Dead Zone: The U.S. Virgin Islands

Pollution Edition

A Little Information on The U.S Virgin Islands

The U.S. Virgin Islands (VI) is a U.S. territory that is made up mainly of four tropical islands. They are located in the Caribbean only forty to fifty miles away form Puerto Rico and about one hundred and fifty away from Florida. The biggest island is St.Croix, followed by St.Thomas, St.John, and then Water Island. The capital of the VI is Charlotte Amalie, located on St.Thomas. The primary source of the islands revenue comes from tourism.
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Pollution in the VI

Eutrophication

Eutrophication has been the leading cause of pollution in the Virgin Islands.

Factors are believed to include sewage discharge from ships (feces and urine from humans and their animals) and failed septic systems. There is also human activity such as the killing of sea creatures (mainly fish) to support the demands of seafood. Human activity has helped to worsen the air pollution around the islands.

Why Worry About a Few Ships Polluting the Water?

This extra amount of feces added into the water help to make algae grow. Algae need oxygen to survive. Since they live in the water, they use up the oxygen in the water that other organisms, such as fish also need to survive. What happens is when the algae population increases, there is less water for all of the other organisms living in the sea, which means that more of these other organisms die, or move out. This can ultimately affect the economy being that the less beautiful resources that these islands have, the less people will want to come. Less tourism equals less money.

What is Being Done to Solve the Problem?

The U.S. Environmental Agency (EPA) has been completing assessments of the Islands' water quality, along with the amounts and types of animals living in the water. Recently, an agreement was made between EPA and two power plants that would punish the power plants for violating clean air acts, and would have them transfer to more renewable sources of energy (instead of petroleum and natural gas).

HELP TO KEEP THESE BEAUTIFUL LANDSCAPES BEAUTIFUL AND THE CULTURES ALIVE, FIGHT TO STOP THE FORMATION OF DEADZONES IN THE U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS