National Park Service hosts additional Caneel Bay outreach sessions
National Park Service News Release / Release Date: February 26, 2022 / Contact: Nigel Fields, 340-776-6201 ext. 240
ST. JOHN, U.S. Virgin Islands—The National Park Service (NPS) today announced the latest round of opportunities for the community to provide input on the proposed redevelopment options for Caneel Bay ahead of the March 4 public commenting deadline.
“Since the civic engagement period for Caneel Bay began mid-January, we have been heartened by the