Development

Historic Shipwreck to Be Relocated for Harbor Expansion in St. Thomas

Published

on

A pivotal decision emerged from the V.I. Port Authority Governing Board’s recent meeting, as Engineering Director Preston Beyer presented a proposal to allocate nearly $150,000 for the preservation of a mid-19th century shipwreck. This shipwreck, caught in the planned path of the St. Thomas Harbor dredging project, has been recognized as a significant cultural artifact by the Department of Planning and Natural Resources’ State Historic Preservation Office.

Beyer emphasized the importance of safeguarding such cultural treasures to ensure the support of the Army Corps of Engineers for the dredging initiative. Following thorough consultations with both local and federal entities, the decision was made to reposition the shipwreck to a nearby location, safely away from the dredging activities, without diminishing its historical value.

The financial aspect of this undertaking was addressed when VIPA Executive Director Carlton Dowe revealed a recent conversation with Governor Albert Bryan Jr., who assured that the necessary funds, amounting to no more than $149,509, would be secured. While the specifics of the funding sources were reserved for a private executive session, this dialogue underscores the commitment to both heritage preservation and infrastructural development.

Dowe articulated a clear stance to the board: the dredging project, essential for enhancing the harbor’s capacity to welcome larger vessels and boost the local cruise industry, hinges on the successful relocation of the shipwreck. This operation reflects a balanced approach to progress, ensuring that the expansion efforts do not come at the expense of the island’s rich historical legacy.

In a significant move last November, legislators earmarked $17 million for the harbor dredging, aimed at augmenting Charlotte Amalie’s ability to accommodate the next generation of cruise ships. This project stands as a testament to the island’s dedication to economic growth while preserving its cultural heritage, a principle strongly supported by Governor Bryan’s administration.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Trending

Exit mobile version