The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has formed an inter-agency effort to protect coral reefs off the shores of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
“The coral reefs of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands are renowned for their beauty, and their ecological and economic value,” said EPA Regional Administrator Judith A. Enck. “Unfortunately, these treasures are being destroyed. By working with our fellow governmental agencies, the EPA will help make sure coral reefs continue to contribute to the region’s economy and ecology for generations to come.”
Coral reef ecosystems throughout the Caribbean are being damaged by a growing number of problems such as overfishing, sediment runoff, pollution, disease and climate change, which causes the water to become warmer and more acidic.
On February 25th, the EPA effort. dubbed the Caribbean Coral Reef Protection Group, will host a public “listening session” on St. Thomas to hear the discussions and concerns of community groups and citizens regarding the state of the coral reefs