This page will be updated with the major events in the campaign to Save Coral Bay. Only those events involving the Summer’s End Group project (SEG) are reported here. Please check back regularly to keep yourself informed on our campaign.
- March 14, 2019 – (SEG) Army Corps Status: Waiting for Summers End Responses to NOAA
As of March 14, 2019, the Army Corps of Engineers has not received any response from the Summer’s End Group to the additional information requested by NOAA Habitat Conservation Division (HCD) and NOAA Protected Resources Division (PRD) in October 2018. NOAA HCD is reviewing the SEG project for impacts to Essential Fish Habitat, including sea grasses. This is required under the Magnuson-Stevens Fisheries Conservation and Management Act. NOAA PRD is reviewing the project for impacts to threatened and endangered species under Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act.
- September/October 2018 – (SEG) Federal Agencies Request Additional Information from Summers End Group
The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) Protected Resources Division (PRD) and NMFS Habitat Conservation Division (HCD) have both requested additional information from SEG in order to initiate their formal consultations under federal statutes. These two agencies, both within NOAA, are responsible for reviewing impacts to endangered and protected species, including sea turtles, as well as for reviewing impacts to Essential Fish Habitat (EFH).The letters received via the Freedom of Information Act had the actual information requests redacted since they were initiated by a different agency than the Army Corps. We have requested the redacted content and will post it as soon as it is available.
- July 10-12, 2018 – (SEG) Army Corps Initiates Consultation with Federal Agencies
On July 10, 2018 and July 12, 2018, the US Army Corps of Engineers initiated formal consultation with two federal agencies: the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) Protected Resources Division and the NMFS Habitat Conservation Division. These agencies are responsible for assessing impacts of Army Corps permit requests on marine endangered species and on Essential Fish Habitat.The consultation requests included extensive supporting materials. In fact, it appears that the entire administrative record – all public comments, letters, formal submissions, expert reports, agency comments – were included in the documentation sent to the agencies. The cover letters provide a guide into the attached documentation. The cover letters specifically identify some areas where the applicant’s estimates of impacts differ from other experts, and request the agencies to make determinations of impacts according to their relevant rules and regulations.
- May 16, 2018 – “What is really going on with the Summer’s End Group?”
With the worst of the hurricane impacts behind us, it was finally possible to accumulate the information regarding the status of the Summer’s End Group project. Long delays due to communications outages and lack of telephone service have slowed down the flow of information, and this was an opportunity to update the public on what had been happening in the Army Corps permitting process during the previous nine months.The op-ed, entitled “What is really going on with the Summer’s End Group?” was published in the Virgin Islands Daily News on May 16, 2018. It is reproduced in its entirety on the link below.
- April 11, 2018 – (SEG) Coral Bay Property Owner Sues Summers End Group
The owners of the “Coccoloba Plaza” – one of the parcels which the Summer’s End Group had planned to utilize in their marina project – have sued SEG seeking a declaratory judgment to “quiet” their title and alleging “title slander” by SEG.This lawsuit apparently stems from a document that SEG filed in the USVI Deed Recorder’s office claiming that they executed a contract to purchase the property in 2013. The owners of the property are now, apparently, contesting the validity of that filing. We have obtained a copy of the “Memorandum of Contract for Purchase” and the docket for the lawsuit filed in April 2018. All of the documents may be found on the page referenced in the link below.
- May 4, 2018 – (SEG) CBCC and Save Coral Bay Submit Analysis of SEG Responses
After reviewing the Summers End Group responses to the Army Corps from August 2017, December 2017 and March 2018, we have filed comments on errors and omissions in these SEG responses. The documents filed by CBCC and Save Coral Bay may be found on the page referenced below.
- March 2018 – (SEG) Summer’s End Group Submits Responses to Army Corps
A final set of responsive documents were submitted by SEG to the Army Corps in February/March 2018. These documents may be found on the page below.
