This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
ADVERTISEMENT
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
TheStreet Open House

Vieques Ponders Future 10 Years After Navy Left

But after the Navy left on May 1, 2003, interest in helping boost the island's economy waned, said Emeric, blaming both the U.S. and local government.

Even the domain of the island's official government website, which translates to "Vieques Revival," is up for sale. Emeric said many local residents are still trying to find their economic footing as they seek to develop land formerly under naval control.

He dismissed criticism that American investors are the only ones reaping economic benefits, saying, "Many North Americans are here because the Viequenses themselves sold them the land."

Of the 23,000 acres (9,300 hectares) that the Navy began to use for target practice in the early 1940s, 4,000 acres (1,619 hectares) have been awarded to Vieques municipality, 3,100 acres (1,255 hectares) went to the U.S. Department of the Interior and about 800 acres (324 hectares) to the Puerto Rico Conservation Trust.

The Navy has so far cleaned 2,540 acres (1,028 hectares), with the operation expected to run through at least 2025 in one of the Navy's most extensive rehabilitation efforts, budgeted at some $350 million.

"The Navy considers Vieques to be its highest priority in the munitions cleanup program," said Dan Waddill, who is managing the process. "Vieques gets by far the most effort and the highest amount of funding."

Waddill oversees 55 employees who work Monday through Friday cleaning 15,000 acres (6,070 hectares) of the former bombing range, mostly in the island's east. He noted that two-thirds of the workers are from Vieques.

He suggested it will be impossible to find all of the abandoned munition parts.

"We don't expect to leave anything behind that people might come into contact with, but there are layers of safety that prevent that kind of contact just in case something happens to be missed," said Waddill. "When you're covering a large area ... that's just life. Sometimes you don't find everything."

2 of 4

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

Jim Cramer's protégé, David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
Try it NOW
Try it NOW
Try it NOW

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Dividend Stock Advisor

Jim Cramer's protégé, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Options Profits

Our options trading pros provide over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • Actionable options commentary and news
  • Real-time trading community
Try it NOW
Try it NOW
Try it NOW
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!

Markets

DOW 17,164.95 -251.90 -1.45%
S&P 500 1,994.99 -26.26 -1.30%
NASDAQ 4,635.24 -48.1670 -1.03%

Partners Compare Online Brokers

Free Reports

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs