Sunday, April 24, 2011 at 10:58AM
[chuck] in Other, Puerto Rico, Vieques

Have just returned from five days on Vieques, an island municipality of Puerto Rico in the northeastern Caribbean. Wonderful trip with the family.  Beautiful beaches and coral reefs, the world's largest and brightest bioluminescent bay,  super-friendly people, delicious food, and all of this crammed into the central third of the island. Lot of stories here.

U.S. Navy buys the entire eastern and western part of the island during World War II. Local sugar industry collapses. Navy continues to use the island as a weapons dump and a firing  range. People get killed and huge parts of the island get contaminated and littered with unexploded ordnance. After a series of peaceful protests, the Navy withdraws from the island in 2003 and the eastern and western parts are designated as National Wildlife Refuges. 

The beaches within the NWR are lovely, but you don't want to go any further inland. [NOTE: Go here for the official Agency for Toxic Substance and Disease Registry (ATSDR) for Vieques.]

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