Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland visited the Nature Conservancy on St. Croix in November and in a press conference, she highlighted the efforts to bolster coastal and climate resilience in the U.S. territories in a brief press conference held Saturday .

According to the St. Croix Source, Haaland said that Interior has invested $570,000 in the U.S. Virgin Islands and provided $400,000 in fiscal year 2022 for the coral reef and natural reef initiative. The program provides grant funding and management and protection of coral reefs to combat invasive species in insular areas, contributing to the health of coral reef ecosystems and other natural resources for long-term economic and social benefits.

Haaland also commented that she learned about the massive destruction caused by hurricanes Irma and Maria to homes, businesses, and communities, impacting people’s livelihoods and the economy, as well as damaging coral reefs on both St. Croix and St. John. She also learned about ongoing restoration work in the community as well as ongoing work to restore and maintain coral reefs that will sustain a healthy environment for the territory.

Read the full article here.

Photo provided by the Department of Interior, featuring Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland taking a glimpse at the coral restoration process on St. Croix

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