If St. John were to have a mascot, the sea turtle would be a great candidate!
Those who have explored the waters of beaches like Maho and Salt Pond Bay know it’s not uncommon to see many sea turtles at once.
National Sea Turtle Day is June 16th.
In honor of our majestic friends, we created some cool St. John sea turtle shirts! The shirts are only available for a limited time through June 18th, so be sure to get your shirt before they’re gone. Below are a few, and you can click here to browse the store to see additional designs.
We’ve also partnered with Friends of Virgin Islands National Park and are donating a significant portion of the proceeds to them.
The Virgin Islands National Park Sea Turtle Monitoring and Protection Program is funded by Friends of Virgin Islands National Park working alongside the park.
The program aims to protect sea turtle nests, facilitate research projects, and spread awareness of sea turtle conservation in the Virgin Islands National Park and its surrounding waters including the Virgin Islands Coral Reef National Monument.
Their work encompasses the following:
- Nest Protection – Nests are protected and monitored throughout incubation and excavated upon emergence. Hatchlings found during excavations are released to the ocean.
- Volunteer Beach Monitoring – Volunteers walk assigned beaches from June to November looking for signs of sea turtle nesting activity.
- Research – Independent research as well as collaborations with other programs and institutions help them gain a better understanding of the sea turtles utilizing the waters and beaches of the Virgin Islands.
- Education Outreach – Fostering awareness for sea turtle conservation through community and school education outreach programs.
The program documents their research and produces a report each year, which is a good read if you’re interested in learning more about the program and sea turtles on St. John. Click here to visit their website and you’ll find previous reports towards the bottom of the page.
If you’d like to get involved and you live on St. John, you can volunteer to be part of the program. Every day from July-November around 80 volunteers patrol beaches each morning looking for nesting activity. Many pick up trash at the same time.
If you’re not on island but would still like to help out, you can of course click here to view and purchase one of our shirts through June 18th!
You can also make a larger donation directly to the Friends of Virgin Islands National Park by visiting their website at friendsvinp.org.
And of course, we highly encourage you to be a good turtle friend by not touching the turtles and keeping your distance.
🐢Help us protect our endangered sea turtle population:
- Please do not touch the turtles and keep a distance of at least 6 feet.
- Report any signs of nesting activity.
- Use reef-safe sunscreen.
- Dispose of trash properly particularly single use plastics like bags and straws.
- Be respectful.