VIPCA Work 2021 Synopsis

Jan 6: Meeting with Department of Labour Apprenticeship Executive to discuss expansion of the VIPCA Marine Apprenticeship
Jan 8: Meeting with Governor’s Legal Counsel to discuss direction of the yacht charter industry with VISA Waiver investigation during COVID pandemic to enable foreign crews to temporarily work a USVI-only charter
Jan 12: O.Blake gave birth to Indigo Blake!
The March 2: Presentation given by VIPCA to Bluetide Puerto Rico Inc. in collaboration with Tetra Tech for U.S. Virgin Islands contribution to the “Blue Economy Strategic Implementation Plan for the U.S. Caribbean”
March 2&18: Meeting with VI Port Authority to discuss both the usage of waterfront for a Spring Yacht Show and continued refurbishment of Charlotte Amalie’s Waterfront for charter vessel docking year-round
March 4: VIPCA Testifies in Legislature on the new Minor Water Permit for 200 Moorings. The Committee of the Whole vote favourably.
March 9: Oriel Blake presents on Marine Industry and Youth training initiatives at Rotary Club
April 4: VIPCA launches U.S. Virgin Islands investigation for “Social Assessment of Sargassum in the Caribbean” responding to a research initiative by the University of Rhode Island
April 13 & 16: VIPCA meets with various Government departments exploring funding sources for the proposal received for a VI Shipyard to be proposed for WICO.
May 4: Meeting with the Commissioner of DPNR and each Director of Division of Coastal Zone Management, Fish and Wildlife and Enforcement meet with VIPCA to discuss nature of regulating U.S. Virgin Islands coastal waters with regards to mooring and anchoring
May 6: Contract & Industry Standard Committee Meetings get underway
May 25: VIPCA secures a grant to run 2022 VIPCA Junior Marine Apprenticeship to operate between charter yachts and a program out of the St. Thomas Yacht Club on hobbies and optimists
June 9: VIPCA Meets with Property and Procurement to explore options for funding of My Brothers Workshop – Marine through Disaster funding
June 28 – August 5: VIPCA Marine Apprenticeship five-week intensive captains training for Virgin Islands Youth:
• Swimming
• Discover Scuba Diving
• 5-day practical & theory sailing course at St Thomas Yacht Club
• 7-day sail and power-boat operation with passengers including seamanship, upkeep and customer service with Cruz Bay Watersports
• Various sail training days onboard power and sailing vessels
• Technical skill and proficiency in marine systems and mechanics
• US Coast Guard – half-a-day at the MSD
• 5-day STCW Basic Training (Standards of Training and Certification of Watch-keeping) worth $1200 per student.
A mentorship and scholarship program follows these apprentices to careers as captains and crew with VIPCA’s continued support of their careers being made successful in the Marine Industry
uly 19: VIPCA meets with Stacey Plaskett’s office to provide Congress Woman Plaskett orientation of current state of the marine charter industry with areas for attention within Congress
Initiation of negotiation with the Department of Health for COVID-19 protocol implementation for Government approval of the USVI Charter Yacht Show Approval
USVI Charter Yacht Show Sponsorship liaison with all sponsors
August 19: VIPCA Meets with NOAA for a discussion on Marine Economy Data in the USVI
August 26: VIPCA chairs Marine Task Force meeting with the Governor of the Virgin Islands and his chief of staff
September 1st: Virgin Islands Shipyard meeting with WICO Board Director
September 17th: Full day meeting with DPNR and Coastal Zone Management regarding mooring placements throughout the territory
September 22nd: Meeting with Department of Heath “Mitigation Huddle” with order given for a vaccinated-only event for USVI Charter Yacht Show. Various meetings with Yacht Show Committee succeeded
September 23rd: Meeting with CYBA for their AGM to be hosted in USVI
September 24th: USVI Yacht Charter Promo video commissioned by VIPCA. Meeting with the Department of Tourism Assistant Commissioner and Director of Media for funding approval.
October 15, 19 & 24: VIPCA speaks with Commissioner of Her Majesty’s Customs, British Virgin Islands discussing new licensing requirements
October 16: VIPCA raises concern with USVI Government and a conference with the BVI Ministries relevant to marine issues
October 6: Craig Harms presents as panelist representing VIPCA in St. Croix at the Governor’s Workforce Summit 2021 presenting issues of Marine recruitment in the territory
October 7: Oriel Blake presents as panelist in St.Thomas at the Governor’s Workforce Summit 2021 presenting issues of Marine recruitment in the territory and offering training solutions
October 29: Meeting with Raquel Berry-Benjamin, Commissioner of the Department of Education to further the “Vision” of Marine Training
November 7-10: USVI Charter Yacht Show
November 7: Albert Bryan Jr. Governor of the Virgin Islands visits yacht show and makes opening remarks including VIP guests The Honorable Alani Henneman, Asst. Commissioner of the Department of Tourism; Lisa Hamilton, President of the Hotel and Tourism Association,
November 11: The Governor’s Office invites VIPCA to contribute current concerns with chartering in BVI with the new BVI legislation, requirements, enforcement and processes for an intergovernmental meeting between representatives of the USVI government and the BVI government, to discuss Marine Industry and Tourism concerns
November 15: Government inter-island meeting was held offering potential for follow-up meetings and discussions with VIPCA’s direct participation