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YEAR 2010 - CRP Project #5002C (Caribbean)

Project #5002C
Southgate Coastal Habitat Restoration Project

Christiansted, US Virgin Islands

Derelict vessel to be removed from Southgate Coastal Preserve
Derelict vessel to be removed from Southgate Coastal Preserve

Project name:   Southgate Coastal Habitat Restoration Project  
Project number:   5002C  
Project status:   In Progress  
Grant Administrator:   Gulf of Mexico Foundation (for NOAA)  
Grantee:   St. Croix Environmental Association (SEA)  
Project location:   St. Croix, Christiansted, USVI  
Grant period:   Jan 1, 2021 – Dec 31, 2020  
Grant amount:   $37,697  
Land Ownership:   Privately Owned - SEA  
Lat/Long:   17˚45’31.1” N, 64˚39’51.8” W ˚  
Types of Habitat:   Beach face, coastal wetland/mudflat, coral reef, and sea grass habitats directly or indirectly benefited  
Project leader:   Paul Chakroff, Executive Director
St. Croix Environmental Association
5032 Anchor Way
Christiansted, VI 00820

Species Benefiting From Restoration:
   • Queen conch (Strombus gigas)
   • Caribbean spiny lobster (Panulirus argus)
   • Snappers (family Lutjanidae)
   • Grunts (Haemulon spp.)
   • Parrotfish (Sparisoma spp.)
   • Leatherback Sea Turtle (Dermochelys coriacea)
   • Green Sea Turtle (Chelonia mydas)
   • Hawksbill Sea Turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata)
   • Staghorn Coral (Acropora cervicornis)
   • Elkhorn Coral (Acropora palmata)
   • Red Mangrove (Rhizophora mangle)
   • White Mangrove (Laguncularia racemosa)
   • Black Mangrove (Avicennia germinans)
   • White-cheeked Pintail (Anas bahamensis)
   • Ruddy Duck (Oxyura jamaicensis)
   • American Coot (Fulica americana)
   • Caribbean Coot (Fulica caribaea)
   • Wilson’s Plover (Charadrius wilsonia)
   • Least Tern (Sterna antillarum)
   • White-crowned Pigeon (Columba leucocephala)

Acres of Habitat To be Restored:
Approximately 30 acres of wetland and beach habitat, and 2,000 linear ft. of beach frontage and wetland edge to be restored/ protected.

Need for Project:
The project site, Southgate Coastal Reserve (SCR), is a nature reserve managed for wildlife and habitat conservation, environmental education and recreation by SEA. Habitat and species conservation are key objectives of the SCR conservation management plan. Those conservation objectives are compromised by erosion of the Southgate Pond levee, off-road vehicle trespass and a derelict sailboat that washed ashore after Hurricane Omar. This project is needed to mitigate direct and immediate threats to three federally listed species, other NOAA Trust Resources and critical coastal habitat within the Southgate Pond/Chenay Bay APC and at other priority coastal sites to be identified by the VI Department of Planning and Natural Resources, Division of Coastal Zone Management (CZM).

Project Objectives:

  • To restore natural sand movement along a section of beach impacted by a derelict sailboat stranded on beach face habitat
  • To eliminate impacts to wetland and beach habitats through installation of barriers to prevent vehicular encroachment into beach and wetland habitats at SCR and at other priority public beaches to be identified by CZM
  • To take preventative action to forestall catastrophic loss of Southgate Salt Pond integrity through armoring and constructing a concrete swale in the levee that separates the salt pond from the adjoining Green Cay Marina
  • To raise public awareness about economic, public safety and environmental threats related to vehicular beach and mudflat access and improper mooring of boat.

Community Involvement:
SEA volunteers will participate in removal of the sailboat from the SCR beach; location and placement of vehicle barriers behind the beach face at SCR and other sites; and clearing and flagging of fence lines long the SCR access drive. SEA will educate the community through newspaper articles and PSAs related to proper mooring of vessels and driving vehicles on beaches.

Click on photo to enlarge

Southgate Coastal Preserve
Southgate Coastal Preserve

Rock barriers to be placed within Southgate Coastal Reserve
Rock barriers to be placed within Southgate Coastal Reserve

Levee causeway
Levee causeway

Wildlife of Southgate Coastal Preserve
Wildlife of Southgate Coastal Preserve

Areas of particular concern in Southgate Coastal Preserve

Beach and wetland vehicle barrier plan for Southgate
Beach and wetland vehicle barrier plan for Southgate

Photos: St. Croix Environmental Assoc.

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NOAA Restoration Center

Gulf of Mexico Foundation

St. Croix Environmental Association

Gulf of Mexico Foundation - PMB 51, 5403 Everhart - Corpus Christi, TX 78411
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