St. John Events

Trunk Bay Sea Grapes
Sea Grape Flowers at Trunk Bay

St. John Events

May 31 (Sat) BEACH BAR BEACH FEST- Don Dilego and Bree Sharp 9PM

Come and enjoy the first annual Beach Bar Beach Fest – a fun filled day on the Wharfside Village Beach celebrating our eclectic little paradise island. Events all day for the kids, events all night for us big kids. Our beach will be filled with face painters, caricature artists, popcorn and cotton candy, traditional Caribbean story telling (1PM), Moko Jumbie, fire dancers, limbo dancers, fire breathers, beach massages, traditional arts and crafts. Ferries back to STT at 12:30, 01:30 and 02:30AM. It’s gonna be great!

Don and Bree’s stage is gonna be on the beach!! How cool is THAT?!?!

St. John Live Music Schedule

Beach Bar
BEACH BAR BEACH FEST
All day Event with Don Dilego and Bree Sharp
777-4220

High Tide
Jason Laurence Jones
5:00 – 8:00
340-714-6169

Ocean Grill
T-Bird
6:00 – 9:00
340-693-3304

Rhumb Lines
Lauren
7:00 – 10:00
340-776-0303

Skinny Legs
Hot Club of Coral Bay
6:00
340-779-4982

St. John Weather

Isolated showers. Mostly sunny, with a high near 82. East wind around 16 mph. Chance of precipitation is 20%.

Update me when site is updated

The Wild Tamarind Makes an Attractive Flower

St. John Flora: Wild Tamarind
Wild Tamarind Flower

On my website, I once wrote:

“I hate wild tamarind. They’re ugly, untidy and unruly. They spread rampantly and take over the place. They’re prejudiced and intolerant. They grow close together and won’t let any other plants live in their neighborhood.

They’re resilient and tenacious. Their sturdy taproot goes straight down into the earth and holds on tight. They can withstand drought, flood and even come back after a fire. There are no insects, predators or diseases that can cause them any significant harm.

They’re hard to get rid of. If you cut them down, they’ll grow right back. If you try and pull out the small one, you’d better have a lot of time and a lot of patience. If you try and dig out the big ones, you’d better have a good hoe-pick and a strong back.”

Nonetheless, their flower is kind of pretty!

The Ghost vs the Wild Tamarind

St. John and Virgin Islands News

Sahara Dust Impacts Territory
By Source Staff — May 28, 2014

Dust from the Sahara Desert has caused an air pollution alert to be issued for the U.S. Virgin Islands, according to Alicia Barnes, commissioner of the Department of Planning and Natural Resources.

The dust causes the skies around the Virgin Islands to be hazy, reducing visibility and resulting in poor air quality, Barnes said in a statement issued Tuesday night.

The cloud is raised from dust storms in Africa and a rise in the warm air. These sandy dust particles are transported by prevailing winds from the North African desert westward over the Atlantic Ocean across the Caribbean.

Carlos Anselmi, a meteorology intern at the National Weather Service in San Juan, Puerto Rico, confirmed that there are traces of Sahara dust over the territory and that the satellite indicates it will show a stronger presence over the next week.

While the haze may not be an immediate threat, people with allergies or respiratory ailments should remain indoors when possible and consult their physicians or health care professional for further guidance, Barnes warned.

Sahara dust storms pass through the region several times a year, but mainly in the spring and summer months. While the dust can be a nuisance and even a health threat, it is also known to hamper the development of tropical storms…. read more

 St. John Live Music Schedule

Barefoot Cowboy Lounge
Ike
6:30 -9:30
340-201-1236

Castaway’s
Karaoke Night
9:00 pm – 2:00 am
340-777-3316

Coconut Coast
St. John Flutes
5:30 -7:00
340-776-6944

Cruz Bay Landing
T-Bird
5:00 – 8:00
340-776-6908

High Tide
Lemuel Callwood Steel Pan
4:00 – 6:00
340-714-6169

Ocean Grill
David Laabs
6:30 – 9:30
340-693-3304

Pickles
Michael Beason Open Mic
6:00 – 9:00
340-776-6908

Rhumb Lines
Shane Meade & the Sound
7:00 – 10:00
340-776-0303

Shipwreck
Chris Carsel
7:00 – 10:00
340-693-5640

Update me when site is updated

St. John USVI Wildlife: Iguana Burrowing

Iguana burrowing in rocky soil – Chocolate Hole, St. John, Virgin Islands

On April 15, I wrote a blog in which I presented a photo of an iguana burrow, which I found in the sand by the boat ramps in Great Cruz Bay. At the time, I didn’t actually see the iguana making the hole.

