UpM11On The Daily Nws. Friday. February 11.'2000 27
Conserving our natural resources
OLasee Das. an ecologist. is a
Daily News ca ibuihini columnist.
Throughout the history of the
Virgin Islands, many non-profit
organizations were established to
assist and improve the quality life
foralln Sdenit ofhese islands. For
example, in the early 1900s, the
Queen Louisc llome for Children
was stured oni St. C.'roix
At the end ofthe 19th century, life
was difficult on St. Croix. Foner
slaves were adjusting to their new
freedom. Also during this period. the
island was hit had by labor strikes.
hurricanes. earthquake and was
impacted by a worldwide economic
Sugar prices were falling as the
Ermopean sugar beet provided a
cheaper sourofsugar on the world
market Also. the years of drought
and heavy rainfall made& crop pro-
ducton on St. Croix unpredictable.
Malnutrition wasn ommo- and
infant mortality was high. Nearly
hldofothechildrmn o the island died
before they reached age S. Even
more depressing than economic
plight was children being neglected.
The Vbgin Isla is Coiscrviton
and Development Council lac. a
n-profit mrgarsimin adminanseaed
by the U.S. Agriclure Department's
Natural Resources Conservaton
Service -isprogrm to help po-
ple meoo the challeages of the 21st
protaras a established in our naliant
ohlp 1p tpe icurfransd protect dtn
aMutal sources, while improving the
economy. mviossen l and tIhe ste-
On the national level, there are
some 277 authorized Resource
Conservation areas that d rves 2,016
counties in the United Staes. In the
United Statesand its territories, here
re more than 20,000 people volun-
cering their tioe by coanibuting
annually their expertise, resources to
done by the lol program coordina.
tor, who isaUSDAAmploysprovid-
ed through Returces Come.iaon
Oi e So.vie funds
Projects such as Ihe Magens
D i Ray tree restoration was funded
with the assistance of the
Conservation Service. The Bovoni
Landfill Environmental Justice
project, alsi on SL Thomas, was
revitalize and sustain their commiu- funded by the service.
nitis. The St. John Sedientationr pro-
The Vgin Islands Coiservaon jo signed an agreement between
and Development Counci was planning and Natural Reources and
authorized by Congress in 171. the Conservation Service to study
incorporated in 1990, and re iwld paved and unpaved ods reati to
its nonprofit 1501(c) (3) stands in soil erosion.
1994. ACES Child Support Seminar.
Thee is a district of the Counc l fuded wth $2,625 Irom nah Vgin
on St. Cm and athor on S. lands Legal Assistance Fund. on-
Thom -St. John. dueled a one.day seminar and
Beesuo local people anm best able workshop on child support with
to determine their needs, dverns auisnce rom the Conservation
groups of local volunteers are Sorvice.
Iflmagh together i par ships to watershd m prin et
tm n oiasam toprobl ns. w also n agreements to map out
The W n emertofetholoeu watersledsin aparticula rae o SL
program is to enhance the qualityof John.
life for the people of the Vrgin The pink analybto wo anoer
Stands Resoue Conservation ad project agreement to have a
Developmenl Acn & o r- Univerity ofthVirgin slansss
nation of nature and cultWal dent work in the Agriculture
resources. and the stiuinlatoa of DepartmentlabonSt.Thomas-in
growth and development." growing wavps to help control the
Since the 1970s the pink mealybug in the Virgin
Conservation program been Islands.
providing ways for local endents A master compoat project
to work and plan together on how agreement was also conducted.
they can actively solve community through the -UV Cooperative
problems. Problems such as the Exuesion Service, to show coma -
enviounent, economic and social nity people how to establish a com-
conditions that affect the commu- postpilk.
nity- propermaintenance ofpub- Each year the Conservation
ltic infrastructure, preserving our Service sponsors a grant-writing
cultural hontuge. assisting agricul- workshop, to help people filed ways
turn to become a more viable to obtainmoney for projects.
industry. empowering rural core- On St Cmix. March 13-17. them
munities in the Virgin Islands and will be a five-day grant-writing
encouraging entrcpeneunhips. workshop conducted by Dr. Don
Theme am many projects in the UdeU: on St. Tbimes it will be held
Conaervatian program that assists in Mach 20-24.
canying out and providing guidance. For mo infoalioi.call 773-9146
advice and staff direction. This is ot 101.