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St Thomas, USVI — Blue Flag USVI in conjunction with the Virgin Islands Network of Environmental Educators (VINE) will host a series of environmental education presentations at the newly certified Blue Flag beaches. The free presentations are scheduled at each of the respective beaches.

St Croix

Palms at Pelican Cove

Saturday, January 28th, 2012 – 10:00am

 Presenter: Jennifer Travis

Contact: Jennifer_Travis@fws.gov

 U.S. Fish & Wildlife, Sandy Point National Wildlife Refuge

Presents: Threats & Conservation of Sea Turtles

 To raise awareness about the threats to St. Croix’s endangered sea turtles.

St. Croix is a nesting habitat for three species of endangered sea turtles. Presentation will discuss the main characteristics of each species, major threats to sea turtles, and what humans can do to reduce these threats.

Presentation/Discussion, sample turtle carapi & scutes that participants can observe and touch, game for children.

For more information visit – http://www.vifishandwildlife.com/turtlenesting.htm

St John

Trunk Bay

Saturday, January 14th, 2012– 10am

 Presenter:  Chris Settar

Contact:chrismsettar@gmail.com

 “Citizen Science Activity” hosted by VIMAS

 This activity will teach its participants how to become a “citizen scientist”. Each participant will receive basic instruction on the scientific method, data collection, and how data is important in managing natural resources. Depending on the beach and current weather conditions, and on liability, available activity themes will be focused on learning about local fauna, flora, and habitats, for example: fish, coral, turtle, water quality, weather patterns; participants will learn techniques for observation, identification,

Participants will be given brochures to take home, opportunities to sign up for citizen science volunteer programs (including Blue Flag), and will be guided in how to become better stewards of the environment. Waiver forms will be signed by parents/guardians of minors before participation; in-water activity is dependent upon Blue Flag liability policy and available certified life-saving staff present at the time of activity. Choice of several activities, prepared ahead of time by VIMAS, will create options that are flexible with that day’s weather conditions, and allows adjustment for the expected variety in skill and ability levels.

For more information please visit : http://www.facebook.com/pages/UVI-Center-for-Marine-and-Environmental-Studies/273484617154

St Thomas

Lindbergh Bay – Emerald Beach Resort

Saturday, January 14th – 10am

Keeping Paradise in its place

Virgin Islands Network of Environmental Educators

 Residents and visitors appreciate the Virgin Islands for a number of reasons, but the gorgeous beaches and stunning underwater ecosystems definitely rank at the top of our list of favorite things about St. Croix, St. Thomas, and St. John.

That’s why it’s important that we all keep our marine life healthy and safe. The Virgin Islands Network of Environmental Educators (VINE) has launched a new awareness campaign called “Leave Paradise in its Place” to tackle the problems we face in protecting our delicate ecosystems.

All native plants and animals of the USVI are protected under the Indigenous Species Act. It is illegal to take, catch, possess, injure, harass, or kill any native animal, or plant. All fish (unless harvested for food), coral, shells, and other marine life are protected. This means no one is allowed to leave the territory with shells, corals or any other marine life in their possession, or to mail them off-island

 

Great Bay – Ritz Carlton Resort

Monday, January 16th, 2012 – 10am

Threats & Conservation of Sea Turtles                                                                                                                  

Contact person: STAR Network Volunteer – Erica Palmer 

STAR (Sea Turtle Assistance and Rescue) Network is a collaboration of Federal and Territorial agencies, non-governmental organizations, veterinarians, and community volunteers working together to respond to sea turtles in trouble. In addition to helping sick, injured, and disoriented sea turtle, STAR collects valuable information that allows for a better understanding of the threats facing sea turtles and better protection of these endangered species

The goal is to raise awareness about the threats to Virgin Islands endangered sea turtles. St. Thomas is a nesting habitat for three species of endangered sea turtles. Presentation will discuss the main characteristics of each species, major threats to sea turtles, and what humans can do to reduce these threats.

Presentation/Discussion, sample turtle carapi & scutes that participants can observe and touch, game for children

For more information please visit on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/pages/STAR-Sea-Turtle-Assistance-and-Rescue/129293040434939#!/pages/STAR-Sea-Turtle-Assistance-and-Rescue/129293040434939?sk=info

 

The local community and visiting guests are encouraged to participate in these free presentations.

Meet the presenters at the Blue Flag Information boards on the respective dates.

For additional information contact: Valerie Peters, Blue Flag USVI Coordinator, valerie.peters@valevents.com 340 344 8446

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Contact: Valerie Peters
Blue Flag USVI (340) 344 8446

Valerie.peters@valevents.com

www.blueflagusvi.org

1st Blue Flag Environmental Education Activities scheduled for Saturday, December 17th, 2011

St Thomas, USVI — Blue Flag USVI in conjunction with the Virgin Islands Network of Environmental Educators (VINE) will host the first of a series of environmental education presentations at the newly certified Blue Flag beaches. The free presentations are scheduled at each of the respective beaches.

December 17th Presentations

St Croix – Palms at Pelican Cove – 8:00am

Presenter: Marcia Taylor

Virgin Islands Marine Advisory Service, UVI

Beach Combing and Cleaning                                                                                                                                  

Help people become aware of local organisms  and increase awareness about the damage debris can cause to marine wildlife, the environment and to humans.