- January 2018 – (SEG) Army Corps Sends Third Request for Additional Information and Preliminary Determination
On January 26, 2018, the Army Corps send a THIRD request for additional information to the Summer’s End Group. In this letter the Army Corps also communicated their preliminary staff findings regarding the SEG permit application. The letter included the following language:”Please be advised that based on current site conditions and the most recent information you have provided, my staff has preliminarily determined that your proposal may be contrary to the Public Interest. Pursuant to Corps Regulations at 33 CFR 320.4(a)(1) your permit application would be denied if ultimately found to be contrary to the Public Interest. Please be advised that this is not our final determination concerning compliance with the Public Interest, or notice of intent thereof. This letter does, however, represent the preliminary staff review of the proposed work and/or structures. We are providing this information at the present stage of the process to allow you the opportunity to modify your project plan to reflect an alternative that would have less impact on the aquatic resources, fully assess the further commitment of resources for design dependent on permit issuance, and add to our record whatever additional information you feel is relevant to our review process.”The full text of the Army Corps letter to SEG may be found on the page referenced below (the “Third Comments for Rebuttal” letter on that page).
- December 2017 – (SEG) Summer’s End Group Submits Additional Responses to Army Corps
SEG has submitted additional documents purporting to respond to the Army Corps letter of deficiencies from October 2017. The full set of documents may be seen on the page linked below.
- October 2017 – (SEG) Army Corps Sends Second Request for Additional Information to SEG
Following review of SEG’s response submission, the Army Corps issued a second request for additional information. This letter from USACE to SEG may be found on the page below (the “Second Comments for Rebuttal” letter on the page.
- September 6, 2017 – HURRICANE IRMA
Coral Bay, and the entire island of St John, has been devastated in a direct hit from the strongest hurricane in Atlantic history. Winds of over 200 mph have wracked destruction across the entire island.The photograph below is the remaining rubble of a structure that was located in the precise location of the main pier of the SEG marina. No words can describe the devastation.
- August 2017 – (SEG) Summer’s End Group Submits Responses to Army Corps
SEG has submitted documents purporting to respond to the Army Corps letter of deficiencies from October 22, 2015. These documents were sent two weeks before St John was devastated by Hurricane Irma. The full set of documents may be seen on the page linked below.
- February 1, 2017 – (SEG) Public Letter to USACE Requesting Permit Denial
A public letter, signed by 1,835 individuals, has been sent to the Army Corps requesting that they deny the permit requested by the Summer’s End Group due to SEG’s failure to respond to the information requested by the Corps. It has been 15 months since the Corps provided 12 months for response to additional information requests and SEG has not submitted any response in this period.
- Aug/Sept/Oct 2016 – (SEG) Briefs / Replies in Writ of Review Lawsuit
During the months of August, September and October 2016 several briefs were filed by the parties to the Superior Court Writ of Review lawsuit, challenging the CZM and BLUA decisions in the SEG CZM permit decisions. Briefs were filed by the Virgin Islands Conservation Society (in conjunction with Save Coral Bay), the Moravian Conference (in conjunction with T-Rex), the Department of Planning and Natural Resources (DPNR, representing CZM and BLUA), and SEG as an intervenor in the lawsuit. These filings are all linked below:
- The court order granting the Writ of Review:
- The Memorandum on Points of Law filed by VICS and Save Coral Bay.
- The Memorandum on Points of Law filed by the Moravian Conference.
- The Opposition Brief filed by Summer’s End Group.
- The Opposition Brief filed by DPNR/BLUA.
- The Reply to DPNR/SEG briefs filed by VICS and Save Coral Bay
- The Reply to DPNR/SEG briefs filed by the Moravian Conference
- July 2016 – (SEG) Petition for Writ of Review Filed in VI Superior Court
Now that the Board of Land Use Appeals has completed its hearing, the opponents to the Summer’s End Group are able to file lawsuits in VI Superior Court. Both the Virgin Islands Conservation Society (VICS,in partnership with Save Coral Bay) and the Moravian Conference (in partnership with T-Rex) have petitioned the Superior Court to review the actions of the St John CZM Committee and the Board of Land Use Appeals. This Writ of Review is the next phase of the opposition to the CZM decision approving permits for SEG in October 2014.
