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Tropic news. Volume 15. Issue 1.

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Tropic news. Volume 15. Issue 1.
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Tropic news
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United States Virgin Islands. Department of Planning and Natural Resources. Division of Fish and Wildlife.
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United States Virgin Islands. Department of Planning and Natural Resources. Division of Fish and Wildlife.
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Caribbean ( LCSH )
Newspapers -- Caribbean ( LCSH )
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North America -- United States Virgin Islands
Caribbean

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2004 Annual Issue


TROPIC NEWS

DEPARTMENT OF PLANNING AND
NATURAL RESOURCES
DIVISION OF FISH AND WILDLIFE
Volume 15, Number 1


Recreational Mooring Buoys: Good for
You, Good for the Environment


Boating statistics for 2004, compiled by the
Department of Planning and Natural Resources,
Division of Environmental Enforcement, indicate
that there are about 4,800 registered vessels in the
U.S. Virgin Islands (Fig. 1). Most of these boats
are used for recreational boating and fishing. In
addition to these locally registered vessels,
numerous pleasure craft cruise the Caribbean and
visit US Virgin Islands waters. Many pleasure
craft come from the British Virgin Islands and
Puerto Rico. There is no available count on the
number of these transient vessels that visit the US
Virgin Islands each year. However, it is
speculated that thousands
visit our islands annually. Recommended s
Increased recreational use mooring bu
boating use of the waters of 1. Approach the
the Virgin Islands has painter from
increased the negative vessel does n
impacts on the marine buoy or paint
habitat. This is the same 2. Pick up the e:
habitat that supports your boat ho
recreational fishing and other 3. Cleat one enc
marine recreational activities. to the bow of
A single anchored boat 4. Thread your
swinging on its anchor can the eye-splic
cause damage to a bottom minimize chz
area much larger than the 5. Cleat the oth
vessel itself. If the damage is bowline to th
to a seagrass bed, wave 6. When leaving
energy generated by storm end of your b
events further erodes the the boat slow
damaged seagrass area bowline as it
resulting in a "Blowout" hole pennant.
(Fig. 2). Blowout holes are
areas where even the rhizomes (sea grass roots)
have been removed. Can you imagine the damage
of thousands of boat anchors over several


IFigure 1. Boat using a day-use mooring buoy |


o tie up to a day- years? Each time an
anchor is thrown onto a
ing buoy and coral reef, live coral is
current so that the damaged or killed (Fig. 3).
over the mooring Imagine what a popular
e coral reef dive site would
he pennant with look like after years of
boats anchoring at the site.
>ur boat's bowline Damage caused from
boat. anchors in seagrass beds
bowline through and coral reefs can take
e pennant twice to decades to recover.
of the painter line. To reduce the impact on
of your boat's the marine habitat, we
of your boat. have begun, with funding
flooring, uncleat one from USFWS, a day-use
e, cast it off, back mooring program. Day
d then retrieve your moorings are designed to
nes free from the keep the ground tackle
from destroying corals,
seagrass, etc.
Day-use moorings (Fig. 1) can prevent much of
the damage to the marine environment by
preventing anchor damage to the seagrasses (Fig.2)


teps t
oy.
moor
down
ot run
:er line
ye oft
ok.
Sof yo
your
boat's
e of th
offing
er end
e bow
the m
lowlin
ly, an
becon
























iFigure 2. Blow out hole in a sea grass bed.
and coral reefs (Fig. 3). After all, it is the sea
grasses and coral reefs that provide the habitat
for fish and other marine life that attracts the
fishermen and boaters
anyway.
You can see that there
are many benefits to day-
use mooring buoys.
Critical marine habitats
are protected and
preserved. If coral reefs
are transformed into piles
of dead rock, and sea
grasses became sand flats,
there would be few fish
for divers to see or
fishermen to catch.
Day-use moorings are
available on a first come-
first serve basis. Mooring
buoys are clearly marked
as day-use use only, not
for permanent mooring.
Sites for day-use mooring
buoys include popular
diving and fishing areas
that are visited by dive
groups or fishers on day or night trips.
The Division of Fish and Wildlife has
contracted with local private non-profit
organizations, Reef Ecology Foundation in St.
Thomas and Island Conservation Efforts on St.
Croix, to install and maintain the day-use


