The STXEEMP is the U.S. Virgin Islands’ first marine park, and was established on January 15, 2003. The Park represents the culmination of forty years of vision and three years of collaboration to establish a Marine Protected Area (MPA) on the island of St. Croix.
The park encompasses an area approximately 60 square miles on the eastern end of the island (see our maps page) and is intended to protect and manage the natural and cultural resources of this area. This ‘shoreline’ Park is approximately 17 miles long and extends from the high-tide line to the three-mile limit.
The St. Croix East End Marine Park is a multi-use park. There are four different types of managed areas within its boundaries.
Recreation Management Areas
Turtle Wildlife Preserve Area
Area No-Take Areas
The zones are intended to provide for ecosystem-wide management of the area and to accommodate many different types of users.
The St. Croix East End Marine Park
(STXEEMP) was established to “protect territorially significant marine resources, and promote sustainability of marine ecosystems, including coral reefs, sea grass beds, wildlife habitats and other resources, and to conserve and preserve significant natural areas for the use and benefit of future generations.”
It is the
U.S. Virgin Islands
’ first territorially designated and managed
marine protected area
The designation of STXEEMP unified and extended the previously identified territorially designated Areas of Particular Concern (APCs) at Great Pond Bay, East End, Chenay Bay, and the northern St. Croix Coral Reef System.
STXEEMP encompasses nearshore habitats which are likely to interact with
Buck Island Reef National Monument
, and Lang Bank, a significant offshore fishing ground on the eastern edge of St. Croix’s subsea platform shelf. STXEEMP includes one of the most extensive, contiguous
systems on the Puerto Rican/Virgin Islands shelf.
The St Croix East End Marine Park encompasses an area of approximately 60 square miles (155 sq. km) along a shoreline of approximately 17 miles (27 km), from Green Cay on the north shore to Great Pond Bay on the south. The landward boundary of STXEEMP is the high-tide line; the STXEEMP is divided into management zones (see Rules and Regulations, below) that regulate activities.
STXEEMP is entirely within territorial waters, and extends seaward to the 3 nautical mile limit for the Territory.