We have absolutely amazing news to share with all of you today … the Virgin Islands National Park is officially open! That means that all the beaches, all the trails and all of the roads are open!
“Virgin Islands National Park is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in America and is a major economic contributor to the Island’s economy, which is why it will be an important part of rebuilding after this devastating hurricane season,” Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke said in a release Wednesday. “We are very excited to declare the park open for business, just in time for the holidays when many tourists visit the Islands.”
“We’ve reached a major milestone at Virgin Islands National Park,” said Virgin Islands National Park Acting Superintendent Darrell Echols. “Maho Bay Beach reopened last Wednesday, we finished the rest of the beaches Thursday and Friday, and the remaining work at Annaberg Sugar Mill was completed Friday afternoon. We are excited to welcome visitors back to their park.”
All of the park beaches have been cleared of debris both above and underwater. All of the moorings have also been inspected. The ones that need additional work have been marked with red tags. The Park has installed either vault toilets or portable toilets at all of the major beaches.
“This was a huge undertaking,” Echols said. “Over the last three months, a host of federal employees from the National Park Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and U.S. Forest Service have spent countless hours working with the park’s permanent staff to get us to where we are today. The Friends of Virgin Islands National Park contributed a crew of sawyers to help with the trails, and carpenters, electricians, and a host of other skilled responders repaired employee housing and other facilities. The park still has a large number of challenges ahead, such as removing 64 displaced vessels sunk within the park or washed upon the shore, and completing major repairs on utility systems, roads, and several park houses. This has been a job well done!”
I cannot say thank you enough to all who have been involved with this process. THANK YOU!!!
Now go ahead everyone and book your tickets back!