February 2018

News Release

Hurricane Maria ESF-10 Puerto Rico
Press Contact: 939-401-6872
Vessel Hotline: 786-521-3900

CHARLOTTE AMALIE, U.S. Virgin Islands — The U.S. Coast Guard and all of its federal partners and contractors, in support and under the direction of the USVI Department of Planning and Natural Resources (DPNR), completed maritime pollution mitigation and vessel removal operations Wednesday in the U.S. Virgin Islands per the FEMA Emergency Support Function -10 mission assignment.

Resolve Marine Group personnel completed the removal of the final vessel in Benner Bay Wednesday and placed it in the temporary staging area near Red Hook, St Thomas, USVI.

The DPNR, U.S. Coast Guard, Environmental Protection Agency, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Army Corps of Engineers established the ESF-10 Incident Command Post at Yacht Haven Grande in St. Thomas and began operations Oct. 16. The objectives of the team were to identify and protect environmentally sensitive areas, species and historically sensitive sites; and to identify, assess and remove vessels and other containers displaced by the 2017 hurricanes to mitigate the release of oil, fuel and other hazardous substances into the marine environment.

ESF-10 response teams completed the following during their span of operations:

Identified and assessed 479 displaced vessels
Removed or monitored the removal of 459
Removed 3,668 hazardous chemical containers
Recovered 12,449 gallons of fuel/oil waste
Removed 309 batteries

“I am grateful to all of the agencies and personnel that make up the ESF-10 team for their professionalism and dedication in completing this daunting task and helping return our maritime environment to its pre-storm condition,” said Howard Forbes, Director USVI DPNR.

For questions about this press release call Buddy Dye, ESF-10 PIO, at (757) 272-4471.

The ESF 10 Command Post will close March 1. For questions about the ESF-10 mission after that day please contact DPNR at 340-244-9066 or email howard.forbes@dpnr.vi.gov.