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SENATOR CALLS FOR HEARING ON BENNER BAY

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In a letter to the chair of the 23rd Legislature's Planning and Environmental Protection Committee, Sen. Donald "Ducks" Cole has asked that a meeting be called to examine "marine-related issues and unsafe conditions" in the Benner Bay Lagoon area.
According to Cole's letter to Sen. Adlah "Foncie" Donastorg, "Coexisting with unsightly debris are varied derelict and sunken vessels littering the navigational channel and surrounding waters of this designated Area of Particular Concern."
Noting a decline in the territory's marine economy, Cole said charter vessels depart the Virgin Islands during the hurricane months "primarily because of limited sheltering harbors, or mooring facilities lacking protective safe haven."
Cole told Donastorg the committee "needs to ascertain from government officials if funding is available for coastline debris removal and the possibility of dredging the channel for improved navigation and better aesthetics."
Also, Cole wrote, issues relating to the Planning and Natural Resources Department's monitoring "for compliance, issuance of fines for violations and other related matters need reviewing."

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