An Update on Maho

maho water sailboat

Hello everyone and happy Sunday! Today I have an update on my absolute favorite beach in the world … Maho.

Well let’s start with the great news. 1. The National Park Service is moving west to east, so Maho is the next beach that they’ll be working to clean up. Yahoo! 2. Maho tested clean the other day, according to Darrell Echols, the acting superintendent for the Virgin Islands National Park. (Previously Maho was texting positive for bacteria.) Also great! 3. All of the beaches are expected to be reopened within the next month or so … fantastic news!

Now onto the not so great news…

The worst news coming out of Maho, in my opinion, is regarding the turtles. According to Darrell, all of the turtles that we loved seeing at Maho have left the area. That does not mean they will not be back, he stressed. It simply means they are currently displaced. 🙁

A turtle swims at Maho - August 2014
A turtle swims at Maho – August 2014

(12/6/17 update: People have seen turtles at Maho this week … yay!!)

Darrell told us that the pavilion and other structures that were severely damaged during Hurricane Irma will be removed soon. Plans to add new structures have not been completed at this time. They may add one pavilion, they made add two. They may move them to a different section of the beach. All of that is still being worked out. He also stated that the Park understands the popularity of Maho, and they plan to rebuild with that in mind. Thank you for that NPS!

Damaged structures at Maho
Damaged structures at Maho

Speaking of moving things, it’s a very good possibility, according to Darrell, that the road itself may be moved inward. The current proximity of the road to the bay is problematic, he said, because it can easily be damaged as we saw after Irma. He said moving the road would also lessen the need to do manmade manipulation of the beach, which would be a good thing. He also said it would be cheaper in the long run to move the road because it’s a very strong possibility that they will have to fix it again in the future should we get another strong storm.

The road at Maho - November 2017
The road at Maho – November 2017

For those of you who have driven past Maho, you may have noticed that a fair amount dead debris and vegetation has remained along the shore and roadway. That debris is now acting as a natural buffer which will stabilize the shoreline, Darrell said.

So all in all, we have some pretty good news about Maho. It will be open sooner than we expected, which is great. I’m sad that the turtles have found a new home temporarily, but I’m sure they’ll come back … Much like all of you will come back to Maho. Because honestly, who doesn’t want to be at Maho??!!

Have a great Sunday everyone!!

14 thoughts on “An Update on Maho”

  1. Thanks for the update on Maho one of our favorites.
    Fingers are crossed the Turtles return always a thrill when you’d spit one . So happy that our Paradise is coming back one Beach at a time .
    See you in January counting the days!!
    Merry Christmas to all our Winter friends on Island.

  2. Jen, thank you for the update. It is an incredible spot.
    Your reports are so helpful and appreciated. I was fortunate to get to FL from Boston for the hurricane benefit concert, Jimmy Buffett, Kenny Chesney and Toby Keith. I hope that that money raised will also reach St. John .
    Again thank you for keeping us in touch with the island, Hill

  3. Thank you Jenn for all the updates. Maho is our favorite beach and it is very sad to see the tree line gone. I pray that the turtles are safe and will come back. We would snorkel for hours there, following many turtles, including the one with the missing back flipper. We saw her on many trips to Maho. On a side note, do you know how the great coral area at Hawksnest is after the storm? There were so many beautiful Stag Coral there and so many pretty fish.

  4. No matter where I am on the planet or what’s going on in my life, I can always close my eyes and be at Maho. Looking forward to being there again in real time in March. ‘Til then, thank you so much for the updates and photos.

  5. Great that the beach is reopening soon! Kinda bummed about the turtles. The turtles at Maho are responsible for getting me really interested in snorkeling. Wasn’t a huge fan before we went snorkeling at Maho once and I saw them up close and personal. After that experience, I was all about the snorkeling. To the turtles: Come back soon!! Thanks again Jenn for al the great updates. Keep up the outstanding work and be well!

  6. I have read that turtles will always return to their home. That if ever you see one crossing the road you should help it to the side it was facing. So with that in mind I am going to pray for all of them and that they find their way back. Time will tell. Thank you for the updates. You have been very instrumental along with other blogs as to the state of the island.

  7. We were on St John in early November, stopped by Mayo walked in knee deep and saw a southern stingray and a turtle pop his head up for air. Like us they will return.

  8. first, does anyone know where the turtles move to.
    second, relocation of the road makes no sense. perhaps concrete rather than asphalt.

  9. Hi Jenn, we love Maho and the turtles so much. A year ago our younger daughter & family came with us to SJ and the 3 grandkids absolutely loved it….especially seeing the turtles. Such special memories for us all! We just can’t thank you enough for keeping us up to date on things on the island! We think of StJ every day and are anxious to return. We are so grateful for your updates!❤️Colleen

  10. My husband works in Civil Engineering / Planning and the first thing he said when he saw the road destruction was that the road should probably be moved inland. Interesting that they are thinking that way, and I’m glad they are taking a ‘long term’ approach. If the road went through the old parking lot area and the parking was moved closer to the beach, that would be good too, because no one would have to walk across the road to get to the beach. Where I live, most of our beaches have very high dunes and the storm surge doesn’t wash all the way over to hit a road, but at Maho, everything is at sea level…

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