GOVERNMENT & POLICE NEWS

Project Homeless Connect Seeks Volunteers for October Events

Project Homeless Connect 2014 needs volunteers. The V.I. Department of Human Services (DHS) will host the Project Homeless Connect 2014…

Audio Galleries

Half a dozen young people, local artists and music producers have created a peace song for Carnival 2014. To read more about the song, click here.
 

 
Currently:Click for Saint John, Virgin Islands Forecast

Source Picks

The Bookworm: Catch the ‘Runaway Bride’

True to Weber form, ‘The Choir Director 2: Runaway Bride’ is a multilayered, lots-going-on tale that will keep you guessing all the way to the surprising.

READ ENTIRE ARTICLE
2014-08-21 19:59:41
Three Sentenced to 10 Years Each for Robbery with Firearms

Chief District Court Judge Wilma A. Lewis on Monday sentenced three St. Croix men to 10 years in prison each for their roles in two armed robberies that took place in January 2013.

READ ENTIRE ARTICLE
2014-08-20 23:35:53
USVI Could be Almost Free of Fossil Fuels by the Year 2025

The Integrated Resource Plan can help move the USVI to an island state with a portfolio dominated by renewable energy resources by 2025.

READ ENTIRE ARTICLE
2014-08-20 15:40:08
Local news — St. John
CommentLog in or Register to CommentE-mailE-MAILPrintPRINT
Coral Reefs Faring Better Than Expected This Year

This year’s spate of coral bleaching wasn’t as bad as scientists originally feared, said fisheries biologist Jeff Miller.
“We’re cautiously optimistic,” said Miller, who works with the National Park Service’s Inventory and Monitoring program assigned to the Virgin Islands and based on St. John.
By early November 2005, the year that saw the territory’s corals decimated by bleaching, the corals across the territory were in very bad shape. Ultimately, 90 percent of the corals at study sites suffered bleaching, and 60 percent ultimately died.
This year, about 50 to 55 percent of the corals at three study sites are discolored but not bleached white or dead, Miller said.
“There is less coral bleached than 2005, and the severity is less,” he said.

Advertising (skip)

The bleaching problem occurs when unusually warm water causes the algae that live in the corals to be expelled or die. This leaves the corals with a bleached look because the colorful algae is gone, Miller has said.
According to Miller, two factors contributed to the improved coral condition. He said that water temperatures probably weren’t as warm as they were in 2005, and when they were warm, they weren’t as warm as long.
He said the average water temperature for October was 84.5 degrees. Bleaching occurs when temperatures rise over 85 degrees.
As water temperatures began to rise this summer, Miller and other scientists feared that this year would be a repeat of 2005.
While the early October rains and those that fell Sunday and Monday lowered the water temperature, Miller said they were a double-edged sword because the rain caused dirt to flow downhill onto the coral reefs.
“Sedimentation stresses the reefs,” Miller said.
This sedimentation on top of this year’s bleaching means that boaters, swimmers, divers, and snorkelers have to be careful not to further impact the reefs.
“It’s like kicking a person when they’re down,” he said.
He urged boaters to take care when anchoring, and for swimmers, divers and snorkelers to not stand on the reefs or kick up sand that will smother them.
Miller is also concerned about disease hitting the stressed coral reefs. This is what happened in 2005 and caused them to die.

Read more stories in Local news»»