We received the following email from Friends of the Virgin Islands National park. Here it is in its entirety:
I am writing to share with you news from St. John. I know many of you have been deeply concerned. Thank you for all of your positive thoughts and prayers. As you may have learned from news coverage, Hurricane Irma passed over the island of St. John on September 6th as a Category 5 hurricane. The results were devastating.
Virgin Islands National Park was seriously damaged, along with an estimated 90% of the homes and businesses on the island. The oldest structure on St. John, the archeology lab at Cinnamon Bay was destroyed. Maho Bay Road was destroyed. Cinnamon Bay campgrounds were wiped out. Coral Bay is practically flattened. The flora and fauna of the island are decimated. The landscape is almost unrecognizable. From the Reef Bay trailhead you can now see both shores of the island. It is not the St. John we know and love.
The community is strong and many relief agencies have come in to help, but there is so much work to do. Although nature is resilient, we must do all we can to not impede its successful regeneration. Right now, that means clearing debris, safely removing harmful waste, restoring roads, cleaning up the mangroves and shorelines, among many other essential tasks. The Friends is committed to doing what we do best – raising funds to protect and preserve Virgin Islands National Park and effectively managing projects that ensure the park for future generations.
We are asking for your help. Our regular programs will resume, but not for a while. Now we are focused on the recovery and restoration of St. John and Virgin Islands National Park. You can help by donating to our St. John Recovery Fund.
Together, we will bring St. John back! Thank you for your support on behalf of the Friends staff and the St. John community.