Yesterday, however, I did catch an iguana in the act of burrowing and captured some of the project on video. This time it was in back of my house in Chocolate Hole, a more difficult endeavor for the iguana due to the rocky nature of the land. At one point it actually looked like the iguana was thinking about moving the big rock that was in its way.

St. John Live Music Schedule

Barefoot Cowboy Lounge
Erin Hart
6:30 – 9:30
340-201-1236

Beach Bar
Watson Roc feat Andy
9:00
777-4220

Castaway’s
Karaoke Night
9:00
340-777-3316

High Tide
Chris Carsel
6:00 9:00
340-714-6169

Inn at Tamarind Court
Steel Pan
6:30
340-776-6378

Island Blues
Karaoke
8:00
340-776-6800

La Tapa
Sambacombo
6:30 – 9:30
340-693-7755

Morgan’s Mango
Greg Kinslow
6:30 – 9:30
340-693-8141

Ocean Grill
Lauren Jones
6:00 – 9:00
340-693-3304

St. John USVI Weather

Isolated showers. Partly sunny, with a high near 82. East wind around 14 mph. Chance of precipitation is 20%.

Update me when site is updated

A St. John Thief: The T’rushie Bird

Pearly-eyed thrasher
Thrushie in Mango Tree

The t’rushie bird is a teef! (For those of you who don’t know the word, teef: it’s St. Johnian for the noun, thief, as in one who steals, like in the t’rushie’s a teef. It can also be used as a verb meaning to steal like in the t’rushie teefed my mangoes.)

Anyone familiar with the thrushie or pearly-eyed trasher, or scientifically, Margarops fuscatus, and who has a fruit tree in their yard knows what a teef the thrushie is. The bird will hang around open air restaurants and steal the food off your plate if you’re not looking. On St. John, the outdoor Caneel Bay Beach Restaurant and the Trunk Bay snack bar have lines and wires placed to discourage the thrushies, but that doesn’t mean that it’s 100% successful in preventing the larcenies.

Not only does the thrushie steal from people, but it also steals from other birds, like taking their nests or eggs.

Thrushies live on the smaller islands of the Caribbean and the Bahamas and avoid the continent and the larger islands, with the exception of some remote areas of Puerto Rico. They are ugly. They build ugly sloppy, messy nests wherever they want, have an annoying sound and are general nuisances.

My mango tree is full of mangoes and the t’rushies are lying in wait hoping to get the ripe ones before I do. It will soon be war.

St. John Weather

Scattered showers, mainly before noon. Partly sunny, with a high near 82. East wind 9 to 11 mph. Chance of precipitation is 50%. New precipitation amounts of less than a tenth of an inch possible.

Update me when site is updated

Trunk Bay to Jumbie Bay Snorkel

snorkeler trunk bay
Trunk Jumbie SnorkelStarting from the western end of Trunk Bay, we snorkeled over the reef between Trunk and Jumbie Bay and on to the Point between Jumbie and Denis. Although much of the coral was in poor condition, the snorkel had enough interesting highlights and colorful patches to make for an enjoyable alternative to the Trunk Bay Snorkel Trail on the eastern end of the beach.

Trunk Bay reef
Reef at west end of Trunk

brain coral
Brain Coral

porcupinefish
Porcupinefish

orange spiny sea rod
Orange Spiny Sea Rod

nurse shark
Nurse Shark

orange sponge
Orange Sponge

 

Update me when site is updated

Taino Zemis

zemis
Zemis

The Taino believe everything in the universe is interconnected and spiritually alive. They view the Earth as a flat disk suspended between the cosmos above and the watery underworld below. The realms are connected by a supernatural shaft rising from the bottom of the underworld, passing through a hole in the center of the Earth and extending upward to the heavens.

