prior offenses; and
such other matters as justice may require.
Rules and Regulations 25
(j) Administrative Hearing.
Scope of Applicability. This section sets forth the procedures
governing the conduct of hearings and the issuance of initial and final
decisions of the Department of Planning and Natural Resources in
administrative proceedings involving alleged violations of these
Marine Park Regulations.
(k) Case Docketing.
Each request for hearing, promptly upon its receipt for filing in the
Department of Planning and Natural Resources is assigned a docket
number and, thereafter, the proceeding is referred to by this number.
Written assignment of a hearing to a hearing officer and notice of date,
time and place of the hearing must be promptly given to the parties.
(1) Duties and Powers of the Hearing Officer.
The hearing officer is designated by the Department and has all
powers and responsibilities necessary to preside over the parties and
the proceeding, to hold pre-hearing conferences, to conduct the
hearing, and to make the decision in accordance with these Marine
Park Regulations, including but not limited to, the authority and duty
to do the following:
(1) To rule on a request to participate as a party in the proceeding
by allowing, denying or limiting the participation (the ruling
considers the views of the parties and is based on whether the
requester can be expected to contribute materially to the
disposition of the proceedings);
(2) to schedule the time, place and manner of conducting the
hearing, to continue or adjourn the hearing to a later date or
different place, and reopen the hearing at any time before
issuance of the decision, all at the hearing officer's discretion,
having due regard for the convenience and necessity of the
parties and witnesses;
(3) To schedule and regulate the course of the hearing and the
conduct of the participants;
(4) To administer oaths and affirmations to witnesses;
(5) To rule on motions, procedural requests, and similar matters;
(6) To examine and cross-examine witnesses and introduce into
record on the hearing official's own initiative, documentary or
(7) To rule on requests for appearance of witnesses or production
of documents or requests for admissions and take appropriate
action upon failure of a party to effect the appearance of
production of a witness or document ruled relevant and
necessary to the proceedings; as authorized by law, issue
Rules and Regulations 26
subpoenas for the appearance of witnesses or production of
(8) To take official notice of any matter not appearing in evidence
that is among traditional matters of judicial notice; or technical
or scientific facts within the general specialized knowledge of
the Department of Planning and Natural Resources as an expert
body; or any reasonably available public document on
condition that the parties are advised of the matter noticed;
(9) To prepare and submit a decision or other appropriate
disposition document and certify the record;
(10) To grant preliminary or interim relief.
(m) Disqualification ofHearing Official.
(1) The hearing official may withdraw from a particular case when the
hearing official considers himself disqualified.
(2) A party may in good faith request the hearing officer to withdraw on
the ground of personal bias or other disqualification. The party
seeking the disqualification is required to file with the hearing officer a
timely affidavit or statement setting forth in detail the facts alleged to
constitute the grounds for disqualification, and the hearing officer is
required to rule on the matter. If the hearing officer rules against
disqualification, the hearing officer is required to place all matters
relating to such claims of disqualification in the record.
(1) A party may appear in person or by or with counsel or other
(2) Where a party fails to appear after proper notice, the hearing officer
may consider the failure of the party to appeal a waiver of any right to
a hearing and consent to the making of a decision on the record.
(o) Conduct of the Hearing.
(1) The hearing officer shall provide the respondent with an opportunity
for a fair, open and impartial hearing. The respondent has the right
and the hearing officer is required to afford the opportunity to defend
and meet the claims or allegations of violations by argument, proof,
and cross-examination of witnesses. The hearing officer shall make
findings of fact and conclusions of law and enter an offer in
accordance with the facts proved at the hearing. The Department, in
accordance with well-settled, law, is not held to strict conformity with
judicial procedure required in a court of law and a hearing may be fair
even though informal or summary. However, the hearing officer shall
provide a hearing in which ample opportunity is given to all parties to
make, any evidence and argument, a showing fairly adequate to
establish, from a standpoint of justice, the steps asked to be taken. The
Rules and Regulations
hearing officer, before entering his order on the basis of the record and
recommendations, shall provide opportunity to the parties to submit
for his consideration exceptions to the recommended findings or
conclusions and supporting reasons for the exceptions, such
submission to be made within ten (10) days of issuance. The hearing
officer shall issue written notice of the order binding on all parties
unless appealed or otherwise presented for judicial review to the courts
within thirty (30) days after notice has been sent to the respondent.
(p) Initial and Final Decision.
(1) The hearing officer shall issue a written decision upon the record in the
case, setting forth:
(A) Findings and conclusions, and the reasons or basis for them on
all matters of fact, law or discretion presented in the record,
and the rulings on any proposed findings or conclusions
presented by the parties;
(B) A statement of facts noticed or relied upon in the decision; and
(C) Such other matters, as the hearing officer considers
(2) The hearing officer may at the termination of the hearing announce the
decision, subject to later issuance of a written decision.