IFigure 3. Anchor damage on coral.
moorings. These organizations have obtained
Coastal Zone Management and U.S. Army Corps
of Engineers' permits for installation of day-use
mooring buoys. At this
time, there are about 50
day-use mooring buoys
around St. Croix and 50
around St. Thomas and
surrounding off shore cays.
Additional moorings are
planned in the near future
within the East End Marine
Park on St. Croix.
The National Park
Service on St. John also
has a day-use mooring
buoy program. They have
in excess of 200 day-use
mooring buoys at different
locations of the U.S. Virgin
Islands National Park on
St. John. There are also
plans to install moorings at
Buck Island National
Monument on St. Croix.
With everyone's
cooperation and utilization
of these day-use mooring buoys, human impacts to
critical marine habitats such as coral reefs and
seagrass beds can be greatly reduced. This will
help these important marine habitats support fish
for the recreational and commercial fisheries and
for marine recreational activities such as
snorkeling and SCUBA diving.


































Composition of Day-Use Moorings -
The day-use mooring is made up of five
major components:
(1) the anchor pin eyebolt or sand screw,
(2) the mooring rope,
(3) the subsurface float,
(4) the mooring buoy, and
(5) the pennant line.
A diagram of a day-use mooring buoy is
provided in Figure 4.
Anchor pin eyebolt or sand screw There
is a permanent anchor point. For hard substrates,
a hole is drilled into the rock or substrate. An
eye bolt is then cemented in using epoxy. If the
area is exposed to high wave energy, additional
eye bolts may be installed at a single mooring to
ensure adequate holding power of the anchor pin.
For soft substrates, such as sand under seagrass,
a sand screw is used. These are 4 to 6 foot long
auger shafts that are screwed into the sand.
More than one sand screw at a single mooring
may be used depending on the site conditions.
Mooring Rope Between the eyebolt and
mooring buoy is the mooring line. This is the
rope that takes up most of the tension of the
anchored boat. Often there is also a swivel in
this line. The swivel keeps the rope from


twisting, knotting or otherwise forming weak
points. It also reduces the torsional stress on the
anchor bolt or sand screws.
Subsurface Float The mooring line has a
subsurface float attached. The subsurface float
keeps the mooring tackle from scouring the bottom
and facilitates finding the anchor pin should the
mooring buoy become lost.
Mooring Buoy The mooring buoy is a large
floating buoy that is used to mark the location of
the ground tackle and pennant. Do not tie up to
the buoy, it is only a marker.
Pennant Line Finally, the pennant line is
attached to the mooring line. The pennant line is
the line the boat uses to tie up. Tying your boats
bowline to the pennant line will save a lot of wear
and tear on the ground tackle. You can see from
the figures that the pennant provides little slack.
The slack is provided by the combination of the
pennant and bow lines, which will help prevent the
jarring snap of the boat pulling against the anchor
pin or sand screws. If a boat ties directly to the
mooring or pennant lines there is not enough scope
on the mooring system. The jarring pull of the
boat against the ground tackle can cause the
mooring lines to fail or cause the anchor pin or
sand screws to become dislodged.

Responsible Resource Use
Look around you. Every "thing" you see or use
is a resource. Islands, houses, roads, schools are
all resources. Our animals, plants, rocks, stones,
beaches, air or water, are natural resources.
Natural resources are a material, substance, or
place that is found in nature. There are two major
categories of natural resources, renewable and
non-renewable.
The non-renewable resources include most non-
living materials (mountains, minerals, oil). Non-
renewable resources can be thought of as a natural
resource whose quantity is finite and cannot be
replaced, or whose replacement rate through
natural processes greatly exceeds the rate of
consumption. For example, beaches are renewable
resources only if the materials that form them
(corals, shells, etc.) are not removed and if the
sand is left in place.
Renewable resources include all the living
resources (plants and animals), and some radiation
(for example; sunlight). Renewable resources are








