Protect the Leatherbacks
Protect the Leatherbacks
Olas Dvi Is a local emnv .-
mentais TM he sona- opinion
does not necessary re ut te
opinns of hbs mployw te Urni
varsity of the Virgin Isands' Coopw
rave Extension Service
The Crucans of Sandy Poiat
beach hbitt on the island of St.
oix ar threatend by tash.Sandy
Point has become a dumping sil in
stead of a wildlife sanctury for the
endangered Leatherback turtles.
Those who use the beach as recr
tion, those who live in the general
area, and those who felt that Sandy
Poit s a good ple todump their
trash are actually perpetuating the
extinction of the Leatrback turtes
- the forgouen Cro ns.
e Leaboeback turtles have
ben around for 150 million years
Tbes creatures wee alive before
the dinosaurs existed on Eartb,
much less man. The Bible stayed
that "God gave man dominion over
the fish of tbe sea, the fowl of the
air, the cattle, and over all creeping
things that move upon the eathb.
It seems hat man is losin the
ability to manage the natural re
sources on earth th was enthused
to him by his Crator. Tus, of all
creatures on Earth, man is the only
one with the ability to tailor the
abundance of most spedes to fit his
In 1978. the US. Fish and Wild.
life Service designated Sandy Point
as a rfuge for the Leathm back tr.
tes. The following year, the Na-
tional Marine Fisheris Service took
a sep further by desigaiing the sur-
rounding water of Sandy Point as a
citical habitat for the a turtles.
Four year later, Sandy Point was
purchased by the federal govern.
met. This was to protect the sea
tunle habitats and its wildlife for
generations to come. Wildlife now
threatened in the virgin Islands c
be maitained only by protecln
those populations t tl exist
presere what remains of their habi
Sandy Point beach is ner a sa
pod which iss 00 asithe bk@M
in te Vgi wladsa. tt sbou be
pro ed against future develop
meant. This salt pond has been used
in the past as a dumping site. t
should not be. Wf should ake mon
pride in our surrounding environ*
me. In a sense, every one of us is
to blame for the current dilemma as
dumping trash counties at Sandy
It s the accumulated actions of
all of us- hose of us who admir
beautiful beaches like Sandy Point,
those of us who ae concerned about
the fragility of the Earth's ecoloy,
and those of us who do nothing but
complain. W e e all at fault, be
was all of us want'Sandy Point
beach to remain beautiful and dean,
but we ar not doing our pa by
keeping the area can.
We need to shift our societal val
ues from an appetite of over.
development to a concern for envi.
ronmental quality, from the need of
dependency on tourism to a need of
a mor diversified economy. Davis
Bay'O the island of St Croix was
once major testing sit for sea tur
es. today, a hotel is built on the
'n lesson of he sa turtles is
not tut environmental and eco-
nomii concern are io ompaile,
but the loger society lacks te
postal will or ourge to act to
protrr wildlife habIats, do harder
it is o fiaa solution.
h peolo tbew islands,
are .apsi: of e esdng u invron-
meal deadatlon ifweo master
our political will Most of Q often
sit back and dose our eyes o a
prcem instead of being pt of the
sold oo By ll acc ts, our politi
cal will to dean up the eavironmeat
is much on e ris.
So bow an wesolve th Sady
Pciot problem? Cleaning up
be isalmost always more or
pl d than we originally imag
ed. The strule to dean up our
environment has shown that on it
is the hidden or unknown agents
d: wreak most havoc.
et us ake prde toward our e
v oement by keeping t dean. W
on start by taking o trah when
s leave Sandy Polat beach. Fish
itg disposable dpers and ptic
bgs are especially to
sea turtes because they mistake
t:em for jllyish their mau food.
'ic should also keep our dogs, ve
tiks and hones off designated
ares of Sandy Point beach during
be nesting seaso frm March to
If we do not do something now
so dean up Sandy Point beach, the
asherback turtles will then really
be thp forgotten ucians.