Citation
Tropic news. Volume 10. Issue 5.

Material Information

Title:
Tropic news. Volume 10. Issue 5.
Series Title:
Tropic news
Creator:
United States Virgin Islands. Department of Planning and Natural Resources. Division of Fish and Wildlife.
Publisher:
United States Virgin Islands. Department of Planning and Natural Resources. Division of Fish and Wildlife.
Publication Date:
Language:
English

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Subjects / Keywords:
Caribbean ( LCSH )
Newspapers -- Caribbean ( LCSH )
Genre:
serial ( sobekcm )
Spatial Coverage:
North America -- United States Virgin Islands
Caribbean

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University of Florida
Holding Location:
University of Florida
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Copyright United States Virgin Islands. Department of Planning and Natural Resources. Division of Fish and Wildlife.. Permission granted to University of Florida to digitize and display this item for non-profit research and educational purposes. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions requires permission of the copyright holder.

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February 1998


PIC NEVWS

AND NATURAL DIVISION OF FISH AND WILDLIFE

Volume 10 Number 5


The Ocean:
How You Can Help

1998 The International Year of the Ocean
Here in the Virgin Islands we are surrounded by
the ocean. Our actions affect its health. How we
use or abuse water has far reaching affects. Here
are some tips for helping the ocean that you can
practice in your own home:
Buy organic, locally grown produce when you
can. Agricultural runoff introduces thousands of
pounds of fertilizers and pesticides into the ocean
every year. Encourage farmers to reduce their use
of hazardous chemicals.
Reduce the amount of trash you create. Each
wrapper, bottle, or box you don't throw away elimi-
nates the possibility that someone will find it
during a beach cleanup.
Use baking soda, vinegar, and borax for clean-
ing jobs that used to require bleach, detergents,
and ammonia.
If you must use harsh chemicals, don't pour
them down the drain or into storm sewers. Keep
them in their original containers, tightly sealed
and wrapped, and put them with your regular
trash.
Leave the car at home as often as possible.
Every trip you don't make reduces the threat of oil
contaminating the ocean.
If you fish, fish responsibly. Don't throw trash
overboard, and remember that many fish species
are suffering from overfishing. Take only what
you will eat.
Conserve water as much as possible to avoid
overloading your local sewage system. Overloading
can cause overflows of raw sewage and debris into
local waterways, especially when it rains.
Don't waste water by letting the faucet run
when shaving, brushing your teeth, or doing the
dishes by hand.
Use sediment retention measures on your
property to prevent soil from washing into the sea.
Save energy by using fans and open windows
to air condition your home.
Fill a gallon plastic bottle with water and
place it in your toilet tank. You can save up to.
5,000 gallons of water per year.


Suggestions by Center for Marine Conservation.


Buyer Beware!

Some souvenirs you buy in the Carib-
bean could end up
costing a lot more
Than you paid for
them.
i \ The World Wildlife
SFund, together with
i_ other Caribbean gov-
d -- ernments and the
Convention on Interna-
Queen Conch tional Trade in Endan-
gered Species (CITES)
has put together a brochure to educate tourists
and protect endangered wildlife. "Buyer Beware."
available at the Division of Fish and Wildlife office,
outlines which wildlife products should generally
be avoided when looking for souvenirs. Among
them are sea turtle products, reptile skins and
leather, wild birds and wild bird feathers and coral
jewelry (except locally imported black coral.)
In the Virgin Islands, it is legal to take a queen
conch shell if it is 9 inches or larger. On the other
hand, V.I. law prohibits the removal of shells, sea
fans, corals etc. normally found on our beaches.
These items will be confiscated by U.S. Customs
agents upon departure from the territory.
If you are tempted to buy a wildlife product -
plant or animal ask questions about the product's
origin and the species' status. If the vendor seems
poorly informed, think twice about your actions.
Otherwise, your purchase might encourage the
continued illegal trade in wildlife, and be confis-
cated either before you leave the country you are
visiting or as you return home. When in doubt
don't buy!


Quote

'hie nation behaves wel if it treats the natural
resources as assets which it must turn over to the
next generation increased and not impaired in value.
'Theodore Roosevelt







Why Restore Habitats?