The souls of the dead live in the otherworld. They are ruled by the Zemi Maquetaurie Guayaba, Lord of the Land of the Dead. The Zemis of the underworld are often made in the form of night flying creatures, such as bats or owls. (The second Zemi, found at the Cinnamon Bay site, bears the image of a bat.) These creatures are regarded as the messengers of the Dead.

In the book, Memory of Fire: Genesis, Eduardo Galeano writes:

“He who made the sun and the moon warned the Tainos to watch out for the dead.

“In the daytime the dead hid themselves and ate guavas, but at night they went out for a stroll and challenged the living. Dead men offered duels and dead women, love. In the duels they vanished at will; and at the climax of love the lover found himself with nothing in his arms. Before accepting a duel with a man or lying down with a woman, one should feel the belly with one’s hand, because the dead have no navels.”

Another Taino myth speaks about bats:

“When time was yet in the cradle, there was no uglier creature in the world than the bat.

“The bat went up to heaven to look for God. He didn’t say, “I’m bored with being hideous. Give me colored feathers.

“No. He said, “Please give me feathers, I’m dying of cold.

“But God had not a single feather left over.

“’Each bird will give you a feather,’ he decided.

“Thus the bat got the white feather of the dove and the green one of the parrot, the iridescent one of the hummingbird, the pink one of the flamingo, the red of the cardinal’s tuft and the blue of the kingfisher’s back, the clayey one of the eagle’s wing, and the sun feather that burns in the breast of the toucan.

“The bat, luxuriant with colors and softness, moved between earth and clouds. Wherever he went, the air became pleasant and the birds dumb with admiration. According to the Zapotec peoples, the rainbow was born of the echo of his flight.

“Vanity puffed out his chest. He acquired a disdainful look and made insulting remarks.

“The birds called a meeting. Together they flew up to God. ‘The bat makes fun of us,’ they complained. ‘And what’s more, we feel cold for lack of the feathers he took.’

“Next day, when the bat shook his feathers in full flight, he suddenly became naked. A rain of feathers fell to earth.

“He is still searching for them. Blind and ugly, enemy of the light, he lives hidden in caves. He goes out in pursuit of the lost feathers after night has fallen and flies very fast, never stopping because it shames him to be seen.”

The Zemis of the cosmos, such as the creator and lord of the cassava, Yúcahu, and his mother, Atabey, bring the Taino successful harvests, fertility and good health. Zemis could also reside in the natural world of trees, mountains, rivers, caves and communities. Destructive Zemis from the nether world could cause droughts, illness and natural disaster. The Zemi, Guabancex, lady of the winds, controls hurricanes aided by her two assistants, Guataubá, herald of hurricane force winds, and Coatrisquie, the god of floodwaters.

In addition to the fabrication of idols, Taino artisans carved symbolic pictures on rocks found in areas of obvious spiritual significance. Such petroglyphs exist at Reef Bay on St. John, along the side of a fresh water pool and on the platform cliffs of Congo Cay. It is believed that these carvings represent the natural spirits that resided in these places.

The Taino used sacred psychoactive herbs to communicate with Zemis and spirits of ancestors in an elaborate ritual called the Cohoba ceremony. Caciques (chiefs) and bohutí (shamans) with sufficient spiritual power used this ceremony to heal the sick, predict the future and to ensure the well being of the community. The participants fast before beginning the ceremony. They then cause themselves to regurgitate by inserting a ritual instrument in their throat. Once purged they inhale the cohoba from an intricately carved vessel equipped with snuffing tubes, which are placed in the nostrils. The cacique or bohutí could then leave the natural world through the hole in the center of the Earth and enter the supernatural shaft which connecting the realms of the universe.

The Spanish were repelled by the Taino religion and believed the Zemis to be Satanic in nature. They are said to have burned hundreds of cotton Zemis and to have destroyed countless works of Taino religious art. As a result of severe persecution by the Spanish, surviving Tainos went underground, meeting in secret to carry on their traditions.

