Congresswoman Stacey Plaskett Announces Two Grants from the Department of Interior
Washington, D.C. – Congresswoman Stacey E. Plaskett (USVI), Ranking Member on the Subcommittee on the Interior, Energy, and Environment released the following statement regarding two grants from the Department of Interior that will streamline the coordination of recovery on St. Croix and to expand water storage capacity and upgrade irrigation systems in support of farmers on St. Thomas.
“Today I am pleased to announce the U.S. Virgin Islands will receive two important grants from the Department of Interior today. The first Grant is for the USVI Department of Agriculture for $185,051 to construct a water cistern and upgrade existing irrigation and distribution capacity for farmers in the Bordeaux Farming Community on St. Thomas. A 100,000-gallon cistern will be built to augment the current storage capacity of 6,000 gallons, nearly doubling the number of farms served to twelve and allowed for increased food production locally. The USVI Department of Agriculture’s goal has been to increase the amount of locally-grown fresh food and improve food security. Following the hurricanes in 2017, the territory was reduced to 100% reliance on food imports for several months.
“The second Grant is for the St. Croix Foundation for Community Development for $13,000 will be used to develop a community-wide engagement initiative with Open Space Technology to facilitate recovery assistance needs and efforts across multiple agencies and organizations. The plan is to build upon successful recovery work that is already underway, highlight areas of concern, and foster greater collaboration across government, the private sector, and philanthropic organizations throughout the community. The St. Croix Foundation is working in close collaboration with FEMA and other community leaders on this initiative.
“These important grants will benefit the Virgin Islands tremendously with our ongoing rebuilding efforts making the Virgin Islands whole again after experiencing two devastating hurricanes. The United States government and the international community should work with the affected local governments to restore infrastructure, provide critical humanitarian assistance, and help recover and build back our islands.”