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Trashy beaches: Curacao’s southern beaches and marine life are at risk. Trash from fishing vessels and litter from beach goers has found its way into the surrounding reef. Researches tested 140+ sites around the island to asses the health of the ecosystem that depends on the reef’s survival. Island officials and environmental advocates urge citizens to take part in clean-up efforts; going as far as creating a litter-reporting app called TrashOut.

Bermuda dodges Karl: Tropical storm Karl briefly made contact with the island of Bermuda this weekend causing rough seas, winds upward of 60 mph, and depositing 3-5 in. of rain. Karl is predicted to strengthen to hurricane status and increase speed to 74 mph while traveling westward across the Atlantic Ocean. The Bermuda Weather Service reports improving conditions despite the lingering threat of isolated tornadoes that may still develop around the island.

Brexit and Barbados: The effects of Britain’s decision to secede the European Union this summer are being felt all the way across the Atlantic. The decrease in value of the pound sterling, and its accompanying political tenuousness, is putting a dent in tourism for Barbados. Visits and vacations, particularly those of English travelers, have slowed. Sue Springer, CEO of Barbados Hotel and Tourism Association, has noticed a negative trend in tourist spending  and is concerned about the coming winter vacation season; a time-honored tradition with UK patrons.

Gassing Up Aruba: Aruba is slated to see an increase in employment opportunities and a reinvigorated economy in the coming months.  Citgo Petroleum, a U.S.-based oil refinery company, has requested $100 million from its parent company PVSA (Petroleum of Venezuela South America) to reopen and operate a currently-unused refinery facility in Aruba. The project is scheduled to be completed in 2018 and is estimated at a production level of more than 200.00 barrels a day. The oil produced there will supply sites the the U.S. as well as domestically in Aruba.

Puerto Rico regains power: More than 1 million Puerto Rican homes lost power this week after a local power plant caught fire. During the blackout residents were left without traffic lights, refrigeration, and air conditioning in the sweltering heat. By Friday, September 23, most affected homes had regained power, but rural homeowners may have to wait a while longer before services can be reconnected.



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