St. John and Virgin Islands News

FIT Act presents huge opportunity for Virgin Islands
May 21, 2014 | By Barbara Vergetis Lundin

U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI) Governor John deJongh has signed the Feed-In-Tariff (FIT) Act into law, allowing residents to build renewable energy projects and sell all of the electricity to the local utility.

Currently, the USVI is almost entirely dependent on imported fossil fuels and retail electric rates average over $0.50 per kilowatt-hour. Through the feed-in tariff, the Water and Power Authority (WAPA) will purchase up to 15 MW of local renewables, paying less than WAPA’s avoided wholesale cost at around $0.26 per kilowatt-hour. Renewable energy generators will enter a power purchase agreement with WAPA lasting between 10 and 30 years.

While the feed-in tariff marks a significant step toward cleaner, more affordable and more reliable power on the USVI, Craig Barshinger, a USVI Senator and author of the Feed-In Tariff Act, believes this is just the beginning in a larger effort to modernize the USVI’s power grid

REI Adventures Announces New Volunteer Trip to the U.S. Virgin Islands

REI Adventures has just announced their new trips for 2015, including a Volunteer Vacation in the Virgin Islands.

On this new tour travelers will work with National Park Service rangers on maintenance projects in the U.S. Virgin Islands National Park on St. John.

For ten days volunteers will work from 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM clearing debris, fixing trails, and removing vegetation in a tropical locale. Then, they will be rewarded with 2 well-earned days off to snorkel, swim, or just hang out and relax.

This twelve day tour starts at $1,950 per person (based on double occupancy) including all meals, accommodations in group lodging, guide leadership, all van and ferry transportation, gratuities, and park entrance fees.

The 12-day Volunteer Vacation in the Virgin Islands trip is set to depart on Nov. 2, 2014, April 5, 2015, and Nov. 1, 2015.

USVI wins Optimist Cup at BVI Dinghy Championships
By Dean Greenaway (Special to the Daily News)
Published: May 21, 2014

TORTOLA – The annual BVI Dinghy Championships wrapped up two days of competitive racing Sunday that also included the final leg of the Virgin Islands Sailing Triple Crown – which began with races on St. Croix and St. Thomas.

Teddy Nocolosi of St. Thomas, who was the overall winner in the Optimist Red Fleet, led his team to the VI Optimist Cup.

The BVI Dinghy Championships also attracted participants from Antigua, St. Maarten, St. John and St. Croix.

“This was great because we had light air conditions and this is most likely what we’ll have in the North American Championships in Mexico in July, so it was a great training toward that regatta,” St. Thomas coach Agustin Resano said. “I’m glad it was like that. I also liked that the fleet was competitive, unlike last year when we had three top sailors way ahead of the rest, this year was more compact, so it showed a lot of improvement from the bottom all the way up.”… read more

St. John Live Music Schedule

Banana Deck
Steel Pan by Lemuel Samuels
7:00 – 9:00
340-693-5055

Barefoot Cowboy Lounge
Ike
6:30 -9:30
340-201-1236

Beach Bar
John Gazi
9:00
777-4220

Concordia
Wayne Clendenin and Pamela Love
4:30 – 6:30
340-693-5855

High Tide
Erin Hart
5:00 – 8:00
340-714-6169

Inn at Tamarind Court
Brother Nature
6:30 – 9:30
340-776-6378

Island Blues
Gann – Solo guitar
7:00 – 10:00
340-776-6800

Miss Lucy’s
Rich & Greg
6:00 – 9:00
340-693-5244

Morgan’s Mango
James Anderson
6:30 – 9:30
340-693-8141

Ocean Grill
Chris Carsel
6:00 – 9:00
340-693-3304

Pickles
T-Bird
6:00 – 8:00
340-776-6908

Skinny Legs
Lauren Jones
6:00 – 9:00
340-779-4982

Spyglass
James Milne
5:00 – 8:00
340-776-1100

St. John Weather

Isolated showers. Mostly sunny, with a high near 82. East wind around 16 mph. Chance of precipitation is 20%.