- May 2016 – (SEG) Two Key Land Parcels Sold – Not to Summer’s End Group
The bank which owned two of the central parcels of the Summer’s End Group project has sold these parcels to a third party with no connection to Summer’s End. These parcels are the “Voyages Building” and the empty lot behind it. Summer’s End had proposed to make this building the centerpiece of their marina project. As a consequence of the sale, SEG has had to notify the Army Corps and CZM, in writing, that they no longer have access to these parcels and they are not part of the SEG project.The letter from SEG to the Army Corps stated: “I just wanted to confirm with you that we will be modifying our upland plans to remove parcels 13 A and 13 B Estate Carolina from the project.“
- November 2, 2015 – (SEG) US Army Corps of Engineers Stops Processing Summers End Group Application
Following a request by Summer’s End for an extended time period to respond to the Oct 22 USACE information request, the Corps responded by placing the entire application on hold. The Army Corps said “We acknowledge receipt of your letter dated November 2, 2015, soliciting an extension of time to respond to our request for information dated October 22, 2015, regarding the above referenced permit application.
Please be advised that by action of this letter your application is being withdrawn from processing. The application will remain in abeyance pending receipt of the information requested on October 22, 2015.”
- October 22, 2015 – (SEG) US Army Corps of Engineers Sends Extensive Information Request to Summers End Group
The Army Corps of Engineers sent a comprehensive information request to the Summer’s End Group requiring response to all of the issues raised by the federal agencies, the Save Coral Bay group, the public comments, and the comments of the Coral Bay Community Council. The developer was given 30 days to respond to the information request and told that the permit could be denied if they do not respond.
- October 3, 2015 – (SEG/T-Rex) US Army Corps of Engineers Visits Coral Bay and Meets With Save Coral Bay Group
A contingent from the Army Corps visited St John for a site visit to the proposed marina location. They spent several hours with the Save Coral Bay group, the Coral Bay Community Council and the Coral Bay Yacht Club. The Corps listened to the main concerns of the community, was taken on a walking tour of the site, and a boat tour of the harbor. The day before visiting Coral Bay the Corps was escorted by the National Park Service on a visit to Hurricane Hole and a other natural and historic sites on St John.
- August 24, 2015 – (SEG) Second Army Corps Public Comment Period Ends
The public response to the second Army Corps comment period has been phenomenal. In total, counting the letters of the first round, over 20,000 individuals have sent letters to the Corps objecting to the marina. A petition with over 8,000 signatures was included in this round of comments. The CBCC and SCB have updated their formal comments with extensive new analysis. This has been a monumental effort involving thousands of individuals, countless hours of pro bono legal assistance, and coordination by Save Coral Bay with assistance from the Coral Bay Community Council. The entire submission is too extensive to post, but the cover letter from the legal team summarizes the reasons the Army Corps should deny the permit requested by Summer’s End. It can be found here:
- July 9, 2015 – (SEG) Second Army Corps Public Notice – New Comment Period Announced
When US FWS withdrew the grant from SEG, they ceased being the lead agency for the Army Corps permit environmental review. As a result, the Army Corps published a new “Public Notice” and requested that the public resubmit ALL comment letters that had been previously submitted. The only change in the project description was removal of the 75 position public mooring field. The marina and upland project were identical to the prior Public Notice. More information about the new comment period may be found here:
- March 17, 2015 – (SEG) US Fish and Wildlife Service Rescinds Summer’s End Group Grant
On March 17, 2015, the US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) withdrew the Boating Infrastructure Grant (BIG) previously awarded to the Summers End Group citing “the formal comments from internal and external federal agencies, other environmental interests, and the general public.” This is a major setback for the Summer’s End Group, who had hoped to receive up to $1.3 million in grant money. However the terms of the grant stated that a project is ineligible if it causes significant environmental damage, and the Summer’s End project clearly is ineligible on those grounds.
