Wednesday, October 2, 2013

What Does the Government Shutdown Mean For the US Virgin Island's Beaches?

Ah yes, our fantastic and immature Federal Government has recently shutdown. Well, what does this mean to our beaches here in the US Virgin Islands? Considering about two thirds of the beaches of St John are part of the National Park System, the results are not too good.

Apparently they are closing all of the beaches that are in the park on St John with police tape and barricades. Here is a statement from the park office in St John:

This is courtesy of News of St John:

12 p.m. Update: We just got off the phone with Mike Anderson, NPS Deputy Superintendent. He said that NPS has gone ahead and closed the park per direction from the federal government. He said signs were put up and barricades installed. Because the National Park extends out into the water, all beaches from Lindt Point to Haulover Bay are closed. Additionally on the South Shore, Salt Pond, the Lameshures and Reef Bay are closed. All park trails are also closed.

“No one is happy about this, including our staff,” he said.

Anderson said 46 park employees have been furloughed including Park Superintendent Brion FitzGerald. Anderson will remain working as the park coordinator during the shutdown.

Regarding the water, vessels are allowed to pass through the park waters, but they cannot anchor or tie up to any of the moorings. In addition, all commercial activity is suspended including guided tours, and snorkeling or scuba tours. Boat operators can, however, pick up guests in St. John but they must travel to the BVIs.

If anyone is found to be on NSP land or in NPS waters, they will be asked to leave by park enforcement rangers who will remain working. If they do not leave at that time, they will receive a citation.

Um yea, a beach and ocean, and we cannot use those? And I love how they are steering people away from the US Virgin Islands to the British Virgin Islands? Also interesting is how quickly they can fence off our beaches but yet we seem to have a problem securing our border?

I am going to assume also that the Federal Governments rule of no access to the beaches in the park takes precedence over our territory law that allows for access to all beaches to the high tide mark?

Your Right to Enjoy Virgin Islands Beaches

In 1978 Virgin Islands passed an important new law, the Coastal Zone Management Act, to protect and preserve the coastal areas of the Territory and to preserve the tradition of the public access to the Territory’s shorelines.

Today, the goals that were set still stand as one of the best ways we have of passing that Virgin Islands heritage-beach access on to future generations.

Access to cultural, historical and natural areas along the coast is essential to public understanding and enjoyment of coastal and marine resources. Of course, the public should use the territory’s beaches in ways that would not degrade or damage these valuable resources.

The CZM Program, through its permitting process, does not allow commercial building on the Territory’s shorelines without first securing an easement for public access to the shorelines. Beaches cannot be fenced off. The public has the right to be on the beach, enjoy them and use them for recreational purposes.

If you have been denied your right to be on a beach in the US Virgin Islands, please contact the Division of Coastal Zone Management and report the incident.

Should I call the Division of Coastal Zone Management to report this incident?

There was a new protest Facebook page that was made today:

So what does this mean if you were planning on going on vacation on St John? Not so great news. I would instead plan on staying on St Thomas where we are so lucky as to not have our beaches managed by our idiotic Federal Government. We have some great beaches too, like Megens Bay and Sapphire to name a few! 

While we are on the topic of the reason of why the government is shutdown, Obamacare, our local government here has chosen not to participate in the exchanges. Since we are not involved in the mess, can we please be excused from closings?

Affordable Care Act has limited impact in Virgin Islands

ST. THOMAS ­- As the Affordable Care Act's first phase goes into effect today, Virgin Islanders will not be shopping around for policies using newly created insurance exchanges, as in many other parts of the country.

The other thing we could do is introduce a new independent, moderate political party to get rid of stupid two party political system? If you look at the background of the US population, isn't the majority registered as independents? 

Ok enough of that political crap, my favorite solution is to drink rum and enjoy a beach on St Thomas, this picture is from yesterday at Cowpet Bay. 


  1. "Moderate political parties" are doomed to failure. Nobody is moved by the watered-down message of a moderate political party. Either you are passionately in favor of large-government, high taxes, burdensome regulation, dependence on foreign oil, creeping Socialism, job flight, capital flight, loss of privacy and freedom OR you are in favor of smaller govt. and more freedom. You can't have it both ways and you can't sell the people an idea of a "moderate political party" because nowhere in the world does this animal exist; eventually it will be taken over by the extremists on either end of the political system.

    The majority of the US population is Center Right, NOT moderate or independent.


  2. Got a kick out of Rachel's contention that the majority of the US population is center right, not moderate or independent. Is that why they re-elected Obama, kept the Dems in charge of the Senate, and gave more than a million more votes to Dems than Republicans in the House in 2012?


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