Update me when site is updated

The Origin of the Tainos

puerto ferro man
Site in Vieques where bones of man who lived there 4000 years ago were found

The Origin of the Tainos
Civilization has existed in the Caribbean for thousands of years despite the Euro centric assumption that the “New World” was discovered in 1492. The peopling of the Caribbean is not the product of a single discovery; its history is not mirrored in the narrative of a single expedition. Rather, it has been a lengthy process of assimilation and conquest. The arrival of the Europeans was a harsh and drastic example of this process. Many different groups have migrated to and within the Caribbean. Cultures have dominated, and cultures have submitted. With each new migration the Caribbean culture evolved. The culture continues to change, even today, with recent continental gentrification. Each influx brings new characteristics, oftentimes at the expense of the rich traditions of the past. The tropical paradise for which the Caribbean is known serves only as a backdrop to the colorful tapestry of cultures, which have constructed the history of the region.

The First People to Settle in the Caribbean
The first people to settle in the Caribbean most likely came from Central America and settled in Cuba and Hispaniola. Archeologists and ethnologists call them the Casmiroid. They lived in the upland savannas of what is now the nation of Belize and survived primarily by hunting. They gradually migrated to the river valleys where they could fish and gather plant foods, which grew in abundance in this rich and fertile environment. They then began to make seasonal trips to the coast where they learned to exploit the resources of the sea. It was from these coastal camps that the migration to the islands of the Caribbean began about 6000 years ago…. read more

St. John, Virgin Islands & Caribbean News

Archeological Theories Supported By Microbes From 1,500-year-old Feces
May 20, 2014

American Society for Microbiology

By evaluating the bacteria and fungi found in fossilized feces, microbiologists are providing evidence to help support archeologists’ hypotheses regarding cultures living in the Caribbean over 1,500 years ago. They report their findings today at the annual meeting of the American Society for Microbiology.

“Although fossilized feces (coprolites) have frequently been studied, they had never been used as tools to determine ethnicity and distinguish between two extinct cultures. By examining the DNA preserved in coprolites from two ancient indigenous cultures, our group was able to determine the bacterial and fungal populations present in each culture as well as their possible diets,” says Jessica Rivera-Perez of the University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras, who presented the study.

Various indigenous cultures inhabited the Greater Antilles thousands of years ago. The Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico have thousands of pre-Columbian indigenous settlements belonging to extinct cultures that migrated to the Caribbean at some point in history.

Archaeological excavations in Vieques, Puerto Rico unearthed hand-made tools and crafts as well as fossilized feces dating from 200 to 400 A.D. The presence of two distinct styles of craftsmanship, as well as other clues obtained from the dig sites, suggested these artifacts belonged to two distinct cultures.

“One culture excelled in the art of pottery; in fact, their signature use of red and white paint helped identify them as descendants from the Saladoids, originating in Saladero, Venezuela. In contrast, the second culture had exquisite art for crafting semiprecious stones into ornaments, some of which represented the Andean condor. This helped archaeologists identify the Bolivian Andes as possible origins of this Huecoid culture,” says Rivera-Perez.

To help confirm these archeological hypotheses, Rivera-Perez and her colleagues examined the DNA preserved in coprolites from both Saladoid and Huecoid settlements and compared the bacterial and fungal populations found in each. Major differences were detected between the fecal communities of these cultures, providing additional support that they may have had different origins. Additionally, they found fungal and corn DNA in the Huecoid coprolite that suggests the consumption of an Andean fermented corn beverage, further confirming the theory that the Huecoids originated in the Bolivian Andes.

“The study of the paleomicrobiome of coprolites supports the hypothesis of multiple ancestries and can provide important evidence regarding migration by ancestral cultures and populations of the Caribbean,” says Rivera-Perez.

Source: American Society for Microbiology

Bio Bay Vieques
Bioluminescent Bay in Vieques – Photo by Frank Borges Llosa

Bioluminescence Researchers to Discuss Salt River Bay on Saturday
By Susan Ellis — May 21, 2014

Federal and local scientists will present data collected over the last year about Salt River’s bioluminescent bay and discuss its importance to the community Saturday at the University of the Virgin Islands Great Hall on St. Croix. Results of the research could impact a multimillion-dollar marine research center in the planning for the last 10 years by the National Park Service, the Department of the Interior, the V.I. government and four stateside universities.

