Front Cover
 The Caribbean research institu...
 Table of Contents
 An overview
 List of participants
 Water & ecological research
 Social research
 Economic research
 Educational research
 Appendix I
 Appendix II
 Appendix III
 Appendix IV
 Appendix V

Title: Virgin Islands research needs conference, 24 April 1973 proceedings
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00096175/00001
 Material Information
Title: Virgin Islands research needs conference, 24 April 1973 proceedings
Physical Description: 143 p. : ;
Language: English
Creator: Caribbean Research Institute
Donor: unknown ( endowment ) ( endowment )
Publisher: Caribbean Research Institute
Place of Publication: St. Thomas, USVI
Publication Date: 1973
Copyright Date: 1973
Genre: non-fiction   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage: United States Virgin Islands
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00096175
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of the Virgin Islands
Holding Location: University of the Virgin Islands
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: oclc - 34073054


This item has the following downloads:

PDF ( 23 MBs ) ( PDF )

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover
    The Caribbean research institute
        Page i
        Page ii
    Table of Contents
        Page iii
        Page 1
    An overview
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
    List of participants
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
    Water & ecological research
        Section 1
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
    Social research
        Page 15a
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
    Economic research
        Page 18a
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
    Educational research
        Page 23a
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
    Appendix I
        Page 28a
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
        Page 32
        Page 33
        Page 34
    Appendix II
        Page 34a
        Page 35
        Page 36
        Page 37
        Page 38
        Page 39
        Page 40
        Page 41
        Page 42
        Page 43
        Page 44
        Page 45
        Page 46
        Page 47
        Page 48
        Page 49
        Page 50
        Page 51
        Page 52
        Page 53
        Page 54
        Page 55
        Page 56
        Page 57
        Page 58
        Page 59
        Page 60
        Page 61
        Page 62
        Page 63
        Page 64
        Page 65
        Page 66
        Page 67
        Page 68
        Page 69
        Page 70
        Page 71
        Page 72
        Page 73
        Page 74
        Page 75
        Page 76
        Page 77
        Page 78
        Page 79
        Page 80
        Page 81
        Page 82
        Page 83
        Page 84
        Page 85
        Page 86
        Page 87
        Page 88
        Page 89
        Page 90
        Page 91
        Page 92
        Page 93
        Page 94
        Page 95
        Page 96
        Page 97
        Page 98
    Appendix III
        Page 98a
        Page 99
        Page 100
        Page 101
        Page 102
        Page 103
        Page 104
        Page 105
        Page 106
        Page 107
        Page 108
        Page 109
        Page 110
        Page 111
        Page 112
        Page 113
        Page 114
        Page 115
        Page 116
        Page 117
        Page 118
    Appendix IV
        Page 118a
        Page 119
        Page 120
        Page 121
        Page 122
        Page 123
        Page 124
        Page 125
        Page 126
        Page 127
        Page 128
        Page 129
        Page 130
        Page 131
    Appendix V
        Page 131a
        Page 132
        Page 133
        Page 134
        Page 135
        Page 136
        Page 137
        Page 138
        Page 139
        Page 140
        Page 141
        Page 142
        Page 143
Full Text


April 24, 1973




The Institute is a division of the College and was established in 1965
to provide a central research agency in the Virgin Islands and to encourage
research in the Caribbean basin. It pursues a broad spectrum of investiga-
tion in the natural, physical and social sciences. All investigations of the
Institute and its staff, the findings, data reports and publications, are made
available to the public.

The research policy of the Institute is one which seeks relevance to
local needs and problems, one which seeks to derive a broader base of
knowledge about insular environments from a case study approach, and which
seeks to relate its specific work on islands to that of the larger scientific
community. It is seeking a balanced perspective of the particular and the
general, the archetypal model and the replica, the rule and the exception,
the human community and the insular environment, and is attempting to make
regular use of the cybernetic feedback principle (both negative and positive)
between the diverse perspectives of the scientist and the decision-maker,
between the world of abstract theory and the changing environment, between
the search for scientific principles and the search for solutions to contemporary


Lawrence C. Wanlass, Ph.D.
Arthur A. Richards, Ed. D.
Norwell Harrigan, M.B.E., Ph.D.
0. Marcus Buchanan
Beverly Bandler
Karin Fiederer

President of the College
Provost and Dean
Director, C.R.I.
Director, V.I.E.R.S.
Projects Assistant


Dr. Norwell Harrigan
Mr. Eustace Arrindell
Miss Enid Bea

Miss Beverly Bandler
Miss Ilva Benjamin
Mr. Eric Blake
Mr. 0. Marcus Buchanan
Dr. Almery Caron
Dr. Ernest Fickas
Miss Doreen Hector
Dr. William MacLean

Mr. Peter Rasmussen
Dr. Fenton Sands

Mr. John Tinsley

Miss Pearl Varlack
Mrs. Artrelle Wheatley

Student Council, C.V.I.
V.I. Bureau of Libraries &
Nursing Division, C.V.I.
Social Sciences Division, C.V.I.
V.I.E.R.S., C.R.I.
Administration, C.V.I.
St. Croix Campus, C.V.I.
Humanities Division, C.V.I.
Science & Mathematics Division,
V.I. Department of Education .
Agricultural Extension Service,
Business Administration & Con-
Continuing Education
Education Division, C.V.I.
Student Affairs Research, C.V.I.


FOREWARD ............................................... 1
LIST OF PARTICIPANTS..................................... S
AGENDA................................................. 7
Recommendations................................... 9
Summary of Discussion............................... 10
Recommendations................................... 16
Summary of Discussion.............................. 17
Recommendations................................... 19
Summary of Discussion.............................. 20
Recommendations................................... 24
Summary of Discussion.............................. 26
I. Keynote Address ................................ 29
II. Background Paper No. 1, "Caribbean Research Insti-
tute: Research 1966 to 1972"
[Beverly Bandler]............................... 35
III. Background Paper No. 2, "Ecological Research in the
Virgin Islands: Historical and Administrative Back-
[0. Marcus Buchanan] .......................... 99
IV, Background Paper No. 3, "Status of Research in the
Virgin Islands Apropos .of the Caribbean Area"
[Enid M. Baa] ................................. 119
V. Background Paper No. 4, "Status of Educational
Research in the U.S. Virgin Islands"
[Peter Rasmussen].............................. 132


Conferences, even under the most ideal conditions, are notoriously
difficult to organize. With the lack of experience in the field and a small
staff we had our fair share of problems.

We are glad, however, to be able to record that the administration,
the business office, the research-oriented faculty members, maintenance
and the cafeteria all gave the Institute full cooperation and we wish to
express our gratitude forwhatwas in effect College-wide support. Special
thanks are due to the Research Liaison Committee who undertook the planning
of this Important first effort.

Our participants included a cross-section of the Virgin Islands com-
munities on all three islands. This expression of public support was an
inspiration and greatly appreciated.

The conference recommendations can be regarded as merely a listing
of possible research areas. Little more could be expected from a one-day
session. It will now be necessary to discuss these ideas in depth, to
evaluate them and prepare on the basis of this evaluation concrete proposals
for research action. Committees are being established for this purpose.
The College and the Institute will then, hopefully, move forward in the
furtherance of its mission by tackling some of the problems which need to
be investigated.



In his opening remarks Dr. Norwell Harrigan. the acting director of
the Caribbean Research Institute (CRI),drew attention to the fact that the
Institute was evidence of the recognition by the College of the Virgin Islands
of Its duty to investigate its own environment and whatever might be thought
of its activities, It had made a contribution to the life of the Virgin Islands
which gould be viewed with some degree of satisfaction and pride.

The conference was an indication that the Institute did not propose to
remain static, rather it intended to reevaluate its policies, review its
programs, ask (and if possible, answer) other questions, blaze new trails,
and instead of confronting 'needs' that are directed by resources to undertake
to search for resources to meet determined needs. He concluded by saying,
"If this conference had an explicit theme it would be, 'what kind of society
have we really got, where is it going, and what are we going to do about it.'"

Approximately 50 persons representing the College and the community
responded to the invitation to join in the quest for solutions by examining
what research had been done in the Virgin Islands, attempting to determine
what research needs to be done and to ascertain what resources were
available to do the necessary research.

Fpur research status papers were presented at the plenary session.
The first summarized the objectives and results of research undertaken by the
Institute from its inception in 1966 through 1972. Officially, there have
been 54 CRI projects, a few of which were in support of conferences, sym-
posiums, or publications, but the bulk of which covered research in the
arts, b4otoxicology, conservation, education, hydro-geology, marine
archaeology, marine resources, remote sensing technology, socio-economics
and water quality. Of the total number of projects, the majority have focused
on the marine/water resources field. It is estimated that some 60 reports

were produced during the above referred period with 20 of these on
water quality control, and the balance fairly evenly divided between
conservation, fisheries, the physical and natural sciences, and social

The paper on ecology provided a general introductory background
theme to the topic of ecological research, using the term "ecology" as
the study of the relationships of plants and animals to one another and
to their environment. It pointed to the anomalous status of the Virgin
Islands with regard to ecological research endemically-generated, putting
the Virgin Islands "distinctly behind their other West Indian neighbors
in ecological awareness." Most applied as well as basic ecological
research prior to the early 1960's was conducted by "commuter scientists,
with the current interest based mainly on the establishment of the Virgin
Islands National Park, the College of the Virgin Islands, and the Bureau
of Fish and Wildlife of the Department of Conservation and Cultural Affairs.

The third paper reviewed research in the Virgin Islands and the
Caribbean as a whole and revealed an "exceedingly small volume of(masters
and doctoral)studies produced to date" concerning the Virgin Islands (38 of
a total of 1,248). The list breaks down into the following disciplines:
Art and Music (1); Biography (1); Economics (1); Education (4); History (6);
Linguistics (1); Medicine and Health (4); Natural Sciences (2); Politics
and Government (9); Social Sciences (9). A crucial factor, it noted, is
how much in the way of official records and documentation has been lost
through poor administrative procedures and indifference.

The paper on education research tells a similar story when it states
that "it is a curious irony that neighboring Puerto Rico has been analyzed in
almost every imaginable area by researchers, while the Virgin Islands has
been significantly neglected." The paper lists 40 studies on education
done since 1928, 21 of which were done in the 1960's. This decade has

resulted in 12 efforts to date. The paper makes 7 recommendations for
immediate needs, and comments on resources available to accomplish
the research.

Following the plenary session, the participants broke up into
four study groups Water and Ecological Research, Social Research,
Economic Research and Education. Recommendations and a summary
of the discussion of each group are separately contained in this report.

In a second plenary session reports from each group were submitted.
In these and the discussion that followed there were certain threads that
could be said to have run through the conference as a whole. There was
general agreement about a failure both to define and conduct research
(one comment was that a state had been reached where looking for a word
in the dictionary was called research). The compiling of data in all areas
was erratic at best, not comprehensive and what little had been gathered
was not readily available. The result was that actual knowledgewas
extremely limited, and where available was not disseminated.

A second point of general agreement was the lack of communication,
not only among people in different disciplines, but also among those in
the same or similar disciplines. This has led to a duplication of effort
which is wasteful of the limited resources available.

Comprehensive planning In all areas and integrated planning was
seen as an urgent need in which research had a significant part to play.

If one attempted to state in brief the consensus of the discussions,
it would perhaps be that we are not adequately prepared to deal with the
complex challenges and changes in the Virgin Islands today, and that
something is wrong with our communities and it is time that we assess it.



1. Mr. Eustace Arrindell, President, C.V.I. Student Couoll
2. Miss Enid Baa, Director, Division of Libraries & Museums, V.I.
Department of Conservation & Cultural Affairs
3. Miss Beverly Bandler, C.R.I., C.V.I.
4. Mr. Eric Blake, Social Sciences Division, C.V.I.
S. Mr. Thomas Blake, V.I. Planning Office
6. Mr. 0. Marcus Buchanan, V.I.E.R.S., C.R.I., C.V.I.
7. Mr. Louis 0. Brown, Economic Opportunity Office of Community Services,
St. Croix
B. Mrs. Marva S. Browne, Citizens Committee
9. Dr. Almery Caron, Administration, C.V.I.
10. Mr. Vincent A. Colianni, St. Croix Chamber of Commerce
11. Dr. John Cross, Social Sciences Division, C.V.I.
12. Dr. Arthur A. Dammann, Bureau of Fisheries & Wildlife, Department
of Conservation & Cultural Affairs
13. Dr. Burt Dunmire, Continuing Education Division, C.V.I.
14. Dr. Ernest Ftikas, St. Croix Campus, C.V.I.
15. Mr. Pedrito Francois, Division of Environmental Health, V.I. Department
of Health
16. Dr. Francis M. Grant, Education Division, C.V.I.
17. Dr. Harold Haizlip, V.I. Department of Education
18. Dr. Norwell Harrigan, C.R.I.
19. Miss Doreen Hector, Humanities Division, C.V.I.
20. Dr. Michael Hench, Humanities Division, C.V.I.
21. Mr. Valdemar Hill, Sr., Publisher
22. Mr. Valdemar Hill, Jr., Business Administration Division, C.V.I.
Reverent K. R. Khan, Special Assistant to the Governor
24. Mr. Jean Larsen, V.I. Department of Labor, St. Croix
25. Mr. Romeo Malone, Savan Development Committee
26. Mr. Euan P. McFarlane, St. Croix
27. Dr. William MacLean, Science & Mathematics Division, C.V.I.
28. Mr. Bart Montiegel, V.I. Water & Power Authority
29. Dr. A. R. Mora, Social Sciences
30. Mr. Bruno Neumann, V.I. Budget Office
31. Mr. Darwin Newton, Student, C.V.I.
32. Dr. JohnC.Ogdenyast Indies Laboratory, St. Croix
33. Mr. Michael O'Neal, Research & Consulting Services, Tortola, B.V,I.
34. Mr. Peter Rasmussen, V.I. Department of Education
35. Mr. Alan Robinson, U.S. National Park Service
36. Mr. David Rossington, Student, C.V.I.
37. Mrs. Hortense M. Rowe, Department of Conservation & Cultural Affairs
38. Mrs. Eldra Shulterbrandt, Division of Mental Health, V.I. Department
of Health


(List of Participants, Cont.)
39. Mrs. Esther Smith, C.R.I.
40. Mr. James Spain, V.I. Teachers Union
41. Mr. Robert Stanton, U.S. National Park Service
42. Mr. Melvin Stevens, V.I. Department of Labor
43. Mr. John F. Tinsley, Business Administration, C.V.I.
44. Dr. Edward L. Towle, Island Resources Foundation
45. Mr. Robert P. vanEepoel, Insular Environments, Inc.
46. Miss Pearl Varlack, Education Division, C.V.I.
47. Mrs. Vitalia Wallace, Associate Dean, C.V.I.
48. Mrs. Artrelle Wheatley, Institutional Research, C.V.I.



