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Bryan Gives Reasons For Boondoggles To Florida, Puerto Rico During COVID-19 Crisis

SAN JUAN — Governor Albert Bryan said he attended the first-ever Blue Tide Caribbean Summit in Puerto Rico today because he wants to grow the “blue economy” in the territory..

“In the USVI, we have traditionally governed and operated with our back to the water. However, we have an opportunity now, as we work to diversify our economy, to take full advantage of what our marine ecosystem has to offer.” Bryan allowed.

The governor pointed to the increase in vessels registered in the territory during the pandemic as one indicator of the tremendous economic potential that exists in the marine industry and noted recent investments, including the development of an agribusiness aquaponics center on St. Croix as examples of the administration laying the groundwork for a blue economy.

Bryan also noted a number of capital improvement projects to support the territory’s growing blue economy, including improvements to the fishing dock in Hull Bay on St. Thomas, and improvements to the Ann Abramson, Kings Alley and Gallows Bay piers on St. Croix.

Bryan Gives Reasons For Boondoggles To Florida, Puerto Rico During COVID-19 Crisis

During today’s summit, Bryan met with Puerto Rico Governor Pedro Pierluisi to discuss partnership opportunities and shared strategies on how Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands can lead eco-responsible business innovations in the region. The governors also talked about export services, technology, products, and knowledge in Blue Economy Solutions that could translate into millions annually for the islands.

Today’s summit comes less than a week after Bryan joined a delegation of Virgin Islands Senators led by Senator Kenneth Gittens for a series of meetings in Florida aimed at expanding the transportation and distribution industry in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Before returning to the territory tomorrow, Bryan will meet with the Executive Director of the VA Caribbean Healthcare System at the Veterans Affairs Hospital in San Juan.

By John McCarthy

John McCarthy is primarily known for his investigative reporting on the U.S. Virgin Islands. A series of reports beginning in the 1990's revealed that there was everything from coliform bacteria to Cryptosporidium in locally-bottled St. Croix drinking water, according to a then-unpublished University of the Virgin Islands sampling. Another report, following Hurricane Hugo in 1989, cited a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) confidential overview that said that over 40 percent of the U.S. Virgin Islands public lives below the poverty line. The Virgin Islands Free Press is the only Caribbean news source to regularly incorporate the findings of U.S. Freedom of Information Act requests. John's articles have appeared in the BVI Beacon, St. Croix Avis, San Juan Star and Virgin Islands Daily News. He is the former news director of WSVI-TV Channel 8 on St. Croix.