Sailing Responsibly in the US Virgin Islands
This week Sea Dragon is sailing between the USVI and the BVI exploring beautiful anchorages and having conversations about mindfulness and being. The Virgin Islands can be very heavily trafficked, and one of the ongoing struggles in the region is finding the right balance between conservation and use.
In the USVI, the Virgin Islands National Park was established in 1956, and covers 60% of the island of St. John as well as much of the surrounding waters. In the waters around St. John, the park has installed lots of moorings for visiting boats, as well as implementing regulations to limit anchoring and usage of its waters to try to conserve St. John’s reefs. It can sometimes be a struggle to find information about the rules and regulations concerning MPAs, but we think the Virgin Islands National Park has done a great job of putting the information into an accessible website as well as creating a set of Google Earth information about the park. They’ve got good signage on shore, as well as creating a nice website that not only makes it easy to find what the restrictions are, but also shows the best areas for snorkeling, beach access, and dangerous areas where sailing is unsafe.
If you’re headed to the USVI this year, check out the Virgin Islands National Park and take a look at the resources available before you go to get the most out of your experience while leaving a minimal impact.