Virgin Islands National Park is comprised of 7,259 acres of terrestrial habitat, which is about 60% of the island’s land mass. The park also includes 5,650 acres of adjacent submerged lands. The park owns the ridge tops to the reefs providing protection and preservation for tropical and migrating birds, fish, corals and other marine life, as well as some 800 species of plants. (www.nps.gov/viis)
Multiple Use MPA
- Commercial fishing prohibited. Fishing allowed by line and customary fish traps outside swim areas. No spears and no fishing in boat exclusion zones.
- In the marine environment, anchoring is only permitted in two anchorages on the Northshore(Lind Point and Francis Bay anchorages) to limit the destruction of the resources caused by anchors.
- Boaters can access some beaches through designated dingy channels, and cannot transit through designated swim areas for the protection of visitors and marine life. Visitors are encouraged to “take only pictures, leave only footprints” as shells, corals, rocks and other artifacts within the park can’t be taken home as souvenirs.
- Major programs include a Visitor Center in Cruz Bay, moorings (over-night, day-use and dive) monitoring studies (fish, corals, seagrass, water, air, etc), interpretation programs and guided tours.
- Virgin Islands National Park has been the focus of marine research since it was created and included the saturation dive program conducted in the Tektite Habitat in the 1960’s and some of the longest, continuous coral reef and fish monitoring in the Caribbean.
- Representative marine ecosystems from mangrove prop root communities to deep algal plains.
- Part of the US National Park Service system with all the protection and support provided by almost 100 years of resource management experience.