March 28, 2003 – Secretary of the Interior Gale Norton is to arrive in the Virgin Islands on Tuesday for a six-day visit — her first to the territory.
"It's an initial orientation for her," V.I. National Park Superintendent John King said.
Her plans call for visiting St. Thomas, St. John and St. Croix to meet with federal and local officials and tour projects and check out programs that fall under the Interior Department's jurisdiction. Most of her time will be spent on St. John.
"I hope that she will enjoy our islands and our people, as well as conduct the business of overseeing the department's work in the territory," Delegate Donna M. Christensen said in a release.
Norton is to fly into St. Thomas on Tuesday and meet that day with University of the Virgin Islands President LaVerne Ragster, UVI spokeswoman Patrice Johnson said.
The secretary is to stay on St. Thomas through Wednesday morning, fly to St. Croix Wednesday afternoon, and then travel back to St. John on Wednesday night. Efforts to learn more about her activities on St. Thomas and St. Croix from Government House were unsuccessful.
On St. John, after a Thursday morning news media briefing at the National Park Visitor Center in Cruz Bay, Norton will join park personnel for a boat tour around the island. "We'll talk about different issues," King said.
On Thursday night, the Friends of the V.I. National Park will host a reception for the secretary at Caneel Bay Resort, where she will stay while visiting St. John. On April 4, she'll take a hike to Leinster Bay, snorkel at Water Lemon Cay and have lunch at Skinny Legs Bar and Restaurant in Coral Bay. "She likes local color," King said.
On April 5, he said, Norton will go scuba diving out of Maho Bay Camps and will meet with Christensen on St. John. She is to leave the territory on April 6.
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