those that can restock or replenish themselves at
a rate either equal to or greater than the rate they
are used. Renewable resources can quickly
become non-renewable if we do not take steps to
manage the resource to prevent excessive
extraction. If the resource is over utilized it is no
longer renewable.
The Department of Planning and Natural
Resources is dedicated to the management and
protection of all of our natural resources to
ensure that everyone has the opportunity to use
and enjoy our local natural resources both now
and in the future.
"Responsible Resource Use", what is it?
Many people use our natural resources thinking
that they will always be there for them. This is
false. It is very easy to lose our natural resources
by abusing them.
We regularly see people taking more fish,
conch, lobster, and whelk than they can
reasonably use. What happens to these
resources? Some get stored in a freezer where
they may stay for months before they get used.
Well, how many fish do you know that can
reproduce in a freezer? NONE! Recently there
have been reports of hundreds of pounds of fresh
fish being dumped along the roadside or in


GOVERNMENT OF THE VIRGIN ISLANDS
OF THE UNITED STATES

Department of Planning and Natural Resources
Division of Fish and Wildlife
6291 Estate Nazareth
St. Thomas, USVI 00802-1104
(340) 775-6762 [STT], (340) 772-1955 [STX]


dumpsters. This is wanton waste and is extremely
detrimental to the environment.
So rather than taking all that you can, at one
time, just catch what you can use. Release the rest
alive so that they may restock the population.
To become a "Responsible Resource User"
please do not take more of any natural resource
than you can immediately use. Use the
recreational mooring buoys instead of anchoring,
to protect the fragile benthic environment. Do not
collect shells, corals, sand, starfish or other natural
resources, to allow our beaches to remain sandy,
and our sea life to opportunity to grow. The key
words are; conserve, recycle and reuse. Make sure
you leave your recreational sites cleaner than when
you found them.
Department of Planning and Natural Resources
is participating in a new program called VINE
(Virgin Islands Network of Environmental
Educators). It is our mission to support sustainable
use of natural and cultural resources in the U.S.
Virgin Islands through environmental education.
For more information or to become part of VINE
contact us at the Division of Fish and Wildlife, or
contact Dee Ozinski at Antilitter and
Beautification 773-4489.


BULK RATE
U.S. POSTAGE PAID
CHARLOTTE AMALIE, V.I.


PERMIT# 35


Address Correction Requested




Full Text

PAGE 1

TROPIC NEWS DEPARTMENT OF PLANNING AND NATURAL RESOURCES DIVISION OF FISH AND WILDLIFE 2004 Annual Issue Volume 15, Number 1 Recreational Mooring Buoys: Good for You, Good for the Environment Recommended steps to tie up to a day-use mooring buoy. 1. Approach the mooring buoy and painter from down current so that the vessel does not run over the mooring buoy or painter line. 2. Pick up the eye of the pennant with your boat hook. 3. Cleat one end of your boat’s bowline to the bow of your boat. 4. Thread your boat’s bowline through the eye-splice of the pennant twice to minimize chaffing of the painter line. 5. Cleat the other end of your boat’s bowline to the bow of your boat. 6. When leaving the mooring, uncleat one end of your bowline, cast it off, back the boat slowly, and then retrieve your bowline as it becomes free from the pennant. Boating statistics for 2004, compiled by the Department of Planning and Natural Resources, Division of Environmental Enforcement, indicate that there are about 4,800 registered vessels in the U.S. Virgin Islands (Fig. 1). Most of these boats are used for recreational boating and fishing. In addition to these locally registered vessels, numerous pleasure craft cruise the Caribbean and visit US Virgin Islands waters. Many pleasure craft come from the British Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. There is no available count on the number of these transient vessels that visit the US Virgin Islands each year. However, it is speculated that thousands visit our islands annually. Increased recreational boating use of the waters of the Virgin Islands has increased the negative impacts on the marine habitat. This is the same habitat that supports recreational fishing and other marine recreational activities. A single anchored boat swinging on its anchor can cause damage to a bottom area much larger than the vessel itself. If the damage is to a seagrass bed, wave energy generated by storm events further erodes the damaged seagrass area resulting in a “Blowout” hole (Fig. 2). Blowout holes are areas where even the rhizomes (sea grass roots) have been removed. Can you imagine the damage of thousands of boat anchors over several Fi g ure 1. Boat usin g a da y -use moorin g buo y years? Each time an anchor is thrown onto a coral reef, live coral is damaged or killed (Fig. 3). Imagine what a popular coral reef dive site would look like after years of boats anchoring at the site. Damage caused from anchors in seagrass beds and coral reefs can take decades to recover. To reduce the impact on the marine habitat, we have begun, with funding from USFWS, a day-use mooring program. Day moorings are designed to keep the ground tackle from destroying corals, seagrass, etc. Day-use moorings (Fig. 1) can prevent much of the damage to the marine environment by preventing anchor damage to the seagrasses (Fig.2)

