The Save Coral Bay group is pleased to announce that the nationally acclaimed environmental law firm of Sive, Paget & Riesel (sprlaw.com) will be providing pro bono legal assistance to the Save Coral Bay group during the review by the Army Corps of Engineers (ACOE) of the permit application by the Summers End Group for a marina in Coral Bay, St John. Attorney Maggie Macdonald and senior partner Mark Chertok of SPR will be joining forces with lead counsel Robert Fox and Jonathan Rinde, of Manko-Gold, to provide additional depth and expertise in the National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA) process, a component of the ACOE permit review.
Attorney Maggie Macdonald first learned of the Save Coral Bay initiative through an email from the Friends of the Virgin Islands National Park organization, which struck a chord with her for a number of reasons. First, being a regular visitor to St John, and having recently stayed at the Concordia Eco-Resort, Maggie knows how beautiful and diverse the island’s natural environment is, and therefore understands the critical importance of preservation and sustainable development on St John. Maggie also wrote an undergraduate thesis for the Harvard University History of Science Department on the history and establishment of the Virgin Islands National Park.
Mark Chertok’s resume reads like a textbook of major, precedent-setting environmental casework. He has successfully represented environmental groups in major lawsuits for decades, including those under NEPA and the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA).
The Sive, Paget & Riesel firm (SPR) has been a recognized leader at the cutting edge of environmental law since it was founded over fifty years ago. Their practice spans all areas of environmental law, and most critically for the Save Coral Bay group, attorneys Macdonald and Chertok have handled a number of high-profile matters involving environmental impact review under NEPA and have navigated the complexity of Army Corps of Engineers permitting, including water quality and wetlands and have handled matters subject to NHPA review. SPR’s work on waterfront development projects, including NEPA review and defending challenges to environmental impact statements, as well as defending permit challenges makes SPR uniquely aware of strategies and tactics for successfully opposing such projects, either through litigation or other means.
Maggie Macdonald said, “I believe with Mark’s and my experience in NEPA, ACOE permitting, NHPA review, and my personal interest and academic background in the history of preservation on St John, we are well suited to work with Manko-Gold on behalf of the Save Coral Bay group.”
Robert Fox, of Manko-Gold, said “The addition of the team from Sive, Paget and Riesel will complement the in-depth experience that Manko-Gold has in the Army Corps process. Their experience in National Environmental Protection Act litigation is unparalleled and we are thrilled to have them on the Save Coral Bay team.”
David Silverman, speaking on behalf of the Save Coral Bay group, said “With the addition of Maggie Macdonald and Mark Chertok to the team we currently have in place, we have now assembled a powerhouse of legal talent that will cover every avenue of defense in the protection of Coral Bay harbor from environmentally destructive development. We are thrilled that they have offered their services pro bono, recognizing the critical importance of this case to the future of St John.”
In addition to the two new attorneys in the Save Coral Bay federal team, the local appeal of the Summers End Group CZM permits continues to be handled by attorneys Jennifer Jones (of St Thomas), and Andrew Simpson (of St Croix).