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HomeCommentaryOpen forumOpen forum: Questions About the Cowgirl Bebop Floating Lounge Need Answers

Open forum: Questions About the Cowgirl Bebop Floating Lounge Need Answers

An artist’s drawing of the proposed Cowgirl Bebop. This image was first presented to the St. John Coastal Zone Management Committee in 2020. (Image shared at public meeting)

The general population can say something regarding the Cowgirl Bebop Floating Lounge to be worked off two uninhabited cays close to St. Thomas and St. John.

On Nov. 5, 2019, The St. John Source provided details regarding a town hall meeting connected to a proposition by Cowgirl Bebop for a floating restaurant. Cowgirl Bebop LLC is requesting a Coastal Zone Management water-use license to introduce two moorings south of Mingo and Grass cays in Pillsbury Sound, which runs between St. Thomas and St. John.

The gliding eatery brings up numerous issues. In the light of environmental catastrophes happening on St. Croix, the long-time and ancestral residents of St. John are expressing profound worries about the environmental effect of the islands’ sea waters. Even though there are arrangements set up to forestall natural risks, the residents of St. Croix are confronting huge impediments that have left numerous people sick and hopeless. The drawn-out impacts of contaminants noticeable all around are not decided, nor is there any data available on the number of people who may encounter medical issues later.

What are the potential unfavorable impacts of the Cowgirl Bebop? The article in the St. John Source expressed that the Cowgirl Bebop won’t release any waste from the vessel; however, all things considered, the marine eatery will [be] use holding tanks for septic and other liquid waste. This process is done regularly as on airplanes and marine vessels. Is the Virgin Islands government prepared to screen vessels like the Cowgirl Bebop, and as of now, are vessels directed and checked routinely in our waters to ensure that owners comply?

Further, if setbacks happen and a fee is given, how would we correct the environmental harm? Would money be able to fix ecological damage? As a St. Croix resident, I tune in to the worries of St. Johnians. Apparently, they have been battling long periods of disenfranchisement and private enterprises forming the island’s character while their memories and identity are being erased.

Does the Bepop help support the economy, or does it further propagate St. John’s burger and fries industry? How will ashore mom and pops restaurants be affected? Is the motivation behind the travel industry to help privateers or locals and their families, particularly for ancestral St. Johnians. Who benefits the most from this drifting eatery? Is it St. Johnians or another person?

There are drifting eateries worldwide, like the Jumbo Kingdom in Hong Kong, which has become iconic in its community. Could the Cowboy Bepop floating restaurant become one of the Virgin Islands’ included attractions? It is hard to follow patterns in the travel industry and put the environment as the primary concern. Indeed, even the iconic Jumbo Kingdom in Hong Kong went on fire. Is the Virgin Islands Fire Department prepared to extinguish oceanic flames?

Further, in the recorded town hall, Bill Perkins, the proposer of the marine restaurant, expressed that the undertaking would create jobs. What sort of occupations does the venture bring? In the numerous hotels and tourism-based businesses in the Virgin Islands, we see multiple locals in low-paid positions. Are there enough local people occupying spaces in managerial and executive capacities? Is the promise of server positions enough to legitimize a monetary move by the Cowboy Bepop?

I neither go against nor support the Cowboy Bebop; there are countless unanswered inquiries; be that as it may, there is potential for an extraordinary product.

Stephanie Chalana Brown is a resident of St. Croix.

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