Group Title: Olasee Davis articles
Title: We must carefully plan our islands' growth
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/CA01300919/00109
 Material Information
Title: We must carefully plan our islands' growth
Physical Description: Archival
Language: English
Creator: Davis, Olasee
Publication Date: May 12, 1995
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Bibliographic ID: CA01300919
Volume ID: VID00109
Source Institution: University of the Virgin Islands
Holding Location: University of the Virgin Islands
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Environment


7he Dby NVA Friday, May 1Z1996 17


We must carefully plan our islands' growth


Ever since these islands were
purchased by the United States in
1917, a great many plans lave been
developed for economic develop-
mea. But no over-all plan could be.
followed. Hence the accomplish-
ments have been piecemeal rather
than a continuous well-though out
plan for these islands economic
growth-
To grow, indeed to survive, a
democratic technology-oriented
society must anticipate and avoid
changes that will detrimentally
affect its basic life-suppon ecosys-
tems: water, air. flora, soil and
fauna. Otherwise our society is on a
course toward exinction.
Furthermore, the faster that
changes occur within our man-envi-
rauent system, theme critical it
become to-serch th futiue so a
to adjust presan policies and pro-
grams for ping adequately with
future environmental problems.
Thus. by searching out the
propects of wha.lomorow'senvi-
romnents are likely to be, we can
provide dection and scope to new
policies that will imue a desirable
future a fam in which we ca live
in hirmooy wilhhntue.
But the fuome mos be pdcified,
and obstacle alongie way must
be delineatediso that a desirable
course no matter bow diverse
and challenging can be chased.
Last year, former Oov. Alaexder
A. Farlly signed int law the 18
Aras of PaiularConcem. To me,
this was one of the best local envi-


onment laws.
However, these laws do not have
much power until a management
plans are put into place with
enforcement As you know, the Vir-
gin Islands has many good laws,
but no enforcement behind them.
I believe that one of the reasons
we find ourselves in such a mess at
times is that government has no
continuity. In other words, every
new administration voted into
office has its own agenda.
There seems to be no follow-up
on continuation on previous admin-
istration projects. Such projects as
the Land and Water Use Plan and
the Areas of Particular Concern
analytic study are two good plans
for growth now nd in the future of
these islands.
The Magens Bay are is one of
the 18 Areas of Particulr Concern
tha was signed into law ad is now
being theaned.by rune develop-
mea. This area plays sa important
part in the Virgin Islands history
and ecolgy.
Mages Bay is mown for e of
the best beaches in the world and it
is a major action fr tourists and
local alike.
According t6 the National Reg-
ister ofHistoric Places, pwbere
ebe in these ila is ch a h:k
cultral.eguace knownto bne p-
eseated whin'tuch a isall ara as
Mgens Bay.
The main pottery found at
Magens Bay site is oe-of+kind. It


is oe of he outtading sites in tbe
Virgin Islands even though the
newly found Tmn site added to the
cultural history of these islands.
The manove forest of this area
and a potion of Estate Enighed ar
also impoant ecologically which
are included in the Federal Coastal
Barrier Resouce Systems.
This act was established in 1990
to halt development in low land
areas and to protect valuable nalal
sources from being destroyed. In
19 the U.S. Department oflae-
.ror and th National Park Service
said Mageos Bay was "the most
.highly scenic park" and recom-
mealed a recratio plan fr It and
public ownership of the Peterborg

In 1991, the Territorial Park
System commissioned by DPNR
found "Magens Bay to have high
quality o y and superior maine
and trrestrial values" ihe DPNR.
fudter tmared O tha "edim atioa of
Ibe mangrove area could destroy
nural drainage systems and great-
ly reduce the quality of the area for
human use as a nall aea."
Thus, tb biological community


of Magens Bay ecosystem is a
mportantoe to the beach area. Ft
such a small area, Magens Bay i
a very diverse envirnmment- from
sal-tolerant plants that grow at th
tip ofthe peninsula to the southwe
shore of the boy. where the vegeta
tion changes to a moist frst will
lush gallery forest along the gins
the upland areas.
The marine environment o
Magens Bay is an imposant eo v-
tem with patch coral reefs scatered
along the shallow water. Within tlh
Magens Bay ecosystem, endan
geared species such as green turtles
bridled quail dove and rare plant
play a significant ro in this ean
onmenL
If large developments occur
above Magens Bay. the once-lear
water will be destroyed forever.
In 1988, The Daily News ran
series of articles about red mud that
entered the bay. This problem
occurred because of upland devel-
opment.
You see, as a people, we will
suffer economically because we are
not serious about implementing
plans to protect these islands'
future.
Magens Bay water is clean
today. People, what about tomor-
row?

Olase Davis, who holds a ram
tre of science degree In range man-
agemet andl orestry ecology. is u
St. Croix ecologist, activist and
writer.




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