Bioluminescent organisms are one-cell organisms found only in a few bays worldwide. The dinoflagellates give off light and have both plant and animal properties – photosynthesizing like plants and processing food like animals, according to Marcia Taylor, UVI biologist for the Center of Marine and Environmental Studies.

Over the last year, researchers from the Scripps Institute of Oceanography, the Universities of South Carolina and North Carolina, and UVI have been studying the bioluminescence in Salt River Bay with funding by the U.S. Department of the Interior and support from the St. Croix Environmental Association.

The bay is “economically important” and supports four or five companies who offer kayak tours at night. The bioluminescent salt water is also a tourist attraction…

St. John Live Music Schedule

Barefoot Cowboy Lounge
Ike
6:30 -9:30
340-201-1236

Castaway’s
Karaoke Night
9:00
340-777-3316

Coconut Coast
St. John Flutes
5:30 -7:00
340-776-6944

Cruz Bay Landing
T-Bird
5:00 – 8:00
340-776-6908

High Tide
Lemuel Callwood Steel Pan
4:00 – 6:00
340-714-6169

Ocean Grill
David Laabs
6:30 – 9:30
340-693-3304

Pickles
Michael Beason Open Mic
6:00 – 9:00
340-776-6908

Rhumb Lines
Shane Meade & the Sound
7:00 – 10:00
340-776-0303

Shipwreck
Chris Carsel
7:00 – 10:00
340-693-5640

Virgin Fire
Gypsy Jazz
Hot Club of Coral Bay
6:00 -9:00
340-779-4982

See Weekly Schedule

St. John Weather

Isolated showers after 8am. Sunny, with a high near 81. Southeast wind 10 to 13 mph. Chance of precipitation is 10%.

Update me when site is updated

America Hill Estate House

america hill estate house
America Hill Estate House

America HillThe America Hill Estate House is an excellent example of late nineteenth century Virgin Island architecture. Much attention was obviously given to an aesthetically pleasing design as well as to functionality, the limitations of the building site, and the availability of materials and labor.

In the early 1900s, America Hill served as a guesthouse where travelers could rent rooms. One of the last tenants was rumored to be Rafael Leónides Trujillo, former dictator of the Dominican Republic.

Some older St. Johnians say that the estate house was also used as a headquarters for rum-runners during the prohibition days.

The America Hill Estate House can be accessed via the Cinnamon Bay Trail.

St. John and Virgin Islands News

St. John’s Hindes buries field at Virgin Gorda Half Marathon
By Dean Greenaway (Special to the Daily News)
Published: May 19, 2014

VIRGIN GORDA – St. John’s Timothy “TJ” Hindes did his research, relied on his 8 Tuff Miles racing and course training, then executed his strategy to perfection en route to burying the field and winning Saturday’s third Virgin Gorda Half Marathon…. read more

St. John Live Music Schedule

Barefoot Cowboy Lounge
Erin Hart
6:30 – 9:30
340-201-1236

Beach Bar
Watson Roc feat Andy
9:00
777-4220

Castaway’s
Karaoke Night
9:00
340-777-3316

High Tide
Chris Carsel
6:00 9:00
340-714-6169

Inn at Tamarind Court
Steel Pan
6:30
340-776-6378

Island Blues
Karaoke
8:00
340-776-6800

La Tapa
Sambacombo
6:30 – 9:30
340-693-7755

Morgan’s Mango
Greg Kinslow
6:30 – 9:30
340-693-8141

Ocean Grill
Lauren Jones
6:00 – 9:00
340-693-3304

St. John Weather

Scattered showers, mainly before noon. Mostly sunny, with a high near 79. Southeast wind 11 to 16 mph. Chance of precipitation is 30%. New precipitation amounts between a tenth and quarter of an inch possible.

Update me when site is updated

Creation of the Virgin Islands National Park

Virgin Islands National Park

The Creation of the Virgin Islands National Park on St. John

The United States of America purchased the Danish West Indies from Denmark in 1917. Right from the beginning of American ownership of the islands, there was talk in official circles of creating a National Park in the area.

