Center for Biological Diversity

Save Thatch Cay

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Please help the Center for Biological Diversity preserve the pristine beauty and rich biodiversity of Thatch Cay, one of the last undeveloped swaths of land in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

This 230-acre, uninhabited island is found in a tranquil body of water a half-mile off the northeast coast of St. Thomas. The cay's unspoiled beauty and ruggedly vegetated appearance make it a Virgin Islands gem. And there's more than just scenic beauty here: From leatherback sea turtles and brown pelicans to elkhorn and staghorn corals, Thatch Cay and its waters are home to critically endangered and threatened species.

Those species are at risk now as developers plan to build a luxury resort complex on the island for the exclusive use of an elite few. Both the community and local natural-resource managers recognize this development is not in the public's interest and have come out in force against it.

We need your help to preserve Thatch Cay, one of the few remaining areas of pristine and ecologically important flora and fauna in the island Caribbean.

Please, take a few minutes today to send a message opposing the development. Tell the Army Corps of Engineers that Thatch Cay is not a viable location for a high-end resort and should not be developed.

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Please take action by November 6, 2009.

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Thatch Cay photo by William B. Folsom, NOAA, NMFS.

The planned resort includes a hotel and residential units, yoga pavilion, spa, dining areas, tennis courts, human-made beaches, and a helicopter landing area for the exclusive use of an elite few.

Severe and significant impacts to the entire island and surrounding waters will be unavoidable. The construction of roadways and utility pipelines will degrade and fragment the cay. Construction and operation of the development will result in increased sedimentation, causing both short- and long-term damage to imperiled coral communities that are imperative to the
viability of the diverse marine ecosystem. In addition, the luxury resort may hurt other threatened and endangered species including loggerhead sea turtles, blue whales, finback whales, humpback whales, sei whales, sperm whales, the brown pelican, and the Virgin Islands tree boa.