League of Women Voters cites importance of V.I. coral reef workshop on Monday

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If you care about the well being of our Virgin Islands beaches, fish and other local marine animals including as turtle and if you care about our fishing industry and marine recreation, then The League of Women Voters VI Committee on Planning and Environmental Quality urges you to attend the workshop sponsored by the Environmental Protection Agency and the Caribbean Coral Protection Group.

The conference is from 1 to 3:30 p.m. Monday at UVI. On the St. Thomas campus, it is in the Administration and Conference Center, and on the St. Croix campus, it is in the Great Hall.

With threats to our marine environment from climate change - for example rising ocean levels and increased acidification of oceans leading to coral disease - we must all be concerned, especially since so much of our island life depends on the health of our oceans.

Can you imagine living without fish and with unsafe beaches as result of dying coral, overfishing and acidification of the oceans?

In addition to all who care deeply about our V.I. environment, this conference will be ideal for high school classes in environmental and marine biology as well as UVI biology majors.

At the meeting, EPA will talk about local endangered coral and the consequences of such designation and will be soliciting suggestions from the public as to how to reduce the stresses on coral habitat.

Here in the Virgin Islands we have the opportunity to reduce local sources of stress to our oceans such as careless reef fishing, poor land clearing practices, malfunctioning wastewater systems and storm water runoff that carries sediments and toxins from unlined landfills and industrial sites right into our oceans.

For more information on the Caribbean Coral Protection Group, visit http://epa.gov/region2/coral.

To reserve a seat at the conference call 714-2333 or email webbe.keshema@epa.gov

- Gwen Moolenaar, LWV VI President

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