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Finding of No Significant Impact for the Potential Land Exchange with the Government of the Virgin Islands for Public Education

UPDATE: Finding of No Significant Impact Released.

The National Park Service (NPS) is pleased to announce the availability of the "Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI)" for the potential land exchange between Virgin Islands National Park and the Government of the U.S. Virgin Islands (Territory).

In August 2022, in response to a request from the Territory, the NPS released an Environmental Assessment (EA) that analyzes conveying a parcel of NPS-owned land (known as the Catherineberg Estate [Tract No. 01-137A]) as a possible location to support the island's local educational needs, in exchange for Territory-owned Whistling Cay.

The FONSI, approved by the NPS regional director for Interior Region 2 on December 8, 2022, describes the selected action and explains why the plan will have no significant effects on the natural, cultural, or human environment. Therefore, an environmental impact statement will not be prepared. Alternative 2, the preferred alternative, was selected.

The project is needed because the Territory has determined that the Catherineberg parcel is the preferred site on St. John for a new public school, due its central location along an existing roadway and its relatively gentle slopes. The NPS will move forward in support of the potential exchange to provide opportunity for local officials to achieve their long-standing effort to construct the first public K-12 school on the island of St. John. Education is a component of the NPS mission and therefore, this request from the Territory aligns with NPS goals.

The NPS will continue to support and coordinate with the Territory on additional compliance elements as the land exchange proceeds and future design and development of the school progresses.
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