Although we are disappointed that COVID has prevented us from offering our usual summer education activities, we are taking this time to focus on other projects. At the top of that list has been upgrading the upland trails at the Southgate Coastal Reserve. Thanks to the efforts of volunteers Ian Mead, Richard Gideon, and Chuck Fourtner, several new trails have been added, benches have been placed at resting spots, and we have started to install signs. At the end of the main trail, you will find the newly completed bird-viewing hide, a great breezy spot to quietly enjoy the birdlife on the salt pond. We are still adding educational signs and planting more trees to continue our improvements and make Southgate an even better place to enjoy the nature of St. Croix.
This summer has also illustrated why Southgate Coastal Reserve is so important. We’ve had some really great wildlife visitors recently. The salt pond dried up (as it often does in the summer) creating ideal nesting habitat for Least Terns, a small seabird that likes to nest on the ground. The Southgate pond has hosted well over a hundred nesting Least Terns this summer and we’ve so enjoyed watching the newly hatched birds (think of little puff balls on legs) running around the salt flats trying to stay cool and safe.
We also have had several leatherback turtles nest on our beach, including one named “Leona Nicole” that was satellite tagged at Sandy Point. Check out Leona Nicole’s story.
We are seeking sponsors for eight benches and a bridge (examples pictured above), plus two picnic tables (to be built). More sponsorship opportunities may become available in the future! Learn more and contact Renée if you would like to sponsor a bench, bridge or table.
DISPOSABLE FOOD SERVICE ITEMS IN THE USVI
The St. Croix Environmental Association (SEA) strongly opposes the Governor’s requirement that restaurants use only disposable food service items. We believe this is an empty gesture that does not actually provide additional sanitation. Read SEA’s full statement on the disposable mandate.
BLACK LIVES MATTER
After much reflection, SEA wanted to release a statement on the Black Lives Matter movement. We recognize the impact of the Black Lives Matter movement across America, the world, and especially in the USVI. Read SEA’s full Black Lives Matter statement, as well as a statement from Savanna Capedeville, SEA member and organizer of the St. Croix Black Lives Matter Stand-In-Solidarity event.