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YEAR 2006 - CRP Project #1003C (Caribbean)

Project #1003C
Fish Bay Watershed Erosion Control Strategy

St. John, US Virgin Islands

Construction Sites along Fish Bay
Construction Sites along Fish Bay on St. John, US Virgin Islands

Project name:   Fish Bay Watershed Erosion Control Strategy  
Project number:   1003C  
Project status:   Complete  
Grant Administrator:   Gulf of Mexico Foundation (for NOAA)  
Grantee:   Island Resources Foundation  
Project location:   St. John, US Virgin Islands  
Grant period:   Jan 1, 2021 - Dec 31, 2020  
Grant amount:   $26,171  
Land Ownership:   Public & private lands  
Lat/Long:   18.32, -64.77  
Types of Habitat:   Coral reef, salt pond, marine environment  
Project leader: Bruce Potter – IRF President
Dr. Carlos Ramos-Scharrón - Hydrologist
1718 ‘P’ Street NW, Suite T4
Washington, DC 20036

Species Benefiting From Restoration:
   • Elkhorn coral (Acropora palmata)
   • Starlet coral (Sidastrea siderea)
   • Finger corals (Porites porites)
   • Red mangroves (Rhizophora mangle)
   • Seagrass beds (Thalassia testudinum and others)

Acres of Habitat To be Restored:
Approximately 38 acres seagrass, 21 acres coral colonized bedrock,
2.8 acres coral colonized pavement and 26 acres linear reefs.

Project Summary:
The poor quality of the marine environment in Fish Bay (more than 51 percent of macroalgae cover, less than 15 percent of coral cover, high sedimentation rates of up to 11 mg cm-2 day-1, high water turbidity and sediment-laden salt ponds) is in sharp contrast to other nearby bays along the southern shores of St. John. Experts agree that increased erosion associated to land development occurring on the 6 km watershed draining into Fish Bay is responsible for its deteriorated condition. The actions taken in this project are directed at improving the quality of the marine habitat in Fish Bay by reducing the amount of sediment being produced by land development. Island Resources FoundationIsland Resources Foundation (IRF) will be responsible for completing a sediment budget analysis by conducting field surveys and applying a GIS-based erosion model to identify problem sites for the implementation of erosion control strategies. In collaboration with project partners IRF will organize meetings with local experts and stakeholders to develop cost-effective erosion control strategies for selected sites. Erosion control methods will be selected from proven methods described in both local and regional handbooks. Funds for the implementation of these methods will be provided by both private stakeholders and CRP funds distributed by IRF. The effectiveness of structures and the re-vegetation strategies in reducing erosion rates will be monitored for a one-year period after implementation. Project achievements will be disseminated in IRF’s website and in the VI Non-Point Source (NPS) Newsletter and Conference.

Project Objectives:
The main objective of this project is to implement an erosion control strategy to reduce sediment loading rates into the heavily silted Fish Bay on the island of St. John, USVI. The goals of the study are to:

  1. Conduct a sediment budget analysis to identify the most important sediment sources within the Fish Bay watershed
  2. Develop and implement sediment control strategies for specific problem sites in Fish Bay by collaborating with community members and local experts
  3. Promote the use of similar strategies in other priority sites in Fish Bay and elsewhere in the Virgin Islands

Community Involvement:
The local community will be involved particularly in the development, implementation, and monitoring of erosion control methods. Local experts from St. John and other community members will be an integral part of the workgroup making the decisions on this project.

Project poster presentation - click to enlarge
Project poster presentation - click to enlarge

Click on photo to enlarge

Project location map - click to enlarge
Project location map

Steep, unpaved driveway - click to enlarge
Steep, unpaved driveway

Preexisting culvert in need of repair - click to enlarge
Preexisting culvert in need of repair

New deflectors help reduce erosion - click to enlarge
New deflectors help reduce erosion.

New culverts and paved roads - click to enlarge
New culverts and paved roads

Project managers - click to enlarge
Project managers Bruce Potter and Dr. Ramos-Scharron

Volunteers clean run-off ditch - click to enlarge
Volunteers clean run-off ditch.

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NOAA Restoration Center

Gulf of Mexico Foundation

Island Resources Foundation

Fish Bay Homeowners Association

Island Green Builders Association

Cooperative Extension Service-UVI

VI National Park

Gulf of Mexico Foundation - PMB 51, 5403 Everhart - Corpus Christi, TX 78411
(800) 884-4175 toll free - (361) 882-3939 phone - (361) 882-1262 fax
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webmaster: Carrie Robertson