8:30 A.M. Registration
Theater, College of the Virgin Islands
9:00 A.M. Plenary Session
Chairman............... Professor Vitalia Wallace
Associate Dean, C.V.I.
Opening Remarks........Dr. Norwell Harrigan
Acting Director, C.R.I. &
Chairman, Research Liaison
Research Status Papers
C.R.I. Research...... Miss Beverly Bandler
Projects Assistant, C.R.I.
V.I.E.R.S. Research..Mr. 0. Marcus Buchanan
Director, V.I.E.R.S.
Education Research... Mr. Peter Rasmussen
Director, Division of Planning,
Research & Evaluation
Department of Education
General Research..... Miss Enid M. Baa
Director, Libraries & Museums
Department of Conservation &
Cultural Affairs

10:45 A.M. Break

11:00 A.M. Discussion Groups
Water & Ecoloaical Research
Discussion Leader:. Dr.
Rapporteur: Dr.
Social Research
Discussion Leader: Mr.
Rapportepr: Mr,
Economic Research
Discussion Leader: Proj
Rapporteur: Mrs
Educational Research
Discussion Leader: Mr.
Rapporteur: Pro

Room 319
Ernest D. Fickas, Jr.
William MacLean
Room 310
Michael O'Neal
. Eric Blake
Room 302
fessor John Tinsley
. Artrelle Wheatley
Phillip A. Gerard
fessor Pearl Varlack


(Agenda, Cont.)
12:30 P.M. Lunch
1:30 P.M. Discussion Groups (Resumption)
3:00 P.M. Plenary Session
Chairman ..................... Dr. Burt Dunmire
Dean, Continuing Education,
Presentatipn of Discussion
Group Reports ................ Rapporteurs
Vote of Thanks .... ........... Dr. Norwell Harrigan
4:30 P.M. Conference Ends


- 9-


1. The circulation of information on the status of current research and
research proposals.

2. The tabulation and circulation of the research needs listed in research
and consultant reports already done.

3. The initiation of comprehensive planning and an effort to effect a
mechanism and atmosphere which encourages wider input in the
decision-making process and more diverse approaches to relevant

4. Urgent attention to water and power planning with special emphasis
given to alternate sources.

5. The exploration of the possibility of utilizing solar energy to meet the
energy needs of the islands.

6. The commitment of the Government to implementing and enforcing
legislation which results from environmental research.

7. An ecological study of marine life.

8. A survey of all current and projected sand resource needs.

9. An analysis of beach and coastline erosion.

10. Further studies on Ciguatera toxin to include an epidemiological
survey in the Virgin Islands (both British and U.S.), a chemistry
program to identify toxic fish, and an ecological program to identify
the food chain and toxic fish species.

11. The organization of a Virgin Islands Natural Science Conference Group.


The West Indies Laboratory of Fairleigh Dickinson University on
St. Croix, the National Park Service, the Departments of Conservation
and Cultural Affairs and Health (Division of Environmental Health), Island
Resources Foundation, Insular Environments, Inc. (a private consulting
firm), and the College of the Virgin Islands through its Math & Science
Division, Caribbean Research Institute and the latter's subdivision, the
Virgin Islands Ecological Research Station (VIERS), are all engaged in
water/ecological investigations and were represented at the Conference.

Much of the time of the study group was devoted to an exchange of
Information regarding the functions and responsibilities of the various
bodies represented, but some problems were noted. These included a
lack of communication about research and among researchers (eight of
ten participants ware directly involved in these areas, yet few of them
were known to one another); the long heritage of inefficient consulting;
little or no guidance given to research other than that dictated by available
funding; resistance to overall planning by the local government (planning
takes a backseat to expediency and is ignored as a framework in which
research should be accomplished); the lack of easily accessible publica-
tions with useful data and findings; and the inability of the Government to
enforce current environmental legislation due to the lack of personnel.

A study is currently being done to determine the quantity or recover-
able protein produced in coconuts and the methods of economically recov-
ering such protein. This investigation is a USAID funded project in which
partial field work is being carried out on St. John (VIERS). A survey on
certain floristic components of St. John continues at VIERS (a herbarium
Is on site). A study of the pollinators of a conspicuous component of
Virgin Islands flora, the Agave or century plant, was initiated on St. yohn

- 11 -

but was discontinued due to a lack of funding.

Ecological studies have been done and are currently being pursued
on frogs, lizards, ants, fiddler crabs, sponges, West Indian Topshells,
ostracods [at VIERS], deer herds, doves, bats and the mongoose [Depart-
ment of Conservation & Cultural Affairs]. Tree frog communities have
been studied on St. John, St. Croix, St. Thomas, Tortola, Virgin Gorda,
Anegada, Vieques, and Puerto Rico. The latter studies re-examine the
species' relationships with specific emphasis on population dynamics,
isolating mechanisms, niche structure and food habits. Indian and
South American lizards are currently being studied by a member of the
CVI science faculty to examine causes of change in populations, which
has theoretical significance in evolutionary biology and is also important
in plant and wildlife management. A list of insect species on St. John is
available and a field guide to the natural history of Puerto Rico and the
Virgin Islands is in progress [Department of Conservation and Cultural

The Department of Conservation & Cultural Affairs is also preparing
an atlas of offshore cays and their usage potentials, and a member of
the CVI science faculty is hoping to use Sail Rock as an ecological
experimental area. Coral reef ecology Is a major Interest of the West
Indies Laboratory. A survey of bat fauna is underway at VIERS, and is
concerned primarily with the reproduction of economically and aesthetically
important plants In the Virgin Islands. A projected study at VIERS is on
the nitrogen cycles in tropical soils subjected to slash and burn agricul-
ture, with special attention to the role of termites.

A reconnaissance survey of the shallow shelf area south of St. Thomas
and St. John to prospect sand offshore and to describe and chart offshore

- 12 -

deposits of sand suitable to be mined for making concrete landfill and
beach replenishment has been made [CRI]. In the spring of 1970 sediment
core samples were collected [Ocean Survey Program of Tektite II] which
underwent textural and mineralogical analysis to determine the patterns
of sediment distribution, and a bathymetric map was made describing
the bottom position, sub-bottom structure and geophysics of the Virgin
Islands platform south of the two Islands, with a resulting report with
three sites for exploitation discovered. CRI was unsuccessful in effect-
ing a long-term marine geology program or feasibility investigations with
regard to sites already located for exploitation south of St. Thomas. The
West Indies Laboratory has also been unsuccessful in obtaining funding
for a sand resources study.

Data has also been collected and a sea bottom survey made [CRI]
to study the oceanographic, geophysical, meteorlogical and hazard factors
for a possible route for a submarine cable for transmitting electric power
between St. Thomas and St. Croix. The degree of correlation between the
well-marked ecological donation of coral reefs and reflected structure of
reef-derived inshore sediments is currently under study [VIERS].

Marine Archaeolovy
The main efforts ofthe Marine Archaeology Program of CRI which was
initiated at the end of 1969 have been directed to an inventory and assess-
ment of marine archaeological resources in the Virgin Islands. This inven-
tory, along with a register of historic underwater sites, will be available
in the fall of 1973 together with inventories of artifacts found from two
Virgin Islands wrecksites, the HMS Nymph (1783, Tortola) and the HMS
Santa Monica (1782, St. John).

Marine Resources
The basic Virgin Islands fisheries studies were done at CR/VI/ERS and
covered a 3-year period. The purpose of the program was to investigate the

- 13 -

fisheries potential of the Virgin Islands. The studies indicated that the
local shelf area available for fishing is only about 2,000 square miles
and that while a bewildering array of species were discovered, each
species is represented in comparatively small numbers. Deep water
snapper fishing holds the only commercial promise.

The fish with the greatest commercial potential is the silk snapper,
a fish abundant in water from 60-150 fathoms. Three productive areas
for this fish were located. Indications are that this fish would support
a sizeable native fishery with small boats in the 22-36 feet range. The
investigations concluded, however,that while deep-water snapper fishing
held promise, there could be little progress towards the development of
Virgin Islands fisheries until the effect of ciguatera toxin is better under-
stood. Little is known about the chemistry, pharmacology and ecology of

"A preliminary study of ciguatera fish poisoning was made over a
one-year period [CRI/VIERS]. Completed in June of 1972, it established
a facility for screening bloassays on a large volume of fish samples and
a reporting system to obtain data on incidence of fish poisoning. Experi-
mental bioassay/chemical extraction methods were effected. According
to the study, there is good evidence that the shelf-edge stocks of snapper
and grouper are not free from ciguatera poisoning as previously presumed,
and that exploitation of this presently underutilized resource may be impeded
by this toxicity. This study has been discontinued.

Work on fisheries is currently being pursued by the Department of
Conservation & Cultural Affairs through its Fish and Wildlife Bureau. The
bureau has completed a 5-year development program for fisheries, and its
current project includes: fisheries life history studies, studies on the
utilization and improvement of native fishing boats, the construction of
two experimental artificial reefs, and a fresh water recreational fishing

- 14 -

pond on St. Croix.

Fisheries research has also concluded that there are eight species
which hold promise for future mariculture projects: turtle, conch, squid,
mangrove oyster, spiny lobster, whelks, octopus, and several species
of crabs. CRI investigations were done on St. John in 1970-71 on the
spiny lobster (Panullrus arMus) and data were gathered for the purpose
of defining the population, ecology and behavior and vital statistics.
Investigations indicate that approximately 17,000 lobsters are around
St. John in the 10 fathom curve on any given day. The West Indies Lab-
oratory is currently working on mariculture projects.

Water Quality
CRI began conducting water pollution studies for the Virgin Islands
Government during the summer of 1969. Upon its termination in October
of 1972, the project had produced twenty reports covering enclosed bays,
two harbors and sewage disposal practices and operating efficiencies of
package sewage treatment plants. The most comprehensive data gathered
were on Christiansted Harbor. Investigations done for the Harvey Alumina
plant described and delineated the thermal plume and marine benthic com-
munities in the plant area on the south shore of St. Croix. The College is
currently looking for a director for the Water Resources Research Center.
According to one College representative, the water laboratory will be
mostly concerned with potable water problems and will also address itself
to sewage disposal and its affects on coastal waters.

Field studies have been conducted on St. John concerning the degree
of correlation between the well-marked ecological zonation of coral reefs
and the structure of reef-derived inshore sediments (VIERS]. The West Indies
Laboratory has a strong Interest in environmental monitoring.


Energy Sources
One conference participant is currently working on a proposal on
surface reflectivity of water with the idea of utilizing solar energy.



- 16-


1. A comprehensive study of multi-culturalism in the Virgin Islands
including an analysis of each ethnic group, their attitudes and values.

2. A study of the family structure of the native Virgin Islander, including
comparison with the nuclear family structure of other ethnic groups
and the social implications.

3. A study of urbanization in the Virgin Islands to attempt to determine
the effects of population growth on social and economic mores of the

4. A study of V.I. housing projects to determine Inter alla the social
factors involved in current approaches.

5. A comparative study of three small communities: (e.g. Savan, Bovoni,
and Frenchtown).

6. A comparative study of St. Croix, St. John and St. Thomas as an
attempt to determine socio-economic differences and the reasons

7. An examination of the nature of polarization in the Virgin Islands.

8. An examination of the role of the individual in the Virgin Islands'
decision-making process.

9. Compilation of a list of typical social research topics, and the
selection and assignment of priorities to those pertinent to,Virgin
Islands needs.

10. An outreach program into the community, such as meeting and talking
with groups like the Savan Development Organization, with a view
to investigating how suggestions obtained can be utilized.

11. An effort to arrive at a workable consensus about Virgin Islands

12. A study of the political and administrative systems.

13. A study of the sociological implications of tourism, particularly the
attitudes of indigenous people to the industry.

- 17-


The fourteen participants in the study group were faced with a dilemma,
with many questions posed: Who are the people of the Virgin Islands?
What is Virgin Islands culture? Shouldn't a society know and understand
itself before deciding where to go?

The initial discussion centered around philosophical views on social
methodology and the kinds of findings that are obtained as a result. This
lead into social research in the Virgin Islands and the problems confronted.
The general agreement was that the basic problem is that the Virgin Islands
does not understand the nature of its society. Not only is it impossible
to give relevant answers, but the confusion and haze which has enveloped
the society often makes it difficult to ask the right questions.

The discussion then took the form of a group attempting to clear its
own collective mind. What does a community need to know? It needs
to know what it is what peoples live within in, and where. The values,
motivations and social structures of these peoples. The nature of their
interaction with each other and as a community, and why. How the inter-
action affects the life of the community. Whether it is selecting models
that promote a healthy environment, models that are suitable to the

The varied and complex nature of Virgin Islands society was appre-
ciated, but it was agreed that a society so rich in variety of people and
cultures, and small enough to be manageable, was a virtual laboratory
for multi-cultural studies. That so little research has been done is a loss
both to the Virgin Islands and to social research as a whole.

It was also agreed that as a community under stress due to rapid
social, economic and physical changes, there was an urgent need for

18 -

social exploration which would establish a base for decision making
capable of promoting the welfare of both present and future Virgin
Islanders. While the importance of the behavioral sciences have been
vastly underrated by the world at large, failure to pursue such inves-
tigations in our society may have serious consequences for our islands.


- 19-


1. A local population census prior to 1980.

2. An income survey to determine individual family and territorial income.

3. A manpower study to determine the total and nature of available man-
power and employed manpower.

4. A study to determine what the Virgin Islands imports and exports, how
much, and from and to whom.

5. An analysis of Virgin Islands capital needs and availability data.

6. Establishment of long-range economic goals, consistent with an over-
all physical, economic and social plan for the Virgin Islands.

7. Establishment of an Economics Research Committee to make use of a
substantial number of under utilized people with the Virgin Islands
who have expertise in economics.

