Congresswoman Plaskett released the following statement following the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, Subcommittee on National Parks, hearing on S.4222, the St. Croix National Heritage Area Act.
“In 2020, I first introduced legislation for the St. Croix National Heritage Area Act. In this congress, I introduced H.R.1424 to bring a national heritage area designation to St. Croix. That legislation has passed the house and I am pleased that Senator Angus King introduced the Senate companion to my bill, S. 4222. This hearing today in the senate brings us even closer to the bill becoming law. Our bill would designate the island of St. Croix as a National Heritage Area (NHA) site.
“National Heritage Areas are places where natural, cultural, and historic resources combine to form a cohesive, important landscape and tell nationally important stories that celebrate our diverse heritage.All Virgin Islands and those that visit recognize that the history of St. Croix lends itself to an intriguing set of themes that connect people to the distinct resources of the island and contribute to the overall heritage of our nation.
“For nearly 20 years, many individuals, community groups, and stakeholders have worked tirelessly to achieve this designation. My predecessor, Dr. Donna Christian-Christensen, introduced legislation in 2003 to authorize a feasibility study of the NHA designation and successfully included a congressionally directed feasibility study in the National Heritage Areas Act of 2006. More than 10 years ago, in September of 2010, the National Park Service completed this study and concluded that St. Croix meets the evaluation criteria for this designation.
“I thank Senator King for his support of the designation of St. Croix as a National Heritage Area. I will continue to advocate for this legislation to finish the long-standing work of my home island to utilize our spectacular natural and historic resources to spur increased, relevant and culturally appropriate economic development.”