Hurricane Recovery and Resiliency Task Force emphasizes growth, opportunity through collaboration
ST. CROIX, U.S. Virgin Islands – The Hurricane Recovery and Resiliency Task Force, created by U.S. Virgin Islands Governor Kenneth E. Mapp, met on St. Croix on Wednesday as part of the Governor’s mission to rebuild the Territory in a way that prioritizes sustainability and resiliency.
“Recovering from the storm is not only a priority, but a necessity”, said Clifford Graham, Chairman of the USVI Hurricane Recovery Committee and CEO of The West Indian Company.
Wednesday’s collaborative meeting was held at Government House in St. Croix and included local and national experts from both the public and private sectors.
Participants included Tom Secunda, Co-Founder, Vice Chairman and Member of the Management Committee, Bloomberg LP; Dr. David Hall, President of the University of the Virgin Islands; Domingo Camarano, Southern California and Southern Nevada Area PM-CM Business Line Leader, AECOM; Congresswoman Stacey Plaskett; and Deanna James, Executive Director of the St. Croix Foundation. Various working groups also presented updates on health, vulnerable categories, and the economy.
Dr. Hall said the university’s resiliency assets - strategic research, climate change expertise, centers of excellence, workforce development, inter-agency collaboration, and marine and environmental research - play an invaluable role in rebuilding the Territory.
“We need to take full advantage of these assets and institutionalize this concept of resiliency,” Hall said.
Deanna James emphasized the critical direct services nonprofits provide as well as the importance of including these organizations in the resiliency conversation.
“We will be advocates to ensure that nonprofits are a part of the conversation in order to move towards a holistic recovery,” James said.
Governor Mapp said the amount of federal funding dedicated to the USVI provides a unique opportunity to “effectively invest these dollars in order to mitigate and harden our Territory so that we are able to withstand future natural disasters.”