8. The establishment of a central source of economic information (e.g.
an Economic Information Data Bank) within the Virgin Islands Planning

9. The designation of the Public Library as a legal central depository for
all Virgin Islands Government documents.

10. An analysis of curriculum at the high school and college levels as
related to economic and social goals.

11. A study of the Tax Incentive Program to determine cost/benefit ratio.

12. A preliminary study to investigate diversification of the economy, to
result in a list of possible alternatives.

13. Tourism study or studies which should include cost/benefit analyses.

- 20 -


Decision-making on the Virgin Islands economy requires an under-
standing of how the economy works. In the view of the study group on
economics, the Virgin Islands does not understand its economy. Basic
data, standards by which an economy can be measured and access to
this information, economic policies set in relation to overall long-range
comprehensive goals for the islands, mechanisms set up to implement
these policies -- all were seen as badly needed. With so much interest
in the economy vis a vis the media, political sphere and business com-
munity, it is amazing that there is but one thesis on economics noted in
Background Paper No. 3 (Appendix IV).

Basic Data
It is the general consensus that the Virgin Islands is at "ground
zero" in terms of reliable economic information. While in some areas
fairly reliable data exists -- revenue and expenditures, import and export
figures, school enrollment data by island and age groupings, some housing
statistics -- the usual economic indicators do not exist. There is no
information on Gross Territorial Product, National Income, Personal
Income, Cost of Living, Prices, and Capital Needs.

The most serious problem is caused by the reputed inaccuracies of
the 1970 U.S. Census which indicates that there is a total population of
62,468. The census figures are strongly disputed, and estimates of the
total population of the islands have gone as high as 100,000. The
analysis of most data will be meaningless if an inaccurate population
count faults all other statistics, and lack of such basic data certainly
makes physical, social and economic planning almost impossible. A
prime example of the difficulties caused is a per capital income figure
for the Virgin Islands that is 25% higher than the United States.

- 21 -

Manpower Data
What is the.manpower situation and the needs of the islands? As
has been pointed out in the progress reports of the committee for the
Overall Economic Development Plan (OEDP), it is not known how many
people in the Virgin Islands are employed, unemployed, or underemployed.
There is no comparability among employment statistics based on the census,
those developed by the Employment Security Agency or the V.I. Department
of Labor. While raw data does exist in the Department of Finance that can
be useful (plus much more Information on income statistics--individual,
family, territorial),accurate population figures are required for correlation.

Access to Information
The study group reconfirmed another serious problem affecting eco-
nomic research and decision-making in the Virgin Islands: the lack of
access to information. There is at present no central source for obtaining
information. Although the Public Library is supposed to serve as a depository
official depository for Government reports, this policy has not been effected.
It is also the general opinion that many V.I. Government departments are
reluctant to release information which they interpret as that which would
reflect badly on the work of the particular department. Departmental
personnel are reluctant to provide access even to published materials. It
has been noted that much of the published material is out of date even before

In addition to the legal designation of the Public Library as a Virgin
Islands Government depository, it was considered that: (1) the Budget
Office should maintain a general coordinating surveillance of studies or
surveys made for departments and agencies of the V.I. Government by
private consultants, research or education institutions, and agencies of
the Federal Government, and it should maintain a complete file of such
reports and surveys as recommended by the "Hubbard Report"; (2) Basic

- 22 -

data should be gathered and maintained In one central source, with the
recommendation that the most appropriate place for such is the V.I.
Planning Office (the creation of an Economic Information Data Bank was

The starting place is an economic base study. The Virgin Islands
is probably the only area under the U.S. flag which has never undertaken
such a study. Until there Is comprehensive and reliable data, no reason-
able decisions on or plans for the Virgin Islands economy can be made.

The group concluded that planning has never held a high priority in
the Virgin Islands Government. While the administrative mechanism for
coordinated comprehensive planning has been set up since 1950--the
V.I. Planning Board between 1950-70, and the V.I. Planning Office from
1970--there has been only limited short-range planning, strictly physically
oriented, with little if any coordination. In short, Virgin Islands planning
legislation of some 23 years duration has never been implemented as
intended. The decade of the 70's is demonstrating the bitter fruits of
uncontrolled and unplanned growth. It was the consensus of the parti-
cipants that this approach to growth and development must terminate.

The group demonarated that there are differences of opinion as to the
question of diversification of the economic base and the lessening of a
reliance on tourism. It was pointed out that the lack of manpower,
utilities, and the possible change in the Federal Government's "301
Program" provisions, limit our potential. Once again, basic information
is needed. What are the cost/benefits of tourism? What are the cost/
benefits of the Tax Incentive Program? What are our alternatives?

23 -

The group suggested that the College take on a strong leadership ro
role in this area, and recommended that CVI students play an active
role in any mechanism established which would deal in economic research.
research. It was also recommended that an appropriate vehicle or
group be organized to direct a well-ordered group of economic projects.



- 24-


1. A study of the role of education in the value system of the Virgin
Islands: (a) the student, (b) the teacher, (c) the parent, (d) the
general public.

2. A comprehensive study of the socio-economic factors affecting the
learning process of V.I. school children including home/family
factors, multi-culturalism, children's relationship to community,
and their implications.

3. A study of the Parent/Teacher Associations throughout the Virgin
Islands: structure, organization, attitudes, and effectiveness.

4. An analysis of job/higher education placement for all Virgin Islands
public school children for the last five-year period.
S. A survey of manpower needs.

6. A survey of skills needed in the Virgin Islands looking towards an
examination of vocational education programs.

7. The development of a Handbook of Virgin Islands Usage for entering
teachers In Virgin Islands public schools.

8. A study of the effects on learning of multi-culturalism and linguistics.

9. A study of student self-concept and attitudes.

10. A survey to form the basis of recommendations for a Teacher Training
Program to include professional teachers and in-service education, new
teachers, undergraduate teachers.

11. A study to determine the advisability of a para-professional program in
the public school system.

12. A study to determine in which academic areas public school children
in V.I. are most successful and why.

13. A study of adult education in the Virgin Islands.

14. A comparative study between island and stateside education models
from kindergarten through 1'2 grade.

- 26 -


The role of learning, said the late ecumenical rabbi Abraham Joshua
Heschel, is a "source of inspiration, the greatest adventure, a source of
joy." Suffice it to say that in the Virgin Islands it has been "the greatest
adventure" to attempt to keep up with the constantly increasing growth of
public school enrollment which consistently outdistances the provision for

The conference study group on education conducted a wide-ranging
discussion, which included commentary on the extreme pressure felt by the
education system due to the incredible and unplanned growth rate. This
growth has been a real obstacle in assessment of the total system as it
relates to the community as a whole, inspite of financial support that
amounts to some $28 million, or close to $1,300 per child per year. It
is not known how successful the systemm has been, where the graduates
are now, what the cost/benefit ratio is, and whether the students not only
have the skills for employment, but the tools for adulthood. The main
points of discussion were the following:

Manpower Needs
A survey on manpower needs was reportedly done some years ago,
but what is required is current knowledge on community needs so that
public school curricula can be so oriented as to fill these needs.

Vocational Education
A survey of skills needed in the various communities is essential
with a view towards an examination of current programs and the establish-
ment and funding of such other programs as might be necessary.

Handbook of Virogn Islands Usage
Large numbers of teachers from the continental United States are
recruited annually to fill vacancies on public school staffs. These

- 27 -

teachers encounter much difficulty in communicating with and comprehending
satisfactorily the average public school child. Much of the lack of com-
munication is caused by differences in the usage of English by persons from
the various geographical and cultural areas. Since this difficulty sets
limits on the abilities of teachers to meet the needs of local children, some
method should be devised to counteract it. The development of a handbook
or dictionary of Virgin Islands English Usage, made available to non-Virgin
Islanders taking up employment In the public schools, should assist in
remedying the situation.

The Effects on Learning of Multi-culturalism and Linguistics
It may be that the achievement of local children is correlated in one
way or another with the diversity of cultures and language usage to be
found among members of the public school community. How far this diver-
sity affects learning and school achievement, testing and grading, etc.
is a matter of some concern to local education authorities and warrants
some investigation. Closely related to this are the effects of teacher train-
ing, and standardized tests.

A survey of this sort is envisioned as a multi-year project requiring
the professional services of persons competent in cultural anthropology,
psycho-linguistics, curriculum, and educational research. Some con-
tributions from mental health practitioners would also be required.

Student Self-concept and Attitudes
There is a need for an understanding of both the attitudes and self-
concept of the students who indeed represent different backgrounds and
are the products of different school systems.

Teacher Training Program
An examination of the conditions which would affect the teacher
education program of the College of the Virgin Islands In terms of its

28 -

meeting the existing needs of the school system was suggested. There
would be three aspects to this viz.:

(a) Professional teachers and in-service education;
(b) New teachers: it was wondered whether a pre-service
program in the form of a week-long seminar as orienta-
tion for in-coming teachers to the system, particularly
for those recruited outside of the Virgin Islands, would
not substantially help;
(c) Undergraduate students: the undergraduate program should
be look at in terms of improvement and acceleration of
its contribution to public education from the points of view
of duration of training and relevant curriculum models.



Address By
NorweU Harrigan, Ph.D.
Acting Director
Caribbean Research Institute
To Research Needs Conference
Tuesday, April 24, 1973


Tuesday, April 24, 1973

Dean Wallace (I address you thus because I omitted to clear with you

if you had any objections to the term "madam Chairman", and I take strong

personal exception to the bastardized expression "chairperson"), Ladies and

Gentlemen, A week ago so few people had indicated an interest in our confer-

ence that we were becoming apprehensive, now I can say in all sincerity,

"I am glad to see so many of you here!"

The most amazing story that has come to me in connection with this

conference concerns a person who expressed bewilderment as to why certain

other persons should be involved in any way about research. Although I

have come across this attitude in other places and in high places, nr came as

somewhat of a surprise to me in the United States Virgin Islands (although it

perhaps should not have done). Here we have the advantage of our own in-

stitution of higher education (and the extension of the boundaries of knowledge

in addition to increasing knowledge and disseminating knowledge is a primary

function of higher education) which very early in its young life recognized its

- 30 -

duty to investigate its own environment. In retrospect it could perhaps be

argued that we set our sights too high and that we have moved In questionable

directions. Our image may have been seen differently by different publics;

while some regarded the work as successful and stimulating, others consid-

ered that it had failed in its primary functions. However that may be and

from whichever side of the fence one views the scene, I think all reasonable

people must agree that given our situation and circumstances, the college has

already through its research made a contribution to the life of the Virgin Is-

lands which can be looked upon with some degree of satisfaction and pride.

Today's conference is an indication of the fact that in the discharge

of the duty to investigate our own environment we do not propose to be static.

In every organization there comes a time of evaluation when policies and pro-

grams must be reviewed; when other questions must be asked and (if possible)

answered; when new trails must be blazed. We believe that for us that time

has come and we want to meet the challenge. But we also believe that rather

than confronting "needs" that are dictated by resources we should undertake

to search for resources to meet felt needs. It is towards this end that we have

asked you, Ladies and Gentlemen, community leaders who confront the prob-

lems of these societies with every decision (or lack of it) every day, to partic-

ipate in the conference. In the discussion of the multifarious problems we may,

hopefully, arrive at some consensus as to which ones need new approaches

based on investigation at the local level.

- 31 -

Up to this point I think I can safely claim to speak for the college's

Research Liaison Committee. This consists of members of the Research Insti-

tute's staff, of each teaching division, the Agricultural Extension Service,

and a representative of the Bureau of Libraries and the Department of Educa-

tion on whose shoulders will fall the task of assisting in the determination of

future directions. What I shall now say are views which I hold as a result of

personal experience in high office in a not dissimilar society and which to

some extent have guided and will guide my approach to the leadership of the

Research Institute during my tenure.

I cannot see how one can reasonably argue with the proposition that

we are beset by intractable problems in these islands. We have them cata-

logued by various sources almost daily. What in my view is open to argument

are the proposed solutions which are based more often than not on convention-

al wisdom, the "emulation syndrome" (which I submit is a basic characteristic

of our societies) or worse still, the "hat trick" in which the rabbit appears

from nowhere. Seldom indeed are "solutions" based on a thorough under-

standing of the situation obtained from proper investigation by persons cap-

able of interpreting the relevance of the data (as distinct, I insist, from the

academic and professional horsemen who gallop through the area with ready-

made solutions for every conceivable problem). There is only the certainty

that after solutions have been proposed and the horsemen galloped away the

problems, like the poor, are still with us.

- 32 -

The area in which we live has had some extremely gloomy forecasts.

V.S. Naipaul, the Tratnidadian novelist, predicted in 1970 that:

The small islands of the Caribbean will remain islands,
impoverished and unskilled ringed as now by cordon
sanitaire, their people not needed anywhere. They
may get less innocent and less corrupt politicians,
they will not get less hopeless ones. The island
Blacks will continue to be dependent on the books,
films and goods of others; in this important way they
will continue to be the half-made societies of a depen-
dent people, the Third world's third world. They
will forever consume; they will never create. They
are without material resources; they will never de-
velop the higher skills. Identity depends in the end
on achievement and achievement here cannot be but
small. Again and again the mellenium will seem about
to come.

This prediction must be based on the assumption that these societies

will continue to accept the macro-state's dedication to growth and "progress"

and will not eventually recognize that there is an optimum social growth and

a limit to everything. If they are to survive, their "revolution" must come and

it cannot be based on a rejection of reality.

Only two months ago in a paper on the "Position of Blacks in the Amer-

icas". Orlando Patterson, the Jamaican sociologist now teaching at Harvard.

pointed out that

It is ironical that even where blacks constitute
the majority people or are the major ethnic group
in a sub-national political unit, they have not
been able to make much change on their behalf
in spite of having taken over the leadership of

established political structures. Too late, blacks
have come to discover that political control without
economic clout is largely an exercise in futility.

I had the privilege of serving as a discussant of Dr. Patterson's paper

and I said then that perhaps societies like ours will be the places where the

breakthrough is made. It has been said that the West Indies is a microcosm

of the world. I believe the Virgin Islands to be a microcosm of the West Indies.

We live in a kind of society (classified among the so-called "developing"

countries) which is circumscribed by ecological, socio-economic and psycho-

cultural constraints which are likely to make it impossible for it to "catch up"

and attain the status of "developed" in the generally accepted meaning of the

concept. But these societies seem to have the potential to evolve a distinctive

identity by a recognition of their limitations, a re-ordering of their priorities

and redesigning and restructuring of their institutions. There is evidence

to suggest that we often make assumptions about them that are wrong and.

therefore, draw wrong conclusions; that we unquestioningly accept that the

problems of the big outside world are our problems and their solutions are

our solutions. But it may well be that for a thorough understanding of what

we are and where we are going, new theories and concepts may prove desir-

able tools for analysis. Our College in its mission of teaching and research

must become a leader in the quest for solutions.