PAGE 2

Precautions for using day-use mooring buoys. 1. Do not cleat the pennant to the bow of your boat. This line is too short and will cause too much vertical pull on the anchor pin. 2. Please do not use any additional anchors when using the day-use mooring buoy. 3. Please do not tie up to a boat on a day-use mooring buoy, or do not allow other boats to tie up to your boat if you are on a day-use mooring buoy. 4. Day-use mooring buoys can accommodate vessels less than 60 foot long. If your vessel is longer than 60 ft, please do not use day-use mooring buoys. 5. Day-use mooring buoys are for day-use only . They are not designed or intended for use during extreme weather conditions such as tropical storms or hurricanes. and coral reefs (Fig. 3). After all, it is the sea grasses and coral reefs that provide the habitat for fish and other marine life that attracts the fishermen and boaters anyway. You can see that there are many benefits to day-use mooring buoys. Critical marine habitats are protected and preserved. If coral reefs are transformed into piles of dead rock, and sea grasses became sand flats, there would be few fish for divers to see or fishermen to catch. Day-use moorings are available on a first come-first serve basis. Mooring buoys are clearly marked as day-use use only, not for permanent mooring. Sites for day-use mooring buoys include popular diving and fishing areas that are visited by dive groups or fishers on day or night trips. The Division of Fish and Wildlife has contracted with local private non-profit organizations, Reef Ecology Foundation in St. Thomas and Island Conservation Efforts on St. Croix, to install and maintain the day-use moorings. These organizations have obtained Coastal Zone Management and U.S. Army Corps Fi g ure 2. Blow out hole in a sea g rass bed. Figure 3. Anchor damage on coral. of Engineers’ permits for installation of day-use mooring buoys. At this time, there are about 50 day-use mooring buoys around St. Croix and 50 around St. Thomas and surrounding off shore cays. Additional moorings are planned in the near future within the East End Marine Park on St. Croix. The National Park Service on St. John also has a day-use mooring buoy program. They have in excess of 200 day-use mooring buoys at different locations of the U.S. Virgin Islands National Park on St. John. There are also plans to install moorings at Buck Island National Monument on St. Croix. With everyone’s cooperation and utilization of these day-use mooring buoys, human impacts to critical marine habitats such as coral reefs and seagrass beds can be greatly reduced. This will help these important marine habitats support fish for the recreational and commercial fisheries and for marine recreational activities such as snorkeling and SCUBA diving.