(3) The hearing officer shall serve the written decision on each of the
parties personally or by mail, return receipt requested and shall
promptly certify to the CZM Committee, that the record including the
original copy of the decision as complete and accurate.
(4) Unless the hearing officer orders a stay or unless a petition for
discretionary review is filed or the Committee or its designee issues an
order to review upon his own initiative, an initial decision becomes
effective as the final administrative decision of the Department of
Planning and Natural Resources thirty (30) days after service.
(q) Administrative Review of Decision.
(1) Subject to the requirements of this section, any party may petition for
review of an initial decision of the hearing officer within thirty (30)
days after the date the decision is served. The petitioner shall address
the petition to the Committee and file it at the main office of the
Department of Planning and Natural Resources.
(2) Review by the CZM Committee of an initial decision is discretionary
and is not a matter of right. A petition for review is to be served upon
all parties. Where a party files a timely petition for discretionary
review, or action to review is taken by the CZM Committee upon its
own initiative, the effectiveness of the initial decision is stayed until
further order of the CZM Committee.
(3) Petitions for discretionary review may be filed only upon one or more
of the following grounds:
Rules and Regulations 28
(A) A finding of a material fact is clearly erroneous based upon the
evidence in the record;
(B) A necessary legal conclusion is contrary to law or precedent;
(C)A substantial and important question of law, policy or
discretion is involved, including the amount of the civil
(D) A prejudicial procedural error has occurred.
(4) Each issue is required to be separately numbered, concisely stated, and
supported by detailed citations to the record, statues, and Marine Park
Regulations. Issues of law or fact not argued before the hearing
official may not be raised on review unless they were raised for the
first time in the initial decision or that could not reasonably have been
foreseen and raised by the parties during the hearing. The
Commissioner shall not consider new or additional evidence that is not
a part of the record before the hearing officer.
(5) No oral argument on petitions for discretionary review is allowed.
(6) Where the CZM Committee declines to exercise discretionary review,
the order is served on all parties personally or by mail, return receipt
requested. The date upon which the hearing officer's decision
becomes effective as the final decision of the Department of Planning
and Natural Resources must be specified. The Commissioner need not
give reasons for declining review.
(7) Where the CZM Committee grants a petition for discretionary review,
the Committee Chair will issue an order specifying the issues to be
argued in written form and the date by which written arguments are to
be filed. No oral argument is permitted.
(8) After the expiration date for filing briefs under clause (7) of this
subsection, the Committee Chair shall transmit the decision to each of
the parties either personally or by mail, return receipt requested. The
Commissioner's decision becomes the final administrative decision on
the date it is served, unless otherwise provided in the decision.
98-12 Penalties and Fine
(a) Penalties shall be as provided by Title 12, Section 913 of the Virgin Islands
Code, or as amended hereafter. Civil penalties shall be assessed by the
Department of Planning and Natural Resources and the Coastal Zone
Management Division by Notice of Violation and Assessment pursuant to
the Civil Penalty Policy and Matrix of the Department of Planning and
Natural Resources, Title 12 Chapter 21 of the Virgin Islands Rules &
Regulations until such time as the Marine Park Office develops its own
Civil Penalty Policy. In no event may penalties assessed be in excess of
those provided by statute.
Rules and Regulations 29
(b) Any penalty imposed shall be in addition to the suspension or revocation of
any license, permit, certificate or registration as authorized by law and to
any confiscation and forfeiture proceedings authorized by law.
Rules and Regulations 30
These Marine Park Regulations were submitted to the public for discussion and
input at public hearings on St. Croix on February 1, 2006 at Christiansted, St.
By his signature hereon, the Governor of the Virgin Islands certifies, in
accordance with the provisions of Title 3, Chapter 35, Section 938 of the Virgin
Islands Code, that compelling circumstances, which include the safety of the
citizens of the Virgin Islands and the protection of the fragile marine ecosystems
of the Virgin Islands, including the coral reefs within the St. Croix East End
Marine Park, and the public interest require the Virgin Islands Regulations
continued in Section 1 above become effective on this day of
2006, without the lengthy delay of prior publication, and on
which date they have been submitted to the Legislature pursuant to Title 3,
Chapter 35, Section 913, Virgin Islands Code.
A copy of this certification and these Marine Park Regulations have been filed
with the Lieutenant Governor pursuant to Title 3 V.I.C. Section 938(e). Pursuant
to the provisions of Title 3, Chapter 22, 401 (15), Virgin Islands Code, the
above Marine Park Regulations are hereby promulgated.
DEAN C. PLASKETT, Esq.
Commissioner, Department of Planning
and Natural Resources
Chair, VI Coastal Zone Management