Imagine that your house has been leveled, your
local grocery has vanished and your garden has
been turned into a parking lot. That's the problem
facing many species of fish and wildlife in the
United States. If a beach is paved, a wetland filled
or a tide-flat contaminated with toxic materials, its
inhabitants may not survive. Their home and food
supplies have been poisoned, degraded or de-
stroyed.
Because a damaged home is better than no
home at all, plants and animals may continue to
live in degraded or polluted environments. How-
ever, food may be less abundant or of poor quality.
Good spawning or nesting areas may be scarce.
Pollutants may cause health problems or diminish
the ability of some organisms to reproduce. Plants
and animals in poor-quality habitats live under
constant stress and may lack sufficient reserves to
recover from setbacks such as drought or disease.
Habitat restoration attempts to reverse these
problems by rebuilding damaged environments for
the benefit of fish and wildlife.
Habitat is the place where a community of
plants, animals and microorganisms live. Habitats
generally are defined by their nonliving parts
(sandy beaches, rocky shores) or by key plants or
animals (sea grass beds, algal plains, coral reefs).
Aquatic habitats are also characterized by their
chemistry, for example, whether water is fresh or
salt, nutrient-rich or nutrient-poor.
Habitat restoration is the cleanup, repair or
reconstruction of habitat that has been damaged
or destroyed. Restoration projects can speed up
natural processes, such as the spread of plant life
and the break-down of oil by bacteria, allowing


GOVERNMENT OF THE VIRGIN ISLANDS
OF THE UNITED STATES
******
Department of Planning and Natural Resources
Division of Fish and Wildlife
6291 Estate Nazareth 101
St. Thomas, USVI 00802-1104
(809)775-6762 (ST.T.), (809)772-1955 (ST.X.)






Address Correction Requested


injured areas to recover more rapidly than they
would otherwise.
Waters close to shore provide essential food and
shelter for fish and many other species. A large
number of the fish caught by recreational and
commercial anglers spend part of their lives in
coastal waters, including mangroves habitats.
Habitat destruction has contributed to the decline
of many species. Rebuilding habitat is essential to
the recovery of these stocks.
Habitat restoration and cleanup can help protect
humans from dangers caused by spills of toxic
chemicals. The repair of injured marine habitat can
provide additional benefits. Plants stabilize shore-
lines and protect wildlife habitats that otherwise
might be damaged by floods or coastal storms.
Plants and animals in restored wetlands can filter
pollutants and hasten their breakdown into non-
toxic compounds, improving the quality and clarity
of water in coastal areas.
Habitat restoration is extremely important. But
restoration is expensive, it takes time, and our best
efforts don't always work as planned. Preserving
habitat and preventing damage is always more
effective and economical than restoring habitat
that has already been injured.
Final Note Each foot of shoreline that is pre-
served is important. So is every inch of coral that is
repaired, every tree planted, and patch of man-
grove restored. Your efforts count.
Excerpted from booklet on Habitat Restoration, produced
by Washington Sea Grant Program.
s& This newsletter was funded by the US
Fish and Wildlife Service, Sport Fish and
ayr ''; Wildlife Restoration Acts, the Caribbean
S Fishery Management Council and the
4R0 Government of the VI.
Donna M. Griffin Editor
Rnlf T. Boulon Jr-- Chief of EnvirnnmentAl Ptimatinn


BULK RATE
U.S. POSTAGE PAID
CHARLOTTE AMALIE, V.I,
PERMIT NO. 35


Trees were saved by printing on recycled paper


~F"~"IU""ear~l~l


-- ----- ---~----------II---.1-11.--11111 I ~--- -~Cl




Full Text

PAGE 1

Buyer Beware! The Ocean: How You Can HelD Some souvenirs you buy in the Caribbean could end up ...~. costing a lot more ...,r" \ than you paid for them. c,-~;~-'~ \ The World Wildlife Fund, together with I , other Caribbean governments and the ~ Convention on IntemaQueenConcli tional Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) has put together a brochure to educate tourists and protect endangered wildlife. "Buyer Beware," available at the Division ofFish and Wildlife office, outlines which wildlife products should generally be avoided when looking for souvenirs~ Among them are sea turtle products, reptile skins and leather, wild birds and wild bird feathers and coral jewelry (except locally imported black coral.) In the Virgin Islands, it is legal to take a queen conch shell ifitis 9 inches or larger. On the other hand, V.I. law prohibits the removal of shells, sea fans, corals etc. normally found on our beaches. These items will be confiscated by U.S. Customs agen,ts upon departure from the territory. If you are tempted to buy a wildlife productplant or animal ask questions about the product's origin and the species' status. If the vendor seems poorly informed, think twice about your actions. Otherwise, your purchase might encourage the continued illegal trade in wildlife, and be confiscated either before you leave the country you are vi~iting or as you return home. When in doubt don't buy! Quote 1998 The International Year of the Ocean Here in the Virgin Islands we are surrounded by the ocean. Our actions affect its health. How we use or abuse water has far reaching affects. Here are some tips for helping the ocean that you can practice in your own home: . Buy organic, locally grown produce when you can. Agricultural runoff introduces thousands of pounds: of fertilizers and pesticides into the ocean every year. Encourage farmers to reduce their use of hazardous chemicals. . Reduce the amount of trash you create. Each wrapper, bottle, or box you don't throwaway eliminates the possibility that someone will find it during a beach cleanup. . Use baking soda, vinegar, and borax for cleaning jobs that used to require bleach, detergents, and ammonia. . If you must use harsh chemicals, don't pour them down the drain or into storm sewers. Keep them in their original containers, tightly sealed and wrapped, and put them with your regular trash. . Leave the car at home as often as possible. Every trip you don't make reduces the threat of oil contaminating the ocean. . If you fish, fish responsibly. Don't throw trash overboard, and remember that many fish species are suffering from overfishing. Take only whatt YQU will eat. . Conserve water as much as possible to avoid overloading your local sewage system. Overloading can cause overflows of raw sewage and debris into local waterways, especially when it rains. . Don't waste water by letting the faucet run when shaving, brushing your teeth, or doing the dishes by hand. . Use sediment retention measures on your property to prevent soil from washing into the sea. . Save energy by using fans and open windows to air condition your home. . Fill a gallon plastic bottle with water and place it in your toilet tank. You can save up to 5,000 gallons of water per year. (%e nation 6eliaves we[[ if it treats tlie natura[ resources as assets wnii:n it must turn over to tne ne:{t generation increased" ana not impaired" in va[ue. %eoaore ~()oseve[t Suggestions by Center for Marine Conservation,

