Good Morning Everyone! If you have been on St. John during this busy (thankfully!) holiday season, you may have seen some new signs at the entrances to some of the VI National Park Beaches. These signs were installed by the VI National Park in order to promote awareness and education about what you can do to protect the reefs, while enjoying their beauty!
With a lot of popular travel destinations remaining closed to American tourism, the USVI has been rapidly climbing the ranks as a number one travel destination. And that’s a great thing for the economy and for workers who have been struggling through 2020. However, inevitably, with more traffic Mother Nature always suffers a bit. So, it’s important that everyone who is enjoying the park is made aware of the the little things we can do to help preserve the marine environment!
Friends of Virgin Island National Park paraphrased these signs on their Facebook page earlier this week in their “cliff notes version.” They also offer some great additional tips on reef safety while snorkeling or diving on their website.
- Don’t stand on coral or sea grass.
- Don’t touch or remove coral or shells.
- Don’t touch turtles.
- Use reef safe sunscreen or wear a rash guard for sun protection.
- No glass on the beach.
- Pack trash in, pack trash out.
- Enjoy our park! Have fun and leave no trace!
Reef Safe Sunscreen is a big one….did you know that sunscreen containing the “toxic 3 o’s” is legally banned in the USVI? Did you also know that there are many organisms on the reef that can physically harm you if you touch them?
Black sea urchins and fire coral are abundant on our reefs. They are sometimes visible and sometime hidden. But they are ALWAYS painful. So keep your feet off the reef to protect it and yourself.