Few experiences compare to snorkeling through tranquil turquoise waters, where you glide effortlessly among colorful fish, sea turtles, and spectacular coral formations; or walking along a warm white sand beach at sunset with swaying palms whispering in the evening breeze. Visions like this draw tourists to the Caribbean Islands, and the U.S. Virgin Islands are no exception.
In January 2001, a Presidential Proclamation established the Virgin Islands Coral Reef National Monument. These protected areas include over 12,000 acres of land underwater where spectacular coral reefs are submerged off the shore of St. John.
If You Go
Hurricane Hole is the only section of Virgin Islands Coral Reef National Monument accessible by land. All of the other areas of the monuments are only accessible by boat.
A popular attraction for millions of visitors each year, both Virgin Islands National Park and Virgin Islands Coral Reef National Monument are at risk from development on privately-owned land within and adjacent to park boundaries. According to an assessment by NPCA's Center for State of the Parks, published in May 2008, chronic funding and staffing shortfalls have limited the National Park Service's ability to protect the parks' historic structures and marine ecosystems.