PAGE 2

Why Restore Habitats? Imagine that your house has been leveled, your local grocery has vanished and your garden has been turned into a parking lot. That's the problem facing many species offish and wildlife in the United States. If a beach is paved, a wetland filled or a tide-flat contaminated with toxic materials, its inhabitants may not survive. Their home and food supplies have beenpois'oned, degraded or destroyed. Because a damaged home is better than no home at all, plants and animals may continue to live in degraded or polluted environments. However, food may be less abundant or of poor quality. Good spawning or nesting areas may be scarce. Pollutants may cause health problems or diminish the ability of some organisms to reproduce. Plants and animals in poor-quality habitats live under constant stress and may lack sufficient reserves to recover from setbacks such as drought or disease. Habitat restoration attempts to reverse these problems by rebuilding damaged environments for the benefit of fish and wildlife. Habitat is the place where a community of plants, animals and microorganisms live. Habitats generally ate defined by their nonliving parts (sandy beaches, rocky shores) or by key plants or animals (sea grass beds, algal plains, coral reefs). Aquatic habitats are also characterized by their chemistry, for example, whether water is fresh or salt, nutrient-rich or nutrient-poor. Habitat restoration is the cleanup, repair or reconstruction of habitat that has been damaged or destroyed. Restoration projects can speed up natural processes, such as the spread of plant life and the break-down of oil by bacteria, allowing _:injured areas to recover more rapidly than they would otherwise. Waters close to shore provide essential food and shelter fo.r fish and many other species. A large number of the fish caught by recreational and commercial anglers spend Pllrt of their lives in coastal waters, including mangroves habitats. Habitat destruction has contributed to the decline of many species. Rebuilding habitat is essential to the recovery of these stocks. Habitat restoration and cleanup can help protect humans from dangers caused by spills of toxic chemicals. The repair of injured marine habitat can provide additional benefits. Plants stabilize shorelines and protect wildlife habitats that otherwise might be damaged by floods or coastal storms.. Plants and animals in restored we;tlands c~ filter pollutants and hasten theIr breakdown into nontoxic compouI:lds, improving the quality and clarity of water in coastal areas. Habitat restoration is extremely important. But restoration is expensive, it takes time, and our best efforts don't always work as planned. Preserving habitat and preventing damage is always more effective and economical than restoring habitat that has already been injured. Final Note Each foot of shoreline that is preserved is important. So is every inch of coral that is repaired, every tree planted, and patch of mangrove re$tored. Your efforts count. Excerpted from booklet on Habitat Restoration, produced by Washington Sea Grant Program. ~S1:\ & ~ This newsletter was f\lnded by the US ~ ~~ Fish and Wildlife Service, Sport Fish and ~~:~.:ij Wildlife Restoration Acts, the Caribbean ~'J!ii O~ Fishery Management Council and the -J"OR...'t~ Government of the VI. Donna M. Griffin Editor Ralf H. Boulon Jr;-.. Chif!f nf Rnvironmental Educatinn BULK RATE U.S. POSTAGE PAID CHARLOTTE AMALIE, V.I. PERMIT NO. 35 GOVERNMENT OF THF. VIRGIN ISLANDS OF THE UNITED STATES ****** Department of Planning and Natural Resources Division of Fish and Wildlife 6291 Estate Nazareth 101 St. Thomas, USVI 00802-1104 (809)775-6762 (ST.T.), (809)772-1955 (ST.X.) Address Correction Rcquested Trees were saved by printing on recycled paper