If this conference had an explicit theme it would, I think, be "what

kind of society have we really got, where is it going and what are we going

to do about it". Our appraoch is to take a brief look at the kinds of research

and then to form ourselves into four discussion groups (Water & Ecology, So-

cial, Economic, and Education) and to look at these problems in terms of what

needs to be done with particular reference to investigatory work which should

form the basis of action.

This is the quest in which we invite you to participate because of

your concern about our islands. Welcome, good luck and thank you all.



Background Pager No. 1
Caribbean Resariht Instutte
Research 1966 to 1972
Beverly Bandler
Caribbean Research Institute
College of the Virgin Islands
April 24, 1973

- 35 -

Background Paper No. 1


This paper summarizes the objectives and results of research under-

taken by the Institute from 1966 through 1972. Officially, there have been 56

CRI projects, a few of which were in support of conferences, symposiums, or

publications, but the bulk of which covered research in these categories:

the arts, biotoxicology, conservation, education, hydro-geology, marine

archaeology, marine resources, remote sensing technology, socio-economics

and water quality. Of the total number of projects, the majority have focused

on the marine/water resource field. Today there are four projects that can be

considered current, or active: The Anegada Ecological Survey, the HMS

Santa Monica, NEH Marine Archaeology projects, and the Inter-V.I. Studies


It is estimated that some 60 reports were produced during the above

referred period, 20 of these specifically on water quality control, and the bal-

ance fairly evenly divided between conservation, fisheries, the physical and

natural sciences, and social sciences. However, it is fair to say that the most

substantial or noteworthy reports were those produced between 1969 and 1972,

and those were the results of the water/marine-oriented and Inter-V.I. Study

programs. Of the total funding, a tentative breakdown indicates that close to

50% of the project funding has come from the federal government, with the bal-

ance split about evenly between the local V.I. Government and private sources.

- 36 -

Background Paper No. 1


A study of the nature and extent of art activities in the U.S. Virgin

Islands was completed by the Institute for the Territorial Council on the Arts

in 1967. The purpose of the study was to produce a base for the Council's long-

range planning.

The specific objectives of the study: 1) To inventory the folk arts of

all ethnic groups in the Islands and to collect a representative sample of each;

2) To inventory and evaluate the current artistic activities of both individuals

and groups, including in-school education in the arts; 3) To survey the artis-

tic interests of a representative cross-section of the population, with a view to

assessing the aesthetic needs of the society as they are defined by the people

themselves; 4) To survey the artistic Interests of those people who have a spe-

cial interest and competence in one or more of the arts, with a view to assess-

ing the aesthetic needs of the society as they are defined by those who have the

greatest explicit influence on opinion and taste; 5) To assess potential markets

for artistic products among (a) the permanent population; (b) visitors, and

(c) export outlets; 6) To project the probable impact on the tourist trade of

alternative programs in the arts, e.g. the festival concept; 7) To assess the

possible sources of selective support for specific arts, with a view to deter-

mining the extent and overlap of patronage, sponsorship and participation;

8) To consider the relationship between local participation in the arts and the

role of visiting artists and teachers; 9) To project a realistic program of selec-

- 37 -

Background Paper No. 1

tive phase-by-phase development in the arts which would meet local needs and

satisfy local interests; 10) To examine obstacles that might block cooperation

for artistic development and prevent the expansion of resources in support of

the arts; 11) To project alternative public policies and forms of public organiz-

ation in support of the arts; 12) To propose alternative allocation of resources

for support of education in the arts, amateur undertakings, students with pro-

fessional promise, and professional artists; 13) To project needed facilities;

14) To summarize critically the experience of others in formulating public

policy and organizing programs in support of the arts.

This project, funded by the National Endowment for the Arts, resulted

in a publication, "Arts in the U.S. Virgin Islands," (Moore & Hough, 1967),

which was a supplement to the Arts Study Report prepared by project person-

nel. A "Summary Statement on a Comprehensive Plan for the Arts in the Vir-

gin Islands" was completed in 1967 on the basis of project findings by the

Virgin Islands Council on the Arts.


The conclusion following two investigations by CRI of fisheries devel-

opment potential in the Virgin Islands was that a thorough understanding of

the ciguatera problem must be developed before expansion of the V.I. fishery

can be effectively accomplished. There is every reason to believe that cigua-

tara poisoning is a major impediment to the sale of local fin-fish in the Virgin

- 38 -

Background Paper No. 1

Islands, and is thus a strong deterrent to expansion of commercial fisheries.

Fish poisoning has been reported since pre-Columbian time and shows

no sign of lessening. It falls into three major groups in this area: 1) the en-

dotoxins from the puffer-like fishes with the additional rarely reported cases

of clupeold, elasmobranch and hallucinogenic fish poisoning, which are rarely

reported, 2) scombroid poisoning, resulting from bacterial decomposition of

fresh fish, and 3) ciguatera fish poisoning, caused by what is deemed a pri-

mary toxin (ciguatoxin) and several secondary toxins. The latter has the

highest incidence of toxicity.

Ciguatera in its simple uncomplicated form develops poisoning within

3-5 hours after fish is eaten, with a sudden onset of gastrointestinal symptoms

which occur in about 40-75% of the cases. The victim feels weak, generally ill,

and may experience muscle aches throughout the back and thighs in about 10%

of the cases. Neurological symptoms of numbness and "tingling" in and about

the mouth and extremeties are present in about 50% or more of the cases.

A proposal for preliminary research in the study of ecology and epi-

demiology of ciguatera fish poisoning, "A Study of Ciguatera Poisoning in the

Virgin Islands Area" (#3) received funding for one year in April, 1971.

Funded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Office of

Sea Grant Programs, with support of the United Nation's FAO office in Barbados

and the College, the proposal included the location of a dependable source of

toxic fish, the establishment of a facility competent to run screening bioassay

39 -

Background Paper No. 1

on a large volume of samples, and on a dependable schedule, the establishment

of an accurate reporting system with data about incidents of human intoxica-

tion and the analysis and comparison of toxin.

The better part of the spring and summer was needed to complete the

chemistry and bioassay laboratories required by the project at Benner Bay

(VIERS). While the construction of the laboratory delayed progress of the

project, eiguatera staff were able to institute procedures for the reporting of

ciguatera incidents and published the "Physicians' Information Summary,"

"Guide to Fish Poisoning in the Virgin Islands," and "Guide to Identification

of Poisonous Fishes in the Virgin Islands."

In the fall about 2 tons of fish arrived from UN-FAO cruises in the

northern Leeward Islands, and project personnel began extracting and bio-

assaying the samples. While this data can provide a more precise estimate of

the proportion of ciguatoxic fishes in the deep shelf, shelf-slope populations,

it has already been ascertained that this resource is not free of ciguatoxin.

The synoptic paper, "Fish Poisoning in the Eastern Caribbean," writ-

ten by the project director and delivered before the 24th annual Session of the

Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute in November, 1971 summarizes and


"1. Fish poisoning in the eastern Caribbean is reported

from all of the islands of the northern Virgin and Leeward

- 40 -

Background Paper No. 1

Islands groups. Puerto Rico, Hispaniola and

St. Croix have a much lower incidence rate as

do the Windward Islands (Trinidad to Martinique).

2. Although clupeoid, elasmobranch, tetrao-

dontold and hallucinatory fish poisoning are reported

from the eastern Caribbean, scombroid poisoining and

ciguatera poisoning are considered to be most impor-

tant. Because scombroid poisoning can be prevented

by modern preservation techniques and treatment of

the disease is specific and effective, it is considered

a less severe problem than ciguatera poisoning.

3. Epidemiological reporting of ciguatoxications

has only been begun in the last month throughout the

Virgin Islands and a careful survey of the Leeward

Islands must await additional funding. Ciguatera is

presently reported as a severe public health problem

with only a fraction of the cases reaching medical atten-

tion. The problem seems most severe in the area from

Montserrat north to the British Virgin Islands including

the southeast portion of Saba Bank and the southern shelf

of the Virgin Islands plateau.

4. The chemistry, pharmacology and ecology of

ciguatoxin and closely allied compounds are at present

41 -

Background Paper No. 1

poorly understood. The symptomology and species dis-

tribution of the toxins in the eastern Caribbean strongly

suggest that a situation exists which is very similar to

that described from the Pacific islands by the Marine

Biotoxins group at the University of Hawaii over the

past 16 years.

5. Toxicity in eastern Caribbean fishes seems to

be more prevalent among the large carnivores of reef or

reef-related habitats. There are a number of data which

suggest that ciguatoxin(s) are produced by some organ-

ism in the reef food web and that the toxin is passed through

the food web without significant modification and is concen-

trated by the larger carnivores.

6. Development of the commercial fisheries in the

eastern Caribbean is severely impeded by the prevalence of

ciguatoxin in commercially desirable species. There is

good evidence that the shelf-edge stocks of snapper and

grouper are not free from ciguatera poisoning as previously

presumed and that exploitation of this presently underutil-

ized resource may be impeded by this toxicity."

This preliminary research was completed in June of 1972.

-, 42 -

Background Paper No. 1


The Institute's project directed to the development of the Caribbean

Conservation Association began in 1970. The association was an outgrowth of

the Eastern Caribbean Conservation Conference held at Cancel Bay, St. John

in 1965, attended by 64 participants, conservationists and policy-makers from

Antigua, Barbados, British Virgin Islands, Grenada, Jamaica, Martinique,

Montserrat, Puerto Rico, St. Lucia, St. Kitts, Trinidad, the United States and

the U.S. Virgin Islands. The conference resulted in a resolution to establish

a Caribbean Conservation Association to serve as a foundation for regional and

international cooperation in the conservation of the Caribbean's natural re-

sources and assets. The association had its inaugural meeting in May, 1967 in


In 1969 the necessity for implementing an actual conservation program

for the region became apparent, and the Caribbean Conservation Development

Program project (#39) was initiated. Between the summer of 1969 and 1970 a

systematic island-by-island survey and recruitment effort for government and

conservation group support was made. The results determined the needs in

the region for technical, organizational, financial and scientific assistance.

A four-year conservation program was prepared at the end of that year, and

approved (Spring, 1970). The program was to be administered and managed

by the Institute, and while initial funding was to come from external sources,

the program was designed to enable CCA to generate its own funds and become

- 43 -

Background Paper No. 1

autonomous by 1974. Its aim was to effect the emergence of a regional policy

on environmental management with efforts aimed at technical assistance, dem-

onstration projects, information programs, fund raising for specific projects

and environmental and park management training.

The project remained for two years at the Institute, with funding in

the amount of $30,000 for the first year and $25,000 for the second year from

the American Conservation Association. In addition, $12,325 was raised out-

side ACA. A familiarization trip was made by CCA's executive director, cov-

ering 8 countries in 1971, and consistent contact was effected over the two-

year period with Grenada, Trinidad & Tobago, Surinam, St. Kitts, Barbados,

Dominica, St. Lucia, Antigua, Guyana, and the British Virgin Islands. By

September of 1972, CCA had 31 full memberships and 71 associate memberships.

CCA contributed support in terms of monies and consultive services

to such projects as the restoration of the Prince of Wales Bastion at Brimstone

Hill on St. Kitts, the Proton Magnetometer Search for Marine Archaeological

Sites in the Virgin Islands, a comprehensive park development program on

St. Lucia's Pigeon Island. an ecological survey of Graeme Hall Swamp in Bar-

bados, the restoration of the Victoria Museum on Dominica, the establishment

of a museum in the British Virgin Islands, and the establishment of a National

Trust and a museum system in Antigua.

The project (#46) was transferred from the College in September of

-- 44 -

Background Paper No. 1

Of particular note in this area were two trips made to Aves Island, 175

miles south of St. Croix, and reported to be one of the largest remaining nest-

ing sanctuaries in the eastern Caribbean for the green turtle. One of the five

species of sea turtles known to live in the Caribbean, the green turtle is the

most important economically as it is an important food resource and item of


These trips, made in 1971, were supported by ACA and Mr. Myron

Hokin along with the Institute, and comprised the first major tagging effort

ever made at Aves. A paper resulting from these trips, "Distribution and

Management of Caribbean Sea Turtles." (William E. Rainey), point to the need

of developing a meaningful regional management program requiring collection

and exchange of exploitation data and greater coordination and expansion of

existing locally-oriented conservation programs, If the green turtle, of which

the fecundity is low compared to other marine organisms, is to survive.

Three proposals were written in 1971 on the basis of these trips, for

a) a nesting survey of the Eastern Caribbean islands, b) a continuation of the

Aves Island study, and c) a green turtle mariculture project. They remain



Private funding was given to the College in the summer of 1964 for

a research project to study the colonial educational system of the Virgin

- 45 -

Background Paper No. 1

Islands. The one-year grant resulted in a published manuscript, "The

Moravian Mission to the African Slaves of the Danish West Indies (1732-1828)."

The publication's conclusion was that characterized by a concern for

the moral and intellectual well-being of the Negro slaves and placing attention

upon individual instruction in both religion and education, the example set

by the Moravian missionaries in the Danish West Indies during the years 1732-

1828 provided the foundation upon which emerging colonial social patterns in

the area were to be established. The guidelines for instruction were recom-

mended by the Moravian leaders but were also reinforced by island mores

which had inhabited group gatherings among Negroes, leading to the subse-

quent emphasis upon "individualized" instruction by the Moravian teachers

and preachers.

The thesis is that the Moravian Mission lent encouragement to the

Negro slave to prepare himself for the assumption of responsible positions

within the Church hierarchy and the community, and taught that manual labor

was not necessarily degrading and could bring greater economic security.

(Please refer to Harrigan and Varlack publications under the Socio-

Economic Research section in this paper.)


Beaches are composed largely of cabonate material which comes from

46 -

Background Paper No. 1

the shell material of offshore organisms. The processes which move this

material shoreward to form beaches is extremely slow so that littoral sands

removed from the system by man can be replaced by nature only over a per-

iod of many years. There is undoubtedly a point in the removal of sand at

which the destruction of beaches becomes irreversible for all practical pur-


Sand and gravel have been removed from beaches and harbors in the

Virgin Islands for as long as cement has been used as an essential building

material, and this dates back to the early 1700's. However, due to the larger

quantities and more frequent removal, some Virgin Islands beaches were

showing visible signs of ill effects from sand removal in 1970, sand removal,

that is, from waters near shore.

