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We Must Protect Our Marine Environment

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Dear Source:
If the Leylon Sneed is granted permission to open a floating nightclub in a designated marine sanctuary, namely Christmas Cove, then what will prevent other developers from following this path and open floating bars in Magens Bay, Hull Bay, Lovango, Great Cruz Bay, Flamingo Bay or off Hans Lollick? The precedent set by allowing a floating nightclub in a pristine marine sanctuary is extremely dangerous. Irregardless of the precedent, why would anyone support such a ridiculous proposal? Would anyone allow a McDonalds restaurant in a quiet residential neighborhood? Should we propose a Wendy's at Magens Bay because "tourists are clamoring for it?" Christmas Cove is popular because it's beautiful, quiet and accessible. Boaters drop anchor in Christmas Cove to enjoy the incredible beauty, snorkle, swim and relax. Does anyone really believe that Christmas Cove is enhanced by a floating nightclub? The developers want us to believe that tourists are just dying for a cheeseburger and a frozen drink in Christmas Cove. Are you serious? Strict zoning laws must apply to the marine environment to prevent such madness. Christmas Cove will no longer be a marine sanctuary if the Leylon Sneed is allowed to move forward, and I guarantee that any opportunistic entreprenuer will be drafting their own application for a CZM permit if we ultimately decide to turn Christmas Cove into a commercial business zone. Perhaps we can open some floating retail shops next to the Leylon Sneed to take advantage of their traffic, or a floating strip mall off Sapphire with some dive gear and t-shirts?
As a resident of the Northside, I know this is not just an East End concern. This is an enormous territorial concern. For anyone living in the Virgin Islands who doesn't want to see a floating nightclub in front of your residence or throughout the islands, I urge you to voice your opposition to the Leylon Sneed application in writing and at the CZM meeting on March 4th. We need to send a message to CZM, DPNR, the U.S. Coast Guard, and our entire community that our marine environment must be protected from development, otherwise it will only be a matter of time before nightclubs, bars, and other floating commercial development are being proposed in the cove next to you. It will be a race to see who gets the other prized beaches first, and everyone living in St. Croix, St. Thomas, St. John and on Water Island should vehemently oppose this application.

Steven D. Morton
St. Thomas

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