The beach can be a great place to learn about the marine life that lives in the surrounding waters.  Fragments of marine animals, shells, and seaweeds are treasures washed up and available for us to enjoy and learn from.  In this activity, participants explore the beach to identify marine invertebrates, shells, and algal. Manmade debris damages our coastal environment and poses a threat to marine wildlife and humans. As we find manmade debris, we will discuss the threats and bag it for disposal.  Throughout the activity, the Leave Paradise in its Place message will be emphasized.                                                                                                                                                                

 Activities -  Beach exploration, discussion, and beach clean-up                                                                                                                                       

 

St John – Trunk Bay – 10am

Presenter:  Karl Pytlik

Contact: nolionfishstj@yahoo.com

CORE Foundation

Lion Fish Awareness Presentation

The mission of The Caribbean Oceanic Restoration and Education (CORE) Foundation is to advance the profession of marine stewardship to ensure the longevity, preservation and benefits of our Caribbean Sea. The Caribbean Lionfish Response Program is unique proactive program designed to keep the invasion of the Indo-Pacific Lionfish from destroying our sea life, corals and reefs.

The Caribbean Lionfish Response Program aims at raising awareness about the threats of the indo-pacific Lionfish invasion.

A unique Pro-Active Lionfish Management Program designed to keep the invasive Lionfish from destroying our Marine Environs

Presentation/Discussion:

How did they get here? What are the consequences on the local eco-systems? Sample Lionfish. Various methods of identifying, locating and destroying these predatory fish

For more information please visit: http://nolionfish.com

 

St Thomas – Great Bay – Ritz Carlton Resort – 10am

Presenter: Wayne Donadelle

Contact:  - wayne.donadelle@DPNR.gov.vi

Virgin Islands Network of Environmental Educators

DPNR – Environmental Protection Division 

Keeping Paradise in its place – Beach monitoring

Residents and visitors appreciate the Virgin Islands for a number of reasons, but the gorgeous beaches and stunning underwater ecosystems definitely rank at the top of our list of favorite things about St. Croix, St. Thomas, and St. John.

That’s why it’s important that we all keep our marine life healthy and safe. The Virgin Islands Network of Environmental Educators (VINE) has launched a new awareness campaign called “Leave Paradise in its Place” to tackle the problems we face in protecting our delicate ecosystems.

 All native plants and animals of the USVI are protected under the Indigenous Species Act. It is illegal to take, catch, possess, injure, harass, or kill any native animal, or plant. All fish (unless harvested for food), coral, shells, and other marine life are protected. This means no one is allowed to leave the territory with shells, corals or any other marine life in their possession, or to mail them off-island

The local community and visiting guests are encouraged to participate in these free presentations.

Meet the presenters at the Blue Flag Information boards at on Saturday, December 17th, 2011.

Pelican Cove – 8am

Trunk Bay and Great Bay Ritz Carlton – 10am

 For additional information contact: Valerie Peters, Blue Flag USVI Coordinator, valerie.peters@valevents.com 340 344 8446

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The Blue Flag program for beaches and marinas is run by the international, non-governmental, non-profit organization FEE (the Foundation for Environmental Education). The Blue Flag program was started in France in 1985. It has been operating in Europe since 1987 and in areas outside of Europe since 2001, when South Africa joined. Today, Blue Flag has become a truly global program with an ever-increasing number of countries participating in the program.

 

The Blue Flag program promotes sustainable development in freshwater and marine areas. It challenges local authorities and beach operators to achieve high standards in the four categories of: water quality, environmental management, environmental education and safety. Over the years, the Blue Flag has become a highly respected and recognized international eco-label working to bring together the tourism and environmental sectors at local, regional and national levels.

 Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE) is an international organisation that has been promoting environmental education for sustainable development since 1981. FEE is an umbrella organisation with members in around 60 countries world-wide. FEE is active in environmental education mainly through five programmes: Blue Flag, Eco-Schools, Young Reporters for the Environment, Learning about Forests, and Green Key. More information about FEE and the FEE programmes can be found at www.fee-international.org 

FEE / Blue Flag - Blue Flag first for Sint Maarten and the US Virgin Islands

On the 28 September 2011, the Blue Flag International Jury has awarded the Blue Flag to a beach and a marina in Sint Maarten as well as 4 beaches in the US Virgin Islands for the first time. Sint Maarten and the US Virgin Islands have therefore now completed their pilot phase and have achieved full implementation of the Blue Flag programme.

The International Jury decided to award the Blue Flag to 81 beaches and 13 marinas in the Bahamas, Brazil, Dominican Republic, French Departments and Territories, Jamaica, New Zealand, Puerto Rico, Sint Maarten, South Africa, Turks and Caicos Islands, US Virgin Islands and the United Arab Emirates. Detailed information about the 2011-2012 awards for the Southern

Hemisphere and the Caribbean will be published on the Blue Flag website http://www.blueflag.org from  1 November 2011.

Malcolm Powell, Chair of the International Blue Flag Jury and member of the FEE Executive Board, said: “Blue Flag is proud to count so many qualitative sites in the world, and to see the interest for the programme increase as more countries join us.”

Originally a French idea, the Blue Flag programme became an international award in 1987 and has since spread across the world, expanding from one to 41 countries and reaching New Zealand, South Africa, Canada and Brazil. In 2011, the Blue Flag sites around the world are in total 3650. 

Each year, national Blue Flag juries assess all Blue Flag candidates to ensure they meet all of the criteria for beaches and marinas at the national and international level. Those that do are then forwarded to the International Jury, who focuses on set criteria that varies from year to year, before giving a final verdict.

 The International Jury is composed of representatives from the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), International Lifesaving Federation (ILS), the World Conservation Union (IUCN), an international environmental education expert, the International Council of Marine Industry Associations (ICOMIA) and the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE).

 The Blue Flag International Jury would like to congratulate all sites awarded this year for their commitment to the programme and the high standards achieved for the public and our environment.

The Blue Flag International also greatly appreciates the support of its sponsors: Corona Extra, Shipmate and BeachTech.