WASHINGTON, D.C.-The Department of the Interior’s Assistant Secretary for Insular Areas, Tony Babauta, has awarded $1.6 million to the Salt Bay National Historic Park and Ecological Preserve, a park co-managed with the government of the U.S. Virgin Islands and the National Park Service, for the construction of a Coastal Studies Outpost on St. Croix. The outpost will facilitate marine education and the collection of research data related to threats to natural resources, fisheries, stability of shorelines and coral reefs.
“This project is critical to revitalizing the island of St. Croix, creating jobs and generating economic development and growth. I am pleased to be supporting Gov. [John P.] deJongh in this initiative as well as Delegate [Donna] Christensen who has been a stalwart champion of marine research and education programs for the Virgin Islands,” said Babauta.
The funds will also assist in solving technical challenges related to converting an abandoned haul road into an ecologically sustainable thoroughfare-a “greenway”-for future public park access. (OIA)