In 1936, the National Park Service, recognizing St. John’s immense beauty, historical significance and potential for recreational development, conducted an official appraisal of the island. In spite of these factors, the conclusion was that St. John did not qualify for Park status. The reasons for the decision were that the island was no longer in its natural state after so many years of intense sugar cane cultivation, and that St. John was not in need of National Park protection as there was no pressure towards commercial development at that time.

In 1939, the National Park Service made a second assessment of St. John. This time the conclusion was to make the entire island a national park. However, with United States attention focused on the coming Second World War, the St. John National Park proposal faded into obscurity.

In the early 1950s St. John experienced a spurt in tourism and related commercial development and the National Park Service renewed their interest in establishing a park in St. John.

Laurance Rockefeller, along with the Rockefeller family and associates founded the Jackson Hole Preserve Corporation, a non-profit conservation and educational organization. He acquired more than 5,000 acres of land on St. John, which were eventually donated to the Federal government.

On August 2, 1956, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed Public Law 925 establishing the Virgin Islands National Park in “a portion of the Virgin Islands of the United States containing outstanding scenic and other features of national significance”.

On December 1, 1956, the Virgin Islands National Park was dedicated and became the twenty ninth National Park in the United States as “a sanctuary wherein natural beauty, wildlife, and historic objects will be conserved unimpaired for the enjoyment of the people and generations yet unborn”.

In 1962, the Virgin Island national Park added another 5,000 acres of the adjacent submerged land and waters, and from time to time the Park has acquired additional lands through donation or purchase.

Today the Virgin Island National Park in St. John offers a variety of activities and educational programs and maintains hiking trails, historical areas and some of the most beautiful beaches in the world.

St. John News

Blocked beach access on St. John’s East End

St. John Weather

Scattered showers, mainly before noon. Mostly sunny, with a high near 81. East southeast wind around 17 mph. Chance of precipitation is 40%. New precipitation amounts of less than a tenth of an inch possible.

Update me when site is updated

Grassy Cay Snorkel

Grassy and Mingo Cays
Between Grassy and Mingo Cays

Grassy Cay Snorkel

elkhorn and fry
elkhorn coral and fry

cup coral
orange Cup Coral

sea fan
Sea Fan

 

Virgin Islands News

V.I. officials lend support to suit fighting for citizenship rights in U.S. territories
By ALDETH LEWIN (Daily News Staff)
Published: May 17, 2014

ST. THOMAS – Former Gov. Charles Turnbull and V.I. Delegate to Congress Donna Christensen filed an amicus brief along with other past and present officials of other U.S. territories this week in a lawsuit about citizenship rights for unincorporated territories that is pending before a federal appeals court.

The lawsuit is Tuaua v. United States, and it is about American Samoa’s citizenship rights. While the situation in American Samoa is different that in the U.S. Virgin Islands, the outcome of the litigation could impact citizenship rights for Virgin Islands residents as well.

An amicus brief, or “friend of the court” brief, refers to participants who are not a party to a lawsuit but who are permitted, upon petition, to submit arguments or information for the court’s consideration.

The United States took ownership of the Virgin Islands in 1917, and citizenship was granted through an act of Congress in 1927.

Neil Weare, lead counsel in Tuaua and president of We the People Project, an organization that works to achieve equal rights for residents of U.S. territories and the District of Columbia, said those born in American Samoa are not full citizens. They are considered “non-citizen nationals,” and if they moved to one of the 50 states, they would have to go through the naturalization process to gain the full rights of citizenship.

In the Virgin Islands, people born in the territory are full U.S. citizens. While living in the Virgin Islands, residents have limited rights, such as not being able to vote for the president and not having a voting representative in Congress. However, when a Virgin Islander moves to one of the 50 states, all those rights are immediately restored…

St. John Weather

Scattered showers. Partly cloudy, with a low around 75. East wind around 16 mph. Chance of precipitation is 30%. New precipitation amounts of less than a tenth of an inch possible.

Update me when site is updated