Catherine van Kampen
Road Town, Tortola and New York, New York, Wednesday, July 3, 2002…
In a special ceremony in the British Virgin Islands, Winthrop Rockefeller, Lt. Governor of Arkansas, recently showed his support for the BVI’s environmental preservation programs.
The Lt. Governor donated his own boat, a 26-foot Shamrock, to the British Virgin Islands National Parks Trust to assist in the management of the national parks systems. The boat will be used primarily for maintaining the national park’s moorings system, which helps prevent irreparable damage to the living reefs and sea bottom.
Honorable Reeial George, Honorable Deputy Chief Minister Julian Fraser, His Excellency Governor Frank Savage, Allen Parker, Chairman of the Board of the BVI National Parks Trust, Joseph Smith Abott, Director of the Board of the BVI National Parks Trust, and fellow Board members and staff of the BVI National Parks Trust attended the mid-day ceremony in Road Town, Tortola. The BVI Tourist Board’s new director, Kedrick Malone, and press office, Keith Dawson, were also in attendance of the ceremony, which was followed by lunch.
The Trustees have been working on raising local and global awareness about the importance of preserving the BVI's unique and fragile national parks system.
Lt. Governor Rockefeller, along with several other Trustees including Peter Jennings, Anne Hearst, Dr. Jarecki, and Jean-Michael Cousteau, has made prior trips to the BVI this year to raise awareness of the great environmental treasures of this Caribbean archipelago that is comprised of forty-plus islands.
Mr. Joseph Smith Abbott, Director of the Parks, commented, “Mr. Rockefeller’s donation of this vessel will augment our stewardship of the National Parks and our marine environment. The BVI National Parks Trust, through the use of this vessel, will ensure that marine areas are monitored and patrolled continuously while maintaining the system of moorings buoys which prevent anchor damage on coral reefs. The Trust is indeed grateful for this generous donation. We look forward to a continued good working relationship with Lt. Governor Rockefeller and the Trustees of the British Virgin Islands National Parks, USA.”
The British Virgin Islands National Parks Trust actively manages nineteen of the BVI’s national parks, including eighteen terrestrial parks and one marine park, that are scattered throughout the forty-plus British Virgin Islands. In total, the Parks Trust manages 4,167 acres or eleven percent of the land and sea in the BVI.
The National Park’s Trust environmental program consists of five key project areas in Bio-diversity Assessment and Management, Management of Terrestrial Parks, Marine Conservation Program, Historical Preservation and Public awareness and Environmental Education.
“We are very grateful for Lt. Governor Rockefeller’s gift,” said the British Virgin Islands Tourist Board’s Director of Tourism, Kedrick Malone. “Lt. Governor Rockefeller is raising critical awareness about the importance of preserving our national, natural treasures, which comprises some of the world’s most ecologically diverse environments. Lt. Governor Rockefeller’s family has played a historic role here in the BVI and we are happy the Lt. Governor continues to lend his influential voice to the environment, as well as make such a generous charitable gift to our unique islands.”
The BVI National Parks Trust, found on the Internet at www.bvinationalparkstrust.org, can be reached at 284-494-3904 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Information on traveling to the British Virgin Islands is available from the British Virgin Islands Tourist Board online at www.bvitouristboard.com or 800-835-8530. For further information on the Trustees of the BVI National Parks Trust, please contact J.C. Pierce at email@example.com. Photographs available by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or kadawson@bvitouristboard.