The DOily Now Fra ay. Februry 26. 1999
Students' research on St. Croix's southshore continues
This is the second pan of
Monica Marin and Loni Frebel's
research project that was conduct-
ed on the south shore of St. Croix.
This second phase of Marin and
Fraebell research project that I
will share with you focuses on the
historical background of economi-
cl development along the flood-
plains and south shore of St.
Also. I will share with you. If
not in this column, the one after,
the data analysis and testing of the
wale* and the result the young scl.
Ceists found on the south coast of
The research continues: "The
economic progress of St. Croix.
like any place elsc. has always had
a price tag. Perhaps here more than
elsewhere, that price has generally
been measured in ecological terms
with great sacrifices from the nat-
It wild seem that as each criti-
cal Itransformational Juncture
where a new economic phase of
development was being ushered in.
a series of calculated conscious
decisions were made that had the
power and result of utterly. chang
Ing the physical landscape of the
island, perhaps for all time,
perhaps nowhere is this more
dramatically evident than in the
torching of the islands prinimal
forestc by the Irench in prepara-
lion for wholesale cane culture.
Centuries later, in the 1950s and
early ItWOs. another phase oreco.
nomic development was plotted and through abusive non-coaipli-
and Into place when the island Ola e. .ante with exIsting. mme stringent
would effect a transition from 1 regulations developers In this san-
agricultural base to an Industrial Davis stv zone have abused the public
one. which would be augmented trust with catastrophic eonse-
Like that earlier phase of initial 1 Fn 0meai so much destruction has
economic development, this m occurred as the result of r
progress too would exact an envi. of the role of wershed In our
ronmental cost. Less significant ecosystem. compounded, by an
than the wholesale despoliation of, the earth is re-christened Anguilla overwhelming lack of concern on
the islands' forests perhaps, but Lagoon and provides the building the path is packed up and carried
with huge consequences for the site for a vast industrial complex into the sea,
envirninen never the less. I where HOVENSA and Alcoa According to St. Croix ecolo-
The promise of an industrial! ,Alumina stand today. Serving as gist. activist. and bounist Olasee
base capable of ushering American the island's natural non-source Davis, due to he mountainous
Virgin Islanders into high wage pollution filtration system, the nature of the Island ... "improper
employment and middle class Krause Lagoon acted like a giant development in tier two o cause
lifestyle came t6;our shores alonglf sieve and was essential to the pro- Irreparable damage to sh4oaswl
with Hess Oil. Harvey Alumina. section of coral reeft along the resources as coral reeft had sea
and to.a leset'exitli revamped southwest shore. grasc beds."
existing factory operations lIkeTl Additionally. it served as the Furthermore, Section 222 of the
Crusan Rum. .-primary breeding habitat and nurs- Development law says. "Improper
These projects all pre-date thea try for a wide variety of animals development of the second ers of
scientific environmental move-" Including multiple species of fish. the coastal zones and ih resources
meat by a decade or more. and our lobster, shrimp, conch. oysters, has resulted In land use conflicts.
island's children and their parents. clams and the "Crowned Pigeon." erosion, sediment deposition.
(and government leaders) had not Old Timer Erik awt. n his increased flooding, gut and
been brought up. on term like book "St. Croix 500 Years"sadly dranae fillings. decline in pro-
ecosystem. habitat, renewable recounts that whatLlitle emnaln of ductlv ty of t marine enron-
resources and reyeillng. this beloved recreational area of merit, pollution and other diverse
"Green" was still a color In the bis youthful days. is Now fbr- environmental effects, and has
rainbow, not a poijlcal amlilian gotten.by many and unknown to adversely affected the iteoeticial
or eco-sensitive outlook. Like And others and to Aiatu generationsq uses of the shoaelnes ud must
attitudes wee~ffent 4 only asaga." (Lawa, p, 74) lnds by the peopi of a&o V in
resource reervalo was not A Another key isaeto q lnributwng Islands."
high priority. to the poor health of our island's In addition.Ic the dexupilcac of
Kraust Lagoqt once the mtabt shorelines is the lWng history of much of our 'natuwal envrnien
extensive mangrove system In this mismanagement of development to make way for resi dc 1talcom-
pan of the West Indies, fllled In long the coastline awlnd within the mercial, and np-
and efletlively obliterated from coastal zone. Under earlier ilws, meant. some mxt mcl etrctive
element have been the result of
natwal forces, hurricanes, the tur.
ble ot waves and natural water
ff. Some of the major amfl-
*ations have been problems with
erosion, sediment .'deposition.
increased flooding, and gut and
drainage floodln all contributing
to the overall decline In the pro.
4uctivity of our marine environ-
A map dating back to 1772
helps to Illustrale the dramatic cro-
son1 along the south coast over the
W In this case a sugar mill
at Estate Great Pond. then
a*dlistance of some 600 feet from
baishoreline. now lies far below
And while the Long Point
Citron Beach ostensibly enjoys
prtection under Federal acts. no
enort to stem the massive erosion,
which is tumbling the old Carlion
Beach Club into the sea has been
This erosion, which was concur-
rent with the development ol the
hass Deep Water Dock several
anita up the coasllilse has been
aealerated by every were storm
Neat week th research will
71s article r4qicu rahe vriw. of
Obsse Davls, a Sr. Coix ecolae-
grLt, activist nd writer who has a
uaear of Cienh dgree In mrge
aiasensrent and.Irvsry vcolrsy.