The Nature Conservancy’s first foray into the Caribbean was in the form of a land acquisition in St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands in the early 1970s. Since then, the Conservancy’s presence in the region has broadened significantly to help protect the marine ecosystems and exquisite beauty that the region is so well known for.
The preserves that the Conservancy currently manages in the U.S. Virgin Islands are comprised of 730 acres of fragile bays, wind shaped ecosystems of rolling hills, steep valleys and breath-taking beaches. They are home to hundreds of species, including corals, fishes, invertebrates, birds, mammals, and reptiles.
In addition to protecting land, The Conservancy is working towards the recovery of threatened species at the Jack & Isaac’s Bay Preserve and throughout the USVI. Since sea turtle monitoring began in 1994, the population of green and hawksbill nesting females has grown from 14 to over 250; likely a result of our effort to reduce threats. New technology like satellite tracking has also helped broaden knowledge of sea turtle activity at sea, as 6 nesting female green turtles have been tagged by the Conservancy in recent years. Restoring coral reefs is also a priority, with staff transplanting over 15,000 corals to date in the USVI and sharing lessons learned with the wider Caribbean. All of these activities will help build coastal resilience and strengthen marine ecosystems throughout the Virgin Islands for the benefit of nature and people.
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In the US Virgin Islands the Conservancy is restoring coral reefs damaged by climate change and other impacts with nursery-grown endangered corals.