This week, the Watershed team is visiting partners, Coral Bay Community Council, on the beautiful island of St. John. We will start the process of watershed management planning to improve water quality in Coral Bay.

Coral Bay is a beautiful place. The island’s natural resources entice visitors from around the globe and include scenic white sand beaches, vibrant coral reefs, and protective mangrove forests. Animal and plant species rely on these habitats to live. Human recreational opportunities – particularly on and in the water – make tourism a leading economic driver. Coral Bay’s ecosystem services are its greatest asset.

Watershed management planning is a standard approach used to assess pollution and identify solutions. The last management plan in Coral Bay was conducted five years ago. So, it is time to be updated.

First, we will get to know the area and meet with the people who know it best. Local knowledge is a vital resource. We will hear from residents about previous efforts to improve water quality and where problems persist.

Next up, back in Vermont, needs will be evaluated to prioritize future water quality implementation projects. Finally, we will return with recommendations to reach shared goals.

We look forward to learning more about the area getting to know our partners.