- March 5, 2015 – (SEG) US Army Corps of Engineers Comment Period Ends
The extended comment period for the US Army Corps of Engineers closed today, with an overwhelming response from the public. Over 13,000 letters, five expert reports, thousands of pages of comment, legal analysis, over 5000 signatures on a petition – all opposing the Summers End Group marina in Coral Bay harbor. For an overview of the public response during the comment period click the link below:
Extensive Public Response to Army Corps Comment Period
- January 7, 2015 – (SEG) US Army Corps of Engineers Public Notice
Today the United States Army Corps of Engineers published the Public Notice announcing the start of the public comment period for the Summers End Group marina application. The original notice was for a 25 day comment period, which has subsequently been extended twice. The comment period is now set to expire on March 5, 2015. Public comments have been extensive – over 1000 individual letters and 12,000 letters submitted through the National Parks Conservation Association. The full text of our press release on the public comments may be found here:
- December 16, 2014 – (SEG) VI Legislature to Delay Permit Hearings Until 31st Legislature
Today Senator Janette Millin Young, Chairwoman of the Committee for Economic Development, Agriculture and Planning, announced that the Summers End Group trust lands permit would NOT be on the agenda of the final committee meeting of the 30th Legislature, and that the project would not be considered until after the 31st Legislature convenes in 2015.Senator Millin Young said: “Tomorrow, the committee I chair, the Committee on Economic Development, Agriculture and Planning, will vet several requests for major and minor coastal zone permits. Absent from the agenda will be the planned Summers End Marina on St. John and the proposed Mandahl Bay hotel development on St. Thomas. Beginning next month, the committee will schedule site visits and meet with the proponents and opponents of these measures and fairly consider them.”Senator Millin Young’s office staff and several other Senators have confirmed in conversations with me that the issues brought to light in the legal appeals of the SEG permit, the advice of legal counsel not to process permits while appeals are pending, and the strong public sentiment and controversy surrounding the SEG project were all factors in the decision to hold off processing the permit. The full text of Senator Millin Young’s comments may be found here:
- November 24, 2014 – (SEG) Coral Bay Moravian Church Appeals Summers End Group Permits
The Emmaus Moravian church, one of the oldest institutions in Coral Bay, has filed an appeal of the CZM permits granted to the Summers End Group. Their appeal, which was prepared completely independently from the appeal of the Virgin Islands Conservation Society, points to numerous defects in the application by the Summers End Group. The Moravian church is particularly concerned about the excessive size of the SEG marina, and the apparent lack of financial support for the SEG development. The entire Moravian church appeal may be found here:
- November 19, 2014 – (SEG) Letter of Support from Friends of the Park
We are thrilled that the Friends of the Virgin Islands National Park has sent an email to their 15,000 members announcing support for the Save Coral Bay movement and encouraging engagement with us and with the Coral Bay Community Council. Click on the link below for the full text of the Friends of the Park email.
- November 16, 2014 – Gubernatorial Candidate Kenneth Mapp Visits Coral Bay
On the eve of the runoff election, gubernatorial candidate Kenneth Mapp and his running mate Osbert Potter visited Coral Bay to attend a “town hall” style meeting, answering questions and concerns of residents on matters of local importance, including the Coral Bay Marina. Click on the link below to see some video clips of key comments made by Governor Elect Ken Mapp on the Summers End Group marina:
- November 14, 2014 – (SEG) Legal Appeals Filed Against Permits Issued to Summers End Group
Appeals were filed today with the Board of Land Use Appeals (BLUA) against the CZM permits issued to the Summers End Group for the marina and mooring field in Coral Bay Harbor. The appeals cite a myriad of defects in the application documents that were submitted, the procedure used by CZM to act on the application, conflicts of interest on the part of a sitting CZM board member, defects in the granted permits, and total lack of environmental review. The complete legal filings may be found by clicking on the image below – the documents entitled “Appendix B” are the most relevant ones, containing the specific complaints.
- November 12, 2014 – (SEG) Legal Strategy Announced For Appeals of SEG Permits
See our Press Release announcing partnership with Virgin Islands Conservation Society (VICS) and introducing our legal teal to fight the Summers End Group permits.
- October 3, 2014 – Creation of the Save Coral Bay Fund on GoFundMe
Following the CZM decision to grant permits to the Summers End Group, we’ve launched a funding campaign to underwrite the costs of our legal appeals. It’s not finely polished, but it gets the message and the urgency across. Visit this link to see the current status of the campaign:
- October 1, 2014 – (SEG) CZM Decision Meeting on Summers End Group Permits
With a 2-0 vote the St John Coastal Zone Management committee approved the Major Land Permit and Major Water Permit for the Summers End Group, with virtually no significant special conditions. This clear lack of review, lack of findings required under the CZM Act, lack of complete applications, and lack of legal process will be appealed within 45 days.
- August 20, 2014 – (SEG) Coastal Zone Management Public Hearing for Summers End Group
An overflow crowd of St John residents attended the CZM public hearing for the Summers End Group. Extensive testimony was given on the problems with the huge project, and the numerous ways in which it was not consistent with the goals, policies and standards of the Virgin Islands Coastal Zone Management Act.