The demand for building aggregate had reached such proportions that

it is estimated that roughly 700,000 cubic yards of sand had been dredged over

a period of a few years prior to early 1971. The undesirable consequences

was a disturbing degree of inshore water pollution and alterations of beach

shorelines, in particular on the north shore of St. Thomas. In early 1971 an

agreement had been reached between the V.I. Government, the U.S. Depart-

ment of the Interior, and a local firm supplying aggregate, namely Zinke-Smith

(now Controlled Concrete), to cease dredging following a stockpiling of 100,000

cubic yards of sand for immediate future needs. However, it was apparent at

that time that other sources of sand and building aggregates were essential if

- 47 -

Background Paper No. 1

shoreline and bay ecologies were to be protected and the ever-increasing de-

mand for such material filled. The only alternates available to near-shore

dredging: a) fine aggregate from quarry rook, b) importation of fine aggre-

gates from the continental U.S., c) importation of fine aggregates from sur-

rounding islands, and d) dredging of fine aggregates offshore.

On this basis. CRI initiated discussions with the U.S. Geological Sur-

vey in the summer of 1970 which resulted in an initial agreement to effect a

cooperative marine geology effort in a reconnaissance survey of the shallow

shelf area south of St. Thomas and St. John. Local matching funds in the

amount of $14,100 were provided by Zinke-Smith, Inc. The purpose of the

survey was to prospect sand off the south coasts of these islands in order to

discover, describe and chart offshore deposits of sand suitable to be mined

for making concrete landfill and beach replenishment.

This project, Cooperative Geology Project (#45), was Important to

the Virgin Islands in view of :

1) the critical and immediate need for background data

to support pollution studies; 2) the critical and immediate

need for finding new sources of sand aggregate in areas

where mining would not have an adverse effect on shoreline

and bay ecologies; 3) a desire to expand support and facili-

ties for marine research in the College and its research

facility. CRI.

48 -

Background Paper No. 1

The project was of value to U.S.G.S. because:

1) the area is a relict product of lower sea levels and it

was presumed to reflect the Pleistocene history of the eastern

Greater Antillean ridge in much detail; 2) its sediment cover

is mostly a relatively pure accumulation of skeletal carbonate

material which should offer good possibilities for ecological

and paleosecological studies; 3) structural studies on the

shallow platform would relate to U.S.G.S' long-range goal

of understanding the tectonic history of the Greater Antillean

ridge; 4) the clear shallow waters of the area make it ideal

for correlative studies of bottom characteristics and remote

sensing techniques; 5) it was an offshore extension of the

Tektite I and II project area. which had been undergoing

intensive study by geologist-divers at that time.

Benefits from such a project would be the establishment of a frame-

work for more detailed studies to follow in order to develop an understanding

of the dynamic system which transports and mixes island-derived clastics with

offshore carbonate particles. It was hoped that the study would result in know-

ing whether the system was closed and non self-replenishing, or whether it

was open-ended, with a source and a sink, whether the forces which generated

sand supplies were operable or whether the sands were relict from some an-

cient environment, and that the study would provide a basis for designing

research problems. It was hoped in addition that the implementation of this

Background Paper No. 1

first work would be a base upon which a continuing multi-year cooperative

effort could be built as has been done in Puerto Rico. The Virgin Islands would

benefit substantially from free ship operating time, equipment availability, and

the correlation and direct use of data and samples from geologists and physical

oceanographers of the Marine Geology Unit of U.S.G.S.

U.S.G.S' research ship, R/V ADVANCE II,. which had performed seis-

mic profiling under the Ocean Survey Program of Tektite II during April of

1970, collected some 70 sediment cores in October on the basis of the agree-

ment with CRI. These samples underwent textural and mineralogical analysis

to determine the patterns of sediment distribution, and a bathyinetric map was

made describing the bottom composition, sub-bottom structure, and geophysics

of the V.I. platform south of the two islands.

The report resulting from the project is entitled. "Geology of the Insul-

ar Shelf South of St. Thomas and St. John," (Louis E. Garrison, Charles W.

Holmes, James V.A. Trumbull; U.S.G.S., 1971). It concludes that under the

influence of currents and local shelf topography sand was exposed in three

areas: a) west of Brewers Bay, b) near Buck Island, and c) south of St. John,

with the most promising site for initial exploitation appearing to be that of the

area off Brewers Bay, southwest of the airport. This area is of particular note

in view of the urgent problems of solid waste disposal for St. Thomas and the

land surface requirement in stockpiling a large quantity of dredged material.

This sand bank is located in depths ranging from 60 to 130 feet, with initial

- 4S -

- 50 -

Background Paper No. 1

probing indicating that there may be a 30-40 foot bank of usable sand. The

report indicates that further work is needed in order to estimate the total ex-

ploitable resources available at each site, such estimates being dependent on

the depth of the sand bank, dredging and stockpiling economics, and fore-

casting/weighing of eco-system disruptions.

On the basis of the original idea to effect a long-term marine geology

exploration and a resultant development of an investigation program for gov-

ernment and industry, CRI explored the possibility of continuing research of

offshore resources and made application to the Sea Grant office of NOAA (Na-

tional Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) for a three-year study of these

resources and the beach and platform dynamics, with local funds to be supplied

by Zinke-Smith and the V.I. Government. In addition, CRI attempted to en-

courage the release of $20,000 in V.I. Government funds appropriated by

Act 2892 (Bill 4670) of the 8th Legislature, signed by the Governor Decem-

ber 23, 1970 for support of a marine geology program. No funds were re-

leased. It was hoped at the time that funding would allow for two sub-pro-

jects, one to chart and quantify-specific areas of sand in the Brewers Bay

location for safe exploitation, and off Hassel Island, and one to conduct a

reconnaissance of the St. Croix platform.

Efforts to obtain additional funding for the continuance of the program

were utiuce'sctul. and this initial project was terminated.

Background Paper No. 1

Another effort in the area of marine geology was authorized by the

Governing Board of the Virgin Islands Water Authority (WAPA) at their meet-

ing of July 23, 1970. The Caribbean Research Institute was authorized to fur-

nish data and a sea bottom survey which would Include the oceanographic,

geophysical, meteorological and certain hazard factors pertinent to determin-

ing a feasible route for laying submarine cable for transmitting electric power

between the two islands. It was the task of the project to make adequate data

and survey records available to those with the competence to choose and eval-

uate potential routes based on cable design factors, cable laying techniques

and cable lifetime experience factors.

A preliminary review determined that available bathymetry and sub-

marine geology coverage was not sufficient for a technical feasibility evaluation,

and that a data acquisition cruise would be necessary. Project personnel con-

ferred with the Naval Oceanographic Office, the Naval Research Laboratory,

the Coast a Geodetic Survey of ESSA, and the Geologic Survey of the Depart-

ment of the Interior. The result, with the aid of a request from the Governor,

was that USNS GIBBS agreed to concentrate several days of ship's operations

in the area October 23-28, 1970, and the additional data was produced.

Questions that needed answers: Was there a reasonably direct route

between St. Thomas and St. Croix at a maximum depth less than 1,850 meters

(1,000 fathoms)? If not, what was the maximum depth of a least depth route,

and what was the general bathymetric regime? What were the sea floor and

52 -
Background Paper No. 1

and the sub-bottom characteristics along the least depth route and generally

in the area, relief, sedimentation, slumping, currents and sub-bottom strata?

The final report of the project, Cable Survey project (#44), is entitled,

"Notes on Some Oceanographic and Marine Factors in the U.S. Virgin Islands,"

(Robert P. vanEepoel, Wadsworth Owen, Arthur E. Dammann, 1971). It con-

tains data in the following categories: Oceanographic and Geophysical Data,

Wind, Seastate and Storms, Water Currents. Water Pollution Problems, Poten-

tial Biological and Fisheries Hazards, Anchorages and Harbors, Ship Traffic

and Potential Obstacles, along with charts and general comments and recommen-


Project personnel concluded that the least depth route must traverse

bottom areas deeper than 1,850 meters (the deepest section of the route is

actually below 2,100 meters (1,130 fathoms), and any route between the

northern Virgin Islands and St. Croix must traverse areas of rugged relief

and precipitous slopes. The data gathered indicated that bottom currents in

the passages are probably moderate, sedimentation probably occurs at a rate

similar to that of the rest of the western tropical Atlantic Ocean, that seismic

activity in the area is at the rate of up to 20 events per day at a level of up to

magnitude 1 Richter, with events at 3.5 Richter occurring at the rate of about

one every two years.

The report recommended that the engineering design phase include a

rather intensive inspection, survey and measurement of the candidate cable

53 -

Background Paper No. 1

routes by deep operating submersibles, that further consideration of the inter-

connection cable feasibility include a good familiarity with work being done in

connection with an extensive multi-year investigation which includes a study of

the Anegada Passage and the Virgin Islands Basin, and that the western 40 per

cent of the southern coast and the western coast of St. Croix be considered

the least desirable shoreline for a cable landing in view of the higher risk

factors based on heavy ship traffic, complex seawater heemistry/pollution and

hazards from the Atlantic Pleet Weapons Range of the United States Navy.

The project terminated in March of 1971.


The Marine Archaeology Program is the result of a conference an

marine archaeology in the eastern Caribbean which the Institute hosted in

1968. At that time marine archaeological work in the area was marginal, with

no major on-going institutional efforts, few pertinent publications, and no

systematic site conservation and excavation program--merely scattered indi-

vidual workers, many of whom were amateurs and/or souvenir hunters.

The program was officially launched in December, 1969 in recognition

of the importance of historic wrecksites to an enlarged knowledge of the history

of the Caribbean islands as well as the potential contribution of such archaeo-

logical program has made its advisory services available to all West Indian

governments--to aid in the proper excavation of shipwrecks and other under-

- 54 -

Background Paper No. 1

water archaeological sites; to assist in the preservation and display of uncov-

ered artifacts; to help protect historic sites from inroads of development, and

to assemble and disseminate the knowledge gained from these finds.

The marine archaeology staff have been excavating two shipwreck

sites over the past two years. With the cooperation of the British Virgin Is-

lands Government, work has been done on the excavation of the HMS Nymph,

the British sloop of war that burned and sank in Roadtown Harbor, Tortola,

B.V.I. In 1783. The Department of the Interior granted permission for the

excavation of the HMS Santa Monica. a British warship that sank in Coral Bay,

St. John in 1782. A contract was signed between the College and the V.I.

Government through its Department of Conservation a Cultural Affairs author-

izing the Institute's direction of excavation operations and the preservation of

the artifacts from the shipwreck over a one-year period.

The latter represents Project #47, the HMS Santa Monica project. The

wreckage was discovered by a member of the Institute staff in 1970. According

to available records, this ship had been captured from Spain by the British and

put into service in the West Indian fleet by the Royal Navy. It sank as a result

of hitting a rock south of Norman Island. To date, the inventory of artifacts

from this wreck have amounted to bottles and bottle fragments, mustket balls,

pieces of coal, pewter buttons, ceramic fragments, and miscellaneous bits of

tools, fixtures, etc. along with several barrels.

In 1971 a grant was received for a proposal "To inventory and assess

'- 55 -

Background Paper No. 1

the marine archaeological resources of the Virgin Islands and prepare a regis-

ter of historic underwater sites in the Virgin Islands." An ancillary objective

was to commence the development of a resource management plan for the prin-

cipal marine sites on the Virgin Islands platform, and to bring to the attention

of government officials and concerned citizens the vast unused potential for

historic research that lies on the ocean floor. The project was funded through

the National Endowment for the Humanities with half of the funds contributed

by Virgin Islands residents, and is officially titled, "Proton Magnetometer

Search for Marine Archaeological Sites in the Virgin Islands." (Project #48).

On the basis of the NEH grant, the William P. Donner Foundation ful-

filled its commitment to give the College $10,000 for the purchase of a proton

magnetometer, a highly sensitive and sophisticated electronic device used in

the survey of wrecksites. This instrument detects variations in the earth's

magnetic field due to large masses of iron such as cannon, anchors, and rig-

ging hardware of sailing vessels.

The Proton Magnetometer Search project is now in its middle stages

and is expected to be completed by June 30, 1973. To date survey concentra-

tion has been on the area of Packet Rock and in East Gregorie Channel on the

south side of St. Thomas. Project personnel have discovered four wrecks,

two 20th Century wrecks and two which, upon superficial inspection, seem to

date from the period between 1790 to 1820. The latter two wrecksites have

produced artifacts.

S6 -

Background Paper No. 1


Submerged Lands

Completed in July, 1965 was a preliminary study of the industries

which utilize bottom materials in Virgin Islands territorial waters with recom-

mendations on policies which would permit extractive utilization while con-

serving marine and littoral environments. The basis of the Submerged Lands

project (#7) undertaken by CRI was contained in a memorandum of agreement

between the Virgin Islands Corporation and the College dated April 6, 1965.

The agreement called for research and analysis regarding certain questions

as to dredging in the Virgin Islands, with an interest in determining the

amount to be charged for the material, the most practical method of determining

amounts removed, the definition of the material (i.e. should the government

distinguish between sand, gravel or coral), the history of dredging in the

Virgin Islands, the effect on building and construction costs, etc.

The final report, "A Study of the Submerged Land Resources of the

Virgin Islands." (Thomas R. Herrick, 1965), dealt with the overall questions

on dredging above, the ecology and geology of submerged lands, the jurisdic-

tion of the Army Corps of Engineers, and future research.

The report is "dated" in terms of currently existing legislation and a

changed approach to submerged lands and coastal zone management. However,

of interest is the section covering the history of dredging in the Virgin Islands.

With regard to future research, the report does state that basic beach and

57 -
Background Paper No. 1

marine geological studies had to be completed before an intelligent dredging

policy could be established. It recommended that two main lines of activities

be pursued, one concerned with navigational channels and related Questions;

the second in relation to preserving the marine and shoreline environments of

the Virgin Islands.

Specific recommendations were for a definite survey of all dredging

activities in the Virgin Islands to date, a survey of all existing .and potential

navigable waters around the Virgin Islands, a seabottom survey of the sub-

merged lands around the Virgin Islands, an ecological study of Virgin Islands

marine life, an analysis of the sediment producing fishes and marine plants,

an analysis of beach and coastline erosion and formation in the islands.


The Institute's marine resources exploration began in 1965 when VIERS

personnel initiated a project entitled, "Study of the Fisheries potential of the

Virgin Islands." Prior to the completion of the fisheries laboratory at Lameshur

Bay at the end of 1967, the project was carried out at Chocolate Hole, St. John.