PAGE 3

Composition of Day-Use Moorings – Composition of Day-Use Moorings – The day-use mooring is made up of five major components: The day-use mooring is made up of five major components: (1) the anchor pin eyebolt or sand screw, (1) the anchor pin eyebolt or sand screw, (2) the mooring rope, (2) the mooring rope, (3) the subsurface float, (3) the subsurface float, (4) the mooring buoy, and (4) the mooring buoy, and (5) the pennant line. (5) the pennant line. A diagram of a day-use mooring buoy is provided in Figure 4. A diagram of a day-use mooring buoy is provided in Figure 4. Anchor pin eyebolt or sand screw There is a permanent anchor point. For hard substrates, a hole is drilled into the rock or substrate. An eye bolt is then cemented in using epoxy. If the area is exposed to high wave energy, additional eye bolts may be installed at a single mooring to ensure adequate holding power of the anchor pin. For soft substrates, such as sand under seagrass, a sand screw is used. These are 4 to 6 foot long auger shafts that are screwed into the sand. More than one sand screw at a single mooring may be used depending on the site conditions. Anchor pin eyebolt or sand screw There is a permanent anchor point. For hard substrates, a hole is drilled into the rock or substrate. An eye bolt is then cemented in using epoxy. If the area is exposed to high wave energy, additional eye bolts may be installed at a single mooring to ensure adequate holding power of the anchor pin. For soft substrates, such as sand under seagrass, a sand screw is used. These are 4 to 6 foot long auger shafts that are screwed into the sand. More than one sand screw at a single mooring may be used depending on the site conditions. Mooring Rope Between the eyebolt and mooring buoy is the mooring line. This is the rope that takes up most of the tension of the anchored boat. Often there is also a swivel in this line. The swivel keeps the rope from twisting, knotting or otherwise forming weak points. It also reduces the torsional stress on the anchor bolt or sand screws. Mooring Rope Between the eyebolt and mooring buoy is the mooring line. This is the rope that takes up most of the tension of the anchored boat. Often there is also a swivel in this line. The swivel keeps the rope from twisting, knotting or otherwise forming weak points. It also reduces the torsional stress on the anchor bolt or sand screws. Subsurface Float The mooring line has a subsurface float attached. The subsurface float keeps the mooring tackle from scouring the bottom and facilitates finding the anchor pin should the mooring buoy become lost. Subsurface Float The mooring line has a subsurface float attached. The subsurface float keeps the mooring tackle from scouring the bottom and facilitates finding the anchor pin should the mooring buoy become lost. Mooring Buoy The mooring buoy is a large floating buoy that is used to mark the location of the ground tackle and pennant. Do not tie up to the buoy, it is only a marker. Mooring Buoy The mooring buoy is a large floating buoy that is used to mark the location of the ground tackle and pennant. Do not tie up to the buoy, it is only a marker. Pennant Line Finally, the pennant line is attached to the mooring line. The pennant line is the line the boat uses to tie up. Tying your boats bowline to the pennant line will save a lot of wear and tear on the ground tackle. You can see from the figures that the pennant provides little slack. The slack is provided by the combination of the pennant and bow lines, which will help prevent the jarring snap of the boat pulling against the anchor pin or sand screws. If a boat ties directly to the mooring or pennant lines there is not enough scope on the mooring system. The jarring pull of the boat against the ground tackle can cause the mooring lines to fail or cause the anchor pin or sand screws to become dislodged. Pennant Line Finally, the pennant line is attached to the mooring line. The pennant line is the line the boat uses to tie up. Tying your boats bowline to the pennant line will save a lot of wear and tear on the ground tackle. You can see from the figures that the pennant provides little slack. The slack is provided by the combination of the pennant and bow lines, which will help prevent the jarring snap of the boat pulling against the anchor pin or sand screws. If a boat ties directly to the mooring or pennant lines there is not enough scope on the mooring system. The jarring pull of the boat against the ground tackle can cause the mooring lines to fail or cause the anchor pin or sand screws to become dislodged. Responsible Resource Use Responsible Resource Use Look around you. Every “thing” you see or use is a resource. Islands, houses, roads, schools are all resources. Our animals, plants, rocks, stones, beaches, air or water, are natural resources. Natural resources are a material, substance, or place that is found in nature. There are two major categories of natural resources, renewable and non-renewable. Look around you. Every “thing” you see or use is a resource. Islands, houses, roads, schools are all resources. Our animals, plants, rocks, stones, beaches, air or water, are natural resources. Natural resources are a material, substance, or place that is found in nature. There are two major categories of natural resources, renewable and non-renewable. The non-renewable resources include most non-living materials (mountains, minerals, oil). Non-renewable resources can be thought of as a natural resource whose quantity is finite and cannot be replaced, or whose replacement rate through natural processes greatly exceeds the rate of consumption. For example, beaches are renewable resources only if the materials that form them (corals, shells, etc.) are not removed and if the sand is left in place. The non-renewable resources include most non-living materials (mountains, minerals, oil). Non-renewable resources can be thought of as a natural resource whose quantity is finite and cannot be replaced, or whose replacement rate through natural processes greatly exceeds the rate of consumption. For example, beaches are renewable resources only if the materials that form them (corals, shells, etc.) are not removed and if the sand is left in place. Renewable resources include all the living resources (plants and animals), and some radiation (for example; sunlight). Renewable resources are Renewable resources include all the living resources (plants and animals), and some radiation (for example; sunlight). Renewable resources are Figure 4. Diagram of a day-use mooring.

PAGE 4

those that can restock or replenish themselves at a rate either equal to or greater than the rate they are used. Renewable resources can quickly become non-renewable if we do not take steps to manage the resource to prevent excessive extraction. If the resource is over utilized it is no longer renewable. those that can restock or replenish themselves at a rate either equal to or greater than the rate they are used. Renewable resources can quickly become non-renewable if we do not take steps to manage the resource to prevent excessive extraction. If the resource is over utilized it is no longer renewable. The Department of Planning and Natural Resources is dedicated to the management and protection of all of our natural resources to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to use and enjoy our local natural resources both now and in the future. The Department of Planning and Natural Resources is dedicated to the management and protection of all of our natural resources to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to use and enjoy our local natural resources both now and in the future. “Responsible Resource Use”, what is it? Many people use our natural resources thinking that they will always be there for them. This is false. It is very easy to lose our natural resources by abusing them. “Responsible Resource Use”, what is it? Many people use our natural resources thinking that they will always be there for them. This is false. It is very easy to lose our natural resources by abusing them. We regularly see people taking more fish, conch, lobster, and whelk than they can reasonably use. What happens to these resources? Some get stored in a freezer where they may stay for months before they get used. Well, how many fish do you know that can reproduce in a freezer? NONE! Recently there have been reports of hundreds of pounds of fresh fish being dumped along the roadside or in dumpsters. This is wanton waste and is extremely detrimental to the environment. We regularly see people taking more fish, conch, lobster, and whelk than they can reasonably use. What happens to these resources? Some get stored in a freezer where they may stay for months before they get used. Well, how many fish do you know that can reproduce in a freezer? NONE! Recently there have been reports of hundreds of pounds of fresh fish being dumped along the roadside or in dumpsters. This is wanton waste and is extremely detrimental to the environment. So rather than taking all that you can, at one time, just catch what you can use. Release the rest alive so that they may restock the population. So rather than taking all that you can, at one time, just catch what you can use. Release the rest alive so that they may restock the population. To become a “Responsible Resource User” please do not take more of any natural resource than you can immediately use. Use the recreational mooring buoys instead of anchoring, to protect the fragile benthic environment. Do not collect shells, corals, sand, starfish or other natural resources, to allow our beaches to remain sandy, and our sea life to opportunity to grow. The key words are; conserve, recycle and reuse. Make sure you leave your recreational sites cleaner than when you found them. To become a “Responsible Resource User” please do not take more of any natural resource than you can immediately use. Use the recreational mooring buoys instead of anchoring, to protect the fragile benthic environment. Do not collect shells, corals, sand, starfish or other natural resources, to allow our beaches to remain sandy, and our sea life to opportunity to grow. The key words are; conserve, recycle and reuse. Make sure you leave your recreational sites cleaner than when you found them. Department of Planning and Natural Resources is participating in a new program called VINE (Virgin Islands Network of Environmental Educators). It is our mission to support sustainable use of natural and cultural resources in the U.S. Virgin Islands through environmental education. For more information or to become part of VINE contact us at the Division of Fish and Wildlife, or contact Dee Ozinski at Antilitter and Beautification 773-4489.Department of Planning and Natural Resources is participating in a new program called VINE (Virgin Islands Network of Environmental Educators). It is our mission to support sustainable use of natural and cultural resources in the U.S. Virgin Islands through environmental education. For more information or to become part of VINE contact us at the Division of Fish and Wildlife, or contact Dee Ozinski at Antilitter and Beautification 773-4489. GOVERNMENT OF THE VIRGIN ISLANDS BULK RATE OF THE UNITED STATES U.S. POSTAGE PAID ****** CHARLOTTE AMALIE, V.I. Department of Planning and Natural Resources Division of Fish and Wildlife PERMIT# 35 6291 Estate Nazareth St. Thomas, USVI 00802-1104 (340) 775-6762 [STT], (340) 772-1955 [STX] Address Correction Requested