The project, initiated in August of that year, was funded jointly by

the Bureau of Sport Fisheries and Wildlife and the Bureau of Commercial Fish-

eries, at that time both in the Department of the Interior, along with matching

funds from the V.I. Government. This initial phase of the fisheries program

ran for three years.

58 -

Background Paper No. 1

The objective of the joint program was to study both the spot and

commercial fishery potential and to determine the extent of which long-range

commercial fishing was feasible. In addition, the project was to investigate

methods of harvesting and handling which would have practical value in

improving and conserving the V.I. fishery. Basic facts as the number of

species, their distribution, general biology and a host of related factors on

the fishery in the islands were either poorly understood or completely unknown

at the time the program started.

The result of the three-year study determined that the local shelf area

available for fishing is only about 2,000 square miles extent (in comparison,

the Virgin Islands shelf is about half as large as the Hawaiian shelf where

fisheries had produced 13,000,000 lbs. of fish in 1966, mostly tuna; the Gulf

of Mexico has 112,000 nautical square miles of water less than 100 fathoms

deep). The result is reduced habitat diversity and reduced potential for large

populations of many valuable species of molluscs, shrimp and fish. While a

bewildering array of species were discovered, each species was represented

in comparatively small numbers, with deep-water snapper fishing holding the

only promise along with squids and octopus. Investigators singled out eight

species for potential future mariculture projects: turtle, conch., squid, man-

grove oyster, spiny lobster, whelks, octopus, and several species of crabs.

(It was on the basis of these investigations that a major proposal for the devel-

opment of lobster management techniques was submitted to the National Science


- 59 -

Background Paper No. 1

The final report for this joint project (#10 a 24), "Study of the Fish-

eries Potential of the Virgin Islands," (1969), concluded that the V.I. fishery

was affected by five basic factors:

1. While the sport fishing charter boat fleet could

probably expand several times, such expansion had to be

considered carefully since charter-fishing operators had

found operation economically prohibitive. The cost of

procuring, maintaining, and operation of power boats was

extremely high in cost.

2. With regard to commercial fishing, a major diffi-

culty was in convincing young men that there was a future

in fishing, and that it was possible to make an adequate

and respectable livelihood from commercial fishing.

3. Modern, sanitary and suitable marketing pro-

cedures were lacking in addition to an unawareness as

to the edibility and desirability of certain species which

could enter the market (species such as bill-fishes, tunas,

sharks and sardine types.)

4. The effect of ciguatera toxin on the retail and

wholesale market value of local inshore fish was difficult

to analyze at that point, though indications were that no

local fishery could be developed without a total under-

standing of the problem.

Background Paper No. 1

5. The nature of the V.I. shelf area poses

severe restrictions on the numbers and kinds of fish

which are present, and on the methods which could

be used to harvest them.

The report recommended a government or privately sponsored edu-

cation program for fishermen along with financial help in the form of loans or

actual subsidication for procuring equipment, the formation of a cooperative

for fishermen, the provision of "fish-markets," a cooperative to reduce the

high cost of supplies, parts and services, along with advertising and educa-

tion regarding the marketability of certain species of fish. Research efforts

to increase the efficiency of fish traps, miniature longlines, and the harvest-

ing of small schooling fishes at night with light and pumps for possible live

bait fishery were also recommended.

This initial phase terminated in August 31 and was followed by the

project entitled, "Exploratory Fishing for a Source of Non-Ciguatoxic Sport

and Food Fish." which extended from September, 1969 to June, 1970. With

preliminary fisheries potential survey having verified the major deterrent to

fisheries development, the new proposal was guided by two factors: (1) Some

biological and experimental evidence suggested that ciguatera toxin might not

exist in deep water fishes, i.e. fishes in 50 fathoms of water or greater, due

to conditions precluding certain light requiring algae. (2) Observations over

the previous 3 years had indicated that the cost of fishing within the Virgin

61 -
Background Paper No. 1

Islands shelf, which does not lend itself to trawling or dredging-type fishing

operations due to widespread abundance of coral heads and patch reefs, was

not justifiable. In addition, exploratory reports had indicated that the off-

shore hook and line fisheries would not be successful because of the small

size of fish schools and the difficulties experienced in hooking such fishes as

tunas. The cost of a full fledged long line or purse seine operation also seemed

prohibitive, leaving the only possibility for sport and commercial fin-fish efforts

in deep water at the edge of the Vigin Islands shelf.

On the aforegoing basis, the objective of the 1960-79 project was to

(A) fish deep waters at the edge of the 100 fathom curve that defines the Vir-

gin Islands Geological Shelf, with the intent of locating fishing grounds which

were free of ciguatoxie sport and food fish (primarily snappers and groupers);

(B) establish a bioassay or other rapid method of testing large numbers of

individual fish for the presence of ciguatoxin, using both vertebrate and in-

vertebrate animals, fertilized eggs of various animals and chemicals which

suggested themselves as related to the nature of toxin.

The better part of the year was spent outfitting the boat used for

sampling, testing the boat and equipment, experimenting with gear types and

variations and working out a feasible approach to sampling. About 215 hours

of boat time from January to June, 1970 resulted in a total of 29 trips. 17 of

which produced useful catch data and 12 of which were accounted for by

shakedown cruises and attempts at overcoming problems due to gear or

Background Paper No. 1

weather. A total of 1.357 lbs. of fish wqre caught as a result of sampling done

on the north and south slopes of the shelf, between 5 and 25 miles from the

east end of St. Thomas. 12 volt electric reels were used as gear.

The July 1970 final report, "Exploratory Fishing for a Source of Non-

Ciguatoxic Sport and Food Fish," (A. E. Dammann. J. A. Yntema, W. N.

Brownell, R. W. Brody, and A. A. Spandorf, 1970). concluded that while the

Antilles in general contain sparse fishery resources a small native fishery

could be quite productive and possibly quite profitable. It was determined

that the deep water species with the greatest commercial potential in the Vir-

gin Islands (and all Leeward islands in general) is the silk snapper, a fish

abundant in water from 60-150 fathoms and apparently totally non-ciguatoxic.

Another highly desirable snapper, the blackflin, was also caught in appreciable

numbers. In addition, project personnel concluded that since weather is a

formidable deterrent to hook-and-line fishing, solutions must be found for

utilizing boats and gear designed for unsettled weather and seas. Fisheries

staff recommended that a comparison of fish pot versus electric reel catches be


The project report recommended that the local government accept the

responsibility for stimulating development and that it establish guidelines for

V.I. fishery; that V.I. Government fisheries personnel take an active part in

stimulating local fishery development; that fishermen who retail their catches

locally be licensed, the latter assuring some kind of quality control and enforce-

Background Paper No. 1

meant of conservation methods; and also recommended was the establishment of

a co-operative type fish store to encourage greater selection, improved quality

and constant supply.

A significant contribution of the VIERS fisheries personnel during the

project was their effecting the enrollment of two native Virgin Islanders in the

Fisheries Officers Training Course in Barbados. The Virgin Islands had its

first trained fisheries personnel as a result--an important first step in devel-

oping V.I. fisheries.

Results of the experimental mongoose and mouse bioassays were con-

flicting and the variability of human resistance to "toxic" fish supported the

conclusion that little progress towards the development of a simple rapid test

for the presence of ciguatera toxin (s) had been made. The magnitude of the

problem remained unknown. According to the report, while fish poisoning is

a common problem among the population of the lesser Antilles fisheries. re-

search at this point did not demonstrate that ciguatera was prevalent or even

more than sporadically demonstrable in local fish. Fisheries research, how-

ever, was hampered by the lack of reliable epidemiological data in obtaining

toxic fish at this time. Thus, a program of development of sophisticated tech-

niques and research involving purification and development of bioassays was

indicated. With the biogenesis of the toxin and its transmission through the

food chain being virtually unknown and with no accurate record indicating

which species are incriminated in Virgin Islands waters, and in view of the

- 64 -

Background Paper No. 1

short time base for sampling, considerable research was supported by fisher-

ies personnel before any accurate picture of the non-toxic resources could be


The third fisheries proposal, "Research and Development of Deep

Water Commercial and Sport Fisheries Around the Virgin Islands Plateau," was

funded for the period July, 1970 through June of 1971. This last phase inves-

tigated the biological potential and defined the exploitable resources of bottom

fishes around the 100 fathom curve through exploratory fish with electric and

manual reels, bottom set lines and traps, and assisted local commercial and

sport fishermen in locating these resources and provided them with informa-

tion about the appropriate gear, methods and financing possibilities.

The final report, "Research and Development of Deep Water Commer-

cial and Sport Fisheries Around the Virgin Islands Plateau," (Willard N.

Brownell & William E. Rainey, 1971), reconfirmed the environmental factors

that shaped and limited the fisheries of the Virgin Islands and the eastern

Caribbean island arc in general, i.e. low primary productivity, limited

pelagic fish stocks, largely unexploited bottom fish stocks at the shelf edges,

association of commercially significant aggregations of fish in areas limiting

the types of fishing techniques (and which contrasted with traditional use of

traps and handlines), the imposition of ciguatera, depletion of stocks due to

fishing pressure and pollution.

The study concluded, however, that while factors did limit the poten-

65 -

Background Paper No. 1

tial, the findings determined that commercially exploitable populations of

snappers (silk & blackfin) and groupers do exist on the steep slopes of the

margins of the island plateaus, and that it was both feasible and necessary to

expand the V.I. fisheries activities, aiming development at local demand.

Fisheries personnel reiterated earlier findings that the market potential could

lead to an economically integrated fishing industry for the roughly 400 indi-

viduals in the V.I. who earn at least part of their livelihood from fishing, and

that to achieve this potential, basic improvements in boats, gear, shore facili-

ties and landings of fish were indicated.

The FY71 fishing efforts were directed at investigation of the entire

slope below the St. Croix shelf edge and similarly, the periphery of the Puerto

Rico-Virgin Islands shelf (eastern portion) from St. Thomas to Anegada. No

fishing was done in depths below 200 fathoms. Because of the great number of

variables involved, the sample size was not large enough to make any statisti-

cally significant comparisons of locations, seasons, or times of day with regard

to yield of fish. However, among all the sampling areas, it was apparent that

three areas were considerably more productive than others: the north slope of

Lang Bank near St. Croix, the whole north slope parallel to St. Thomas and

the area north of Anegada and Virgin Gorda.

Based on the data gathered as a result of 972 hours of boat time

(4,641 lbs. of fish caught), the determination was made that weather, bottom

habitat, gear and bait favorable, silk and blackfin snappers were abundantly

- 66 -

Background Paper No. 1

distributed, with blackfin snappers dominant in water 20-60 fathoms, and silk

snappers dominant in water 60-170 fathoms. Trap fishing catches were greatest

in the depth range of 85-105 fathoms; reel fishing effort were greatest in water

110-130 fathoms. Experimentation with five types of traps indicated that the

general steepness of the V.I. shelf edge restricts this potential trapping area

to approximately one-third the total area sampled. As to ciguatera incidents,

fisheries personnel caught only a few ciguatoxic fish off the edges of the shelf,

documenting only six cases.

The final report of 1971 supported basic action to develop V.I. fisher

les through the establishment by the government of programs and guidelines

through 1) training programs, 2) fisheries extension activities, and 3) legis-

lation. Recommended also was a shift in emphasis of fishing effort rather than

a great intensification of effort, easing the overexploitation of the reef fish

populations of the inshore areas south of St. Thomas and north of St. Croix and

focusing on the shelf-edge populations away from the islands which are scarcely

utilized at all. Pointing out that large investments in trawler-type boats, purse

seines and roller trawls would cause rapid depletion of the limited available

stock and would be economically unwise since such equipment would not yield

long-term catches, it was recommended that the shelf slopes in the eastern

Caribbean could probably sustain a sizeable native fishery operating from

small boats between 22-36 feet, boats and equipment could largely be constructed

locally. Also recommended was further fisheries research in gear efficiency

in local waters. It was noted that conservation measures must be continuously

67 -

Background Paper No. 1

studied, revised and enforced, with landing records being essential to moni-

toring trends in fish populations.

Lobster Management

One of the highest priced food items in the world is the spiny lobster,

a well known local marine resource. However, despite the economic importance

of this animal, otherwise known as Panulirus argus little is known about its

ecology, behavior or vital statistics. The lack of this knowledge precludes

the formulation of intelligent management policies.

The objective of the CRI study was to define the population ecology,

behavior and vital statistics of this lobster on the island of St. John. The

study, which examined the lobster population within the 10 fathom curve

around St. John, ran for the period April, 1970 June, 1971, and consisted of

two phases:

Phase I covered the period May-September, 1970 and

was concerned with defining population size, turnover, re-

cruitment and other dynamic aspects as well as individual

patterns of habitation and movement of lobsters within the

vicinity of the Tektite Habitat, the latter located at Great

Lameshur Bay on the south side of St. John. Intensive

observations during this period permitted the gathering

of information on causative variables influencing overall

population behavior. This phase encompassed three missions

of Tektite II with scientists living on the ocean bottom for

- 68-

Background Paper No. 1

periods of 3 weeks per mission allowing for intensive day-

time/night time dives to Inspect the local population Surface

divers were also employed during Tektite Mission intervals.

Phase II covered the period October, 1970 to May.

1971. Diver scientists operated from the surface during

this portion of the study with emphasis placed on estimating

the lobster population of the island. Lobsters that had been

tagged in the first phase of the study were recaptured for

analysis of growth, movement patterns, population turn-

over, feeding behavior and reproduction.

A summary of findings of the study: "1) The population of P. Argus

In the various areas of Great Lameshur Bay was estimated by several techniques

and the hypothetical estimates themselves assessed. 2) The population around

St. John within the 10 fathom curve was estimated by random sampling at

17,040 lobsters on any given day. 3) Lobsters tended to be found at interfaces

between the reef and grass or algal flats. 4) A high rate of turnover at two

sites was indicated with emigration between .6% and 3.1% each day and immi-

gration from another population at 2.7% per day. 5) The sex ratio of newly

settled larvae is probably 1 to 1. It remains so while the lobsters are in the

juvenile mangrove habitat, but once recruited to the reef population, sexual

dimorphism in movement and possibly recruitment results in varying sex

ratios. Male imiigration-emigration is more variable than for females: male:

female ratios varying from 40%-75%. 6) There appears to be fall and spring

69 -
Background Paper No. 1

peaks in recruitment of lobsters less than 80 mm in carapace length from juv-

enile populations. 7) It is hypothesized that a large off-shore population exists.

8) Most spiny lobsters In the reef area resided in dens correlated positively

with the number of occupants and frequency of multiple occupancy, i.e., dens

most frequently occupied had two or more occupants. 9) Den selectivity is

shown by individuals found in the same den for periods up to several weeks.

Furthermore, lobsters having left the entire area occasionally returned to the

same den (or one nearby) up to several weeks or months later. 10) Frequently

occupied dens (coral platforms, rock ledges, boulder overhangs) were similar

in general appearance to unoccupied structures although dens tended to have

portions restrictive to anything larger than a lobster or a deep portion per-

mitting withdrawal by a provoked lobster. 11) Lobsters remained in dens

during daylight, leaving during the four-hour period following sunset to forage

on the reef or sand-algal plain up to 200m from their den. Lobsters returned

to the reef area during the four hour period before dawn. Between 8% and 48%

of lobsters may remain in their dens each night. 12) Lobsters feed nocturnally

by predation (and some scavenging) on a variety of reef and grass-algal flat

animals, particularly mollusks, crustaceans and urchins. Available food is

apparently not a limiting factor. 13) Homing behavior after foraging, often

involving return to the same den, was documented by long-term resighting and

remote sensing. Even lobsters physically displaced 200m returned to the area

of capture. 14) Those lobsters that emigrated out of a study area apparently

moved offshore or directly across the embayments through open areas rather

70 -

Background Paper No. 1

than moving a short distance along shore. Sonic tracking showed rates of loco-

motion approaching IKm/hr during such movements. 15) Reproductive activity,

as indicated by females with sperm packets and eggs. is highest in the spring

and fall (although data were not taken in November and December). 16) Fe-

males may reproduce several times in a year. They enter the reef population

in the second year of benthic life, but do not produce eggs until the following

year. 17) A new technique for deriving mortality coefficients from size fre-

quency distribution is presented and used to estimate mortality for lobsters.

It is apparently quite low in benthic lobsters. a conclusion supported by analy-

sis of Lameshur Bay populations. 18) Mortality from predation was only observed

once when two snappers killed a lobster. Indirect evidence of mortality from

sharks and groupers is presented. 19) Tag recapture data and size frequency

analysis was fitted to the Van Bertalanffy growth curve. The results, which

agreed closely, indicated sexual dimorphism in growth. 20) Growth in length

was converted to growth of total body weight based on carapace length. 21)

Consideration is given to the effects of divers on the behavior of lobsters. A

dispersal effect from frequent handling is described."

The aforegoing is an excerpt from the final report ot the funding agency,

the National Science Foundation of Sea Grant Programs. entitled, "Ecological

Study for the Development of Lobster Management Techniques," (William Herrn-

kind a David Olson, 1971).

- 71 -

Background Paper No. I

Reef Ecology a Marine Pharmacology

An arrangement was made between the College and the University of

Oklahoma for the Institute to collect and identify diverse Caribbean marine

organisms for transmittal to University of Oklahoma research laboratories. This

agreement, made in the latter part of 1970, was for the purpose of enabling the

university to make chemical extractions for shipment to the National Institute

of Health for investigation of the potential of marine organisms providing chem-

otherapeutic anti-cancer agents. 40 samples were sent to Oklahoma in the

first quarter of 1971. While there was an interruption in this project, other

arrangements were made to supply the research project of the Department of

Pharmacy of the University of Wisconsin with Plexaura homomalla specimens

(soft corals). The latter are the best known natural source of prostaglandins,

the foundation chemical for the once-a-month birth control pill. Discussions

were held in the final quarter of 1971 with regard to future research activity

to include field ecology and growth, and rapid chemical separation and analysis.


According to a report done by the Bureau of Mental Retardation of the

V.I. Division of Mental Health in 1965 (O'Donahue), the Virgin Islands had an

estimated 30% level of retardation at that time. The studies done by the Com-

munity Studies Unit under the.direction of Hazel DuBois Stanton were aimed

at ascertaining the cultural factors affecting mental retardation inthe V .I.

The studies were funded under agreements between the Department of Health

(Division of Mental Health) and the College of the Virgin Islands through the

- 72 -

Background Paper No. 1


The final report submitted by the project director in 1966 covered

three areas:

(1) Analysis of the relationship between measured intelligence and

measured achievement as related to demographic, cultural and attitudinal

data: The results of California Achievement Tests and Large Thorndike In-

telligence Tests for 1,494 St. Thomas children were compared and correlated

by the Community Studies Unit. Families of 104 of these children were in-

cluded in a household census survey. The sampling was divided into two

groups, overachievers and underachievers and the two groups were compared

with respect to demographic and cultural data.

The conclusions from the comparison of data was that there were no

significant differences between overachievers and underachievers with respect

to age, sex, school, school grade, relationship to head of household, mother's

or father's age. or number of siblings. The only significant variables found

were that: a) overachievers' parents are more likely to be natives of the U.S.

Virgin Islands rather than from the Continent, Puerto Rico or the British Virgin

Islands; b) there is little difference in education between the fathers of the two

groups of students, but the mothers' education differs significantly; c) over-

achievers tend to come from middle income rather than the higher or lower

income groups; d) the families of overachievers tend to be more stable; e)

fewer mothers of overachievers are working. A more intensive study of attitu-

- 73 -

Background Paper No. 1

dinal and related information substantiated the demo-cultural finding that over-

achievers tend to come from more conformist families.

(2) Questionnaires and instruments were designed to be used in de-

termining "what social, economic, cultural or other factors operate so as to

have an Interfering effect on the development and functioning of the intellect,

and how such factors operate": A Census Interview, Student-Teacher School

Questionnaire. and a Design-in-Depth Interview including Intelligence tests,

a psycho-neurotic inventory test and Instruments to gather-in-depth informa-

tion on the family and community structure were designed, but due to constric-

tions of time and administrative limitations were not used as originally intended.

(3) A mental retardation baseline study and neighborhood survey was

completed on the basis of 675 interviews on the islands of St. Thomas and

St. Croix. 452 people were interviewed on St. Thomas and 223 on St. Croix.

Census interviews were carried out in nine communities selected at random,

five in St. Thomas, four In St. Croix.


The St. Croix Environmental Laboratory was opened early in 1969 for

the purpose of "advancing the technology, methodology and analytical samp-

ling with regard to space, earth and ocean sciences." It housed the three

projects funded by NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration)

and one project funded by the U.S. Air Force.

74 -

Background Paper No. 1

The first NASA project was Project #29, Life Detection Instrumentation,

end its objective was the study of optimization of the separator sub-system for

GX/MS life detection instrumentation. The final report of 1969 was entitled the

same as the project's name. This project was followed by two additional NASA

projects: Project #33, Lunar Sample Analysis and Project #34, Lunar and

Planetary Spectral Reflectivity.

The objective of Project #33 was to utilize specially designed instru-

mentation to measure the light reflected from the lunar samples brought back

from the moon by Apollo missions. Project #34 was to further develop new

methods of analyzing the chemical composition of distant surfaces by measuring

the reflected sunlight, and to investigate the spectral reflectivity properties

of lunar and planetary surfaces. The publications that resulted from these

projects were: "Spectral Reflectivity of Lunar Samples, "Spectral Reflectiv-

ity and Compositional Implications," "Lunar Theory and Processes: Discussion

of Chemical Analysis." "Lunar Theory and Process: Post-aunset Horizon

Afterglow." "Remote Sensing of Lunar Surface Mineralogy: Implications from

Visible and Near-infrared Reflectivity of Apollo II Samples," "Spectral Reflec-

tivity of Lunar Samples." "Alteration of Lunar Optical Properties: Age and

Composition Effects." Both of these projects were transferred to Fairleigh

Dickinson University's West Indies Laboratory on St. Croix In early 1972.

Project #50, funded by the Air Force Cambridge Research Laboratory

this project investigated the spectral characteristics of the terrestrial surface

- 75 -

Background Paper No. 1

and atmosphere in a tropical environment. It was completed in early 1972 and

the final report, "Incident and Reflected Solar Radiation in a Tropical Environ-

ment," submitted.

In summary, these projects analyzed the lunar samples and attempted

to further develop new methods of analyzing the chemical composition of dis-

tance surfaces by measuring reflected sunlight. Comparison of the spectral

reflectivity of the lunar samples with earth-based telescopic measurements

has led to significant new conclusions about processes on the lunar surface.

A major interest of the Institute has been the possibility of adapting remote

sensing technology used in these projects to water pollution monitoring and

control in the waters of the Virgin Islands and the rest of the Caribbean.


Even before the formal inauguration of the Institute, plans had been

developed for the establishment of a Socio-Economic Research Unit. This was

the Institute's initial research direction. Unfortunately, records of the earliest

projects are not complete; for example, data from Project #1 (Economic and

Geographic Study of Shifting Agriculture in the Guayana Region of Venezuela)

and Project #2 (Social Research Planning Project) are not on file. The latter

apparently included a final report completed in 1965, which contained social

data needed for long-term health planning.

Project #3 (V.I. Corporation Future Plans) was designed to produce

a program for development. A final report recommended projects in two basic

- 76 -

Background Paper No. 1

areas: 1) Inter-Island Tourism and Commerce and 2) Research and Experimen-

tation in Agriculture and Applied Oceanographics. Project #17 (Sociological

Study of a Public Housing Project in St. Thomas) was an interview survey of

families in a St. Thomas housing project, which aimed to provide a range of

sociological data to be used in connection with a federal pre-school education

program (Project Headstart). However, again the files contain no data or



A general study of the agricultural development needs of St. Croix in

line with a plan to phase out sugar-milling at end of the 1965-66 grinding sea-

son was initiated, and expanded to include a series of studies of all aspects of

the problem to converting St. Croix agriculture from cane to alternative enter-

prises. The project, Project #9, terminated in 1966 and resulted in the follow-

ing reports:

"Report to the Governor of the U.S. Virgin Islands on the

Reconstruction of the Agricultural Economy of St. Croix."

"Housing, Land and Agriculture in St. Croix, U.S. Virgin

Islands, the Urbanization of a Caribbean Island," "Cultural

and Social Aspects of Agriculture in the Virgin Islands,"

"Survey of Hydrolilmatology of St. Croix."

Two studies, the Economic Survey of Farms in St. Croix, and the

Administration of an Agricultural Development Program were not completed.

- 77 -

Background Paper No. 1

In the "Report to the Governor of the United States Virgin Islands on

the Reconstruction of the Agriculture Economy of St. Croix." (Blaut, Mark,

I Dammann, 1965) it notes that, faced with a mission to address itself to the

problem of short-term action designed to provide an alternative for cane farm-

ers who, within ten months, would no longer have a market for cane, the study

could do little more than delineate the problem. The report offered recommen-

dations on 1) the need for reconstructing agriculture in St. Croix, 2) the

immediate steps which could be taken to effection a transition, and 3) the

areas which must be studied, rapidly and intensively, in order to have at hand

a timely solution.

Faced with two alternatives after the demise of sugar, one an irrever-

sible change from a predominantly rural, agricultural landscape to an urban-

ized or "suburbanized" landscape, the other diverse agricultural enterprises,

the report recommended the latter. This conclusion was based on. briefly,

1) An adequate supply of undeveloped non-agricultural land for the demand

for building sites; 2) That urbanization would radically alter the St. Croix

landscape, which was a question not only of aesthetics but economics; 3) All

urban properties will be enhanced in value if the island as a whole remains

visually attractive; 4) Profitable agriculture achieves the same effect of beaq-

tification with an additional benefit of direct employment and income; 5) Agri-

culture lends socio-economic stability; 6) Profitable agriculture through

domestic consumption emphasis will have the effect of reducing the insular

cost of living; 7) St. Croix agriculture could provide islands food needs and

- 78 -

Background Paper No. 1

yet profitably export produce to the U.S., etc. on a small scale.

"Cultural and Social Aspects of Agriculture in St. Croix," (Rosen-

berg, 1966), concerned itself with farmer's attitudes and aspirations, and

sought to determine the probable willingness of farm families to assume risks

involved and remain in agriculture. The report concluded that, "The present

farming population in St. Croix, consisting in general of those farming their

own land, is one dedicated to farming, deeply involved and strongly motivated

to the continuation of agriculture and the retention of the land acquired through

much toll and difficulty." The report describes the farming population as

"literate,.. ..generally familiar with and receptive to modern technology... (most)

represent a sort of "hard core".. .determined to continue farming... (consider)

...marketing to be the primary problem or deterrent to Increasing the land

used for agriculture."

A St. Croix soil survey had been done in June, 1965 by the Soil Con-

servation Service which indicated the slope, soil moisture, soil capabilities

of the island. A groundwater survey was also done around that time, but as

of January, 1966 there had been no study of the hydroclimatology of St. Croix.

It was to provide some rough indications of the areal differentiation of rainfall,

annual and monthly rainfall variability, evapotranspiration and water deficit,

that a group of research workers from Clark University were brought to St.

Croix in mid-January, 1966.

The final report, "Survey of the Hydroclimatology of St. Croix,"

Background Paper No. 1

(Bowden, Allen, Andrew, Arey, Clark University, 1966), is a rough resume

of data collected during a brief period of time and analyzed on the basis of

speedy field and makeshift techniques. It did, however, precipitate a later

comprehensive report on Virgin Islands water balance by Bowden.

Inter-Virgin Islands Relationships

In 1968 the Virgin Islands Inter-Relationship Program was initiated.

The study explored the relationship between the United States and the British

Virgin Islands on the thesis that, although separate political entities, the two

form a well-defined geographic, linguistic, ethnic and socio-economic unit.

The project, funded privately, sought to identify the factors which led to this

relationship, and the problems to which it has given rise.

Following 18 months of study, a report, "A Study of the Inter-Rela-

tionships between the British and United States Virgin Islands," was completed.

The most important aspect of the study derives from the fact that it represented

the first comprehensive attempt to look at the Virgin Islands as an ecosystem

and it concluded after examination of all available data that:

(a) Political integration will raise large and difficult substantive

issues. As a long term objective, however, it might well prove

worthy of serious consideration even though some innovative

approach may be found to be necessary:

(b) It would appear desirable that the realities of the degree of

socio-economic integration which has so far been attained should

- B0 -

Background Paper No. 1

be carefully examined with a view to determining the feasibility

of closer association of the islands on an institutional basis. Since

the islands should have much to gain from cooperation and comple-

mentary rather than competitive programs, operational integration

would seem useful in many and urgent in some areas.

This study is being updated for publication.

As a direct result of the finding of the aforementioned study, the pro-

ject was extended from September, 1969 to December, 1971, and was partly

conducted at the Institute and partly at the Center for International Studies at

the University of Pittsburgh. The objectives were:

(1) To provide information for the islands about themselves; (2) To

provide information for each group about the other; (3) To provide information

for other publics about the islands. Since a fairly substantial amount of litera-

ture was available on the U.S. Virgin Islands, substantial emphasis was paid to

the British Virgin Islands about which very little had been written. The out-

come may be summarized as follows:

(a) Magazine Articles

"The British Virgin Islands: A Conservation Perspective." (Har-

rigan, Environmental Newsletter. 1970). "The Inter-Virgin Islands

Conference," (Harrigan, Carib, 1971).

(b) Journal Articles

"A I'rofie of Socinl lDlvelopmient in the British Virgin Islands."

- 81 -

Background Paper No. 1

(Harrigan, Caribbean Studies, 1971). "Anegada-Feudal Development

in the Twentieth Century?" (Harrigan & Varlack, Caribbean Qurterl


(c) Books

The British Virgin Islands A Chronology (Harrigan a Varlack,

Research & Consultant Services, Ltd., 1971); The Virgin Islands

Story (Harrigan a Varlack, Caribbean University Press (forthcoming).

(d) Monographs

The Evolution of the Micro-State Political System (The Case of

the British Virgin Islands), (Harrigan); The Inter-Virgin Islands

Conference: A Study of a Micro-State International Organization (Har-

rigan); The Development of Education in the Virgin Islands (Varlack).

(e) Doctoral Dissertation:

"Higher Education in the Micro-State: A Theory of Raran Society,"

(Harrigan, University of Pittsburgh, 1972).

Four manuscripts dealing with government and education are still


Cultural Ecology The British Virgin Islands

Project #38, The Dave Hokin Foundation Research Fellowship in In-

sular Ecology, was in support of research activities of a pre-doctoral candi-

date pursuing the study of "The Cultural Ecology of Local-level Politics in the

British Virgin Islands." The fellowship extended over a one year period.


- 82 -

Background Paper No. 1

Proposed was that:

(1) The study would provide data on community and inter-com-

unity economic, political, and associational networks.

(2) That the study be placed in a theoretical framework which

is becoming Increasingly useful in the course of Caribbean research,

and that conclusions would be found following the study of political

activity in those loosely organized communities typical of the British

West Indies.

(3) The data gathered in the British Virgin Islands will provide

information for other social scientists on a society that has received

little attention from social anthropologists.

(4) The proposed project will serve as a pilot effort and a point

of departure for related studies being planned and organized by the

Department of Aithropology at Case Western Reserve University and

the Caribbean Research Institute.

"The Cultural Ecology of Insular Politics in the British Virgin Islands:

Political Adaptations to Poverty and Dependence," has been published as a

doctoral dissertation.


The Institute began conducting water pollution studies for the V.I.

Government during the summer of 1969 when it undertook detailed analyses of

the environmental factors at Crus Bay, St. John and Chocolate Hole, St. John

- 83 -

Background Paper No. 1

as a base for recommendations for Waste disposal and run-off controls for ad-

jacent land areas. Since that time there have been 12 amendments to the

original contract and a resulting 20 reports covering enclosed bays, two

harbors, and sewage disposal practices and operating efficences of package

sewage treatment plants. The project, Water Pollution Studies (341), termin-

atled in October, 1972.

Water Pollution Report No. 1 "A Study of the Effects of Pollutants on

the Waters and Sedidments of Crus Bay," (Brody, Griff, Raup, tanEepoel,

1969): Objective To learn about the present distribution of dsediments and

bottom types; to infer the recent physical history of the Bay; td infer the short

and long term effects of bottom currents and wave action. Summary Crus Bay

Is a small, relatively undisturbed area with healthy biota and dater of generally

high quality. However, the threat of degradation of existing conditions is

present, with a large portion of the Bay showing signs of change towards a

much less ecologically healthy environment due to a slow flushing cycle not

rapidly removing drainage and raw sewage effluents. Recommendations -

Reduction of domestic sewage effluent levels; a moratorium on dredging within

the bay.

Water Pollution Report No. 2 "Effects of Dredging in Water Bay,

St. Thomas," (vanEepoel, 1969): Objective To present data and conclu-

sions resulting from preliminary investigations of the effects ofldredging

in Water Bay. Summary It is clear that the bottom alteration in that year

- 84 -

Background Paper No. 1

had resulted In a major ecological disaster for the sub-littoral flora and sessile

fauna. Relatively rapid extirpation of many of the corals, grasses, and algae

are resulting from disruption, covering, or siltation, and the highly turbid

water condition will continue to destroy more.

Water Pollution Report No. 3 "A Study of the Waters, Sediments, and

Biota of Chocolate Hole, St. John with Comparison to Cruz Bay, St. John,"

(Brody, Griff, Raup, vanEepoel, 1970): Objective To collect basic informa-

tion, i.e. water quality, benthic biology, and sedimentology, with an eye to

comparison with the earlier study in Cruz Bay. Summary The water of Choc-

olate Hole is of very good quality and comparable to that of other naturally un-

disturbed local bays. Recommendations Strict control of development in that

area to preserve high water quality; certain changes in Virgin Islands water

quality preservation and pollution abatement: a) changes in water quality

control criteria, and b) Initiation of a program by the Department of Health

(Division of Environmental Health) to locally compare results from standard

sanitary bacteriological techniques to those from some of the marine organism

culture techniques.

Water Pollution Report No. 4 "Survey of the Ecology and Water Qual-

ity of Lindberg Bay. St. Thomas," (vanEepoel, Griff, 1970): Objecti- Pre-

liminary investigations through instrument and visual surveys in an attempt to

describe the nature and extent of the power plant flume, and its effects, if any.

on the local biota. Summary Although on occasion unusually high water tem-

- 85 -

Background Paper No. 1

peratures have been reported from the area of the powerplant/desalinization

plant outfall, temperature and salinity measurements indicate the qualities of

the plant effluent make slight difference in the receiving water. However, it

is not known if effluent quality is consistent. The destructive factor is evi-

denced that over a large portion of the bay sustained high levels of suspended

and settleable terrigenous solids, causing turbidity and siltation, are of much

greater damage to the overall ecology of the area than thermal pollution.

Recommendations Unless steps are taken to abate runoff, the quality of the

water and marine life in Lindberg Bay will continue to deteriorate and it may

eventually be undesirable as a swimming beach.

Water Pollution Report No. 5 "Effects of Dredging at Great Cruz Bay,

St. John," (vanEepoel, Griff, 1970): Objective To present data, conclusions

and recommendations resulting from preliminary investigations of the disturb-

ances produced by dredging activity in Great Cruz Bay, St.T John. Summary -

Great Cruz Bay supports a typical and well developed algal-grass pasture over

the majority of its area, with only limited coral development curingg in narrow

areas along the northwestern and southwestern shores. However, present

dredging operations are releasing large amounts of fine solids which experience

has shown can remain in suspension over a year. Extreme turbidity has re-

duced, by as much as 89% in some areas, sunlight reaching bottom. Opinion

is that dredging permit indefensible destruction of a natural resource, and

operates against the best interest of the territory. Recommendations That

the permitted be required to pond and contain the dredge discharge so that a

86 -

Background Paper No. 1

much cleaner effluent is returned to the bay; that the air release devices be

controlled to minimize the discharge of silt/water.

Water Pollution Report No. 6 "Preliminary Study of Sewage Disposal

Practices in Areas not Served by the Public Sewage System of Charlotte Amalie,"

(Reynolds, Clark University, 1970): Study based on work of eight under-

graduate students from Clark University, who operated under the partial aegis

of an agreement between CVI and the Department of Health. They participated

in a three-week period multidisciplinary program. Objective Preliminary

survey of sewage disposal practices on St. Thomas with particular focus on

areas not served by the public sewerage system. Summary Limited field and

laboratory study of 10 treatment plants; reuse aspect of package treatment

plant operation requires further study; facilities for regulating the develop-

ment and operation of plants appears inadequate; approximately 190,000 g.p.d.

of raw sewage probably introduced into waters of marinas and anchorages in

St. Thomas during height of tourist season.

Water Pollution Report No. 7 "The Status of the Marine Environment

at Water Bay St. Thomas." (Griff, vanEepoel, 1970): Objective To summarize

observations on the progression of changes in the quality of the water and

sessile benthic communities during a dredging period which extended from

1969 to 1970. Summary Dredging has done considerable damage to bottom

organisms, and in addition to live forms being destroyed by actual removal as

part of the spoils, all the reef organisms in the bay have been adversely affected.

- 87 -

Background Paper No. 1

Continued dredging would further stress an already hard-pressed environ-

ment. Recommendations No further dredging in bay and dredging outside

bay to continue with all available safeguards.

Water Pollution Report No. 8 "Water Quality and Marine Environ-

ment of Vessup Bay, St. Thomas," (Grigg. vanEepoel, Brody, 1970):

Objective To assess the water quality and to develop a general description

of the marine environment. Summary Bay shows ill effects from human ac-

tivity. Recommendations Controlled development in Red Hook area encour-

aged, with marina development in Benner Bay curtailed; V.I. Government

should designate the area as the small vessel harbor and marina for eastern

half of St. Thomas and plan controlled harbor development; the southwestern

half of Vessup Bay should be deepened to a depth of about 10 feet; effluents

from sewage treatment facilities should not be discharged into bay.

Water Pollution Report No. 9 "The Status of Water Quality in Cruz

Bay and Chocolate Hole, St. John," (Grigg, vanEepoel, 1971): Objective -

A follow-up evaluation of Chocolate Hole and Cruz Bay based on quantitative

data collected in late 1910. Summary- Cruz Bay water quality on the whole

is worse than a year ago, however, noted is a relative improvement in the

quality of the creek water. Presently it seems likely that most of the change

is due to seasonal wave action, which has disturbed bottom sediments in the

outer bay.

Water Pollution Report No. 10 "Water Quality and Environmental

Background Paper No. 1

Statue of Benner Bay Mangrove Lagoon, St. Thomas," (Griff, vaoEepoel,

Brody, 1971): Objective To describe the Benner Bay Lagoon environment,

primarily the water quality. Summary Development on the east end of

St. Thomas is increasingly geared toward water oriented facilities, with the

resulting danger of poor water quality due to impoverish biota as a consequence

of exhaust gases and unburned hydrocarbons being continuously injected into

water at higher than ambient temperatures and pressures, plus sewage, mis-

cellaneous refuse and oil spillage. The area is one of diversity, not only of

habitat types but in the degree of anthropogenic destruction throughout the

area. Benner Bay is biologically devastated; water quality and natural sys-

tems are less affected to the west and improve rapidly toward the south. Envi-

ronmental stresses are increasing from expanding development in Nadir and

Bovoni and as far away as Tutu. The southern section of the Lagoon and its

reefs and grass flats remain superb examples of shallow tropical reef and

marine pasture systems. Data collected suggest this area one of very high net

productivity. Recommendations The Ipeal government should come to a de-

cision on the use to which the Mangrove Lagoon is to be put, as the present

course of development in and around the area increases pressures daily on

this unique ecosystem. Marina development should be confined to Benner Bay

and any extension should be east rather than westward. No dredging should

be allowed outside Benner Bay. The government should acquire the necessary

land on Long Point to include at lease all of the eastern slopes for designation

as a V.I. Coastal Zone Preserve. The Nadir sewage treatment plant should be

- 89 -

Background Paper No. 1

made to operate close to optimal. The proposed horse racetrack should not be

placed close to the shore, but should be located far enough west to allow for

a green belt between it and the shore to act as an ecological buffer zone.

Water Pollution Report No. 11 "Water Quality and Sediments of

Lindberg Bay, St. Thomas," (vanEepoel, Brody, Griff, Raymond, 1971):

Oective Presentation of additional observations, samplings and measurements

made in the summer and fall of 1970 and winter of 1971, due to concern over

deteriorating water quality. Summary Turbidity has increased markedly over

the past few years. The seaward sill-shoreward basin combination left by the

dredging effectively blocks the needed flushing and acts to trap much of the

fine material entering the bay. The natural biological communities of the bay

have been catastrophically altered. Water quality is markedly reduced, with

sewage pollution a notable factor. Discharge of heated, hypersaline effluent

has produced observable effects. Recommendations Drainage of rainfall

runoff into the bay should be eliminated; a surface or sub-surface-rubble

breakwater should be constructed to run from Range Cay to the west end of

the airport runway. Restoration of water quality and development of the full

recreation potential of Lindberg Bay should be assigned top priority on the list

of possible restoration projects on St. Thomas. Immediate initiation of a pro-

ject to design restorative procedures for Lindberg Bay should be effected.

Effort should be applied to eliminate sewage discharges into the northwest

corner of the bay. Surveillance of the bathing beach water quality would be

prudent and research is recommended to investigate the effects of high con-

- 90 -

Background Paper No. 1

centrations of sewage organisms and nutrients on the ecology of the shallow

Virgin Islands' bays and nearshore areas. A project should be Initiated

immediately to measure some effects of the discharge research is needed to

Investigate the effects of heated and/or hypersaline waters and higher concen-

tration of copper, iron and nickel on the shallow water benthic tropical marine


Water Pollution Report No. 12 "Operating Efficiencies of Package

Sewage Plants on St. Thomas, V.I.," (Griff, Shatrosky. vanEepole, 1971):

Objective Sewage treatment practices in the V.I. pose several interesting

problems because of the diversity of treatment methods used, and the influence

of peculiar local factors. This study was primarily to monitor the operating

efficiency of 12 treatment plants on St. Thomas. Summary The study re-

vealed that the degree of sewage treatment plants vary widely (an 80% or better

reduction in B .O.D. is achieved as frequently as 92% of the time (Crown Col-

ony) and as infrequently as 33% of the time (Lime Tree Hotel).

Water Pollution Report No. 13 "Decentralized Water Reuse Systems

in a Water Scarce Environment: The Tourist Industry in St. Thomas, Virgin

Islands," (Kasperson. Clark University, 1971): Objective This report

continued a relationship between Clark University and the U.S. Virgin Islands

directed at research on environmental problems. The study determined to

gather basic data on water consumption and sewage disposal facilities at major

tourist establishments in St. Thomas. Data were analyzed with specific intent

University of Florida Home Page
© 2004 - 2010 University of Florida George A. Smathers Libraries.
All rights reserved.

Acceptable Use, Copyright, and Disclaimer Statement
Last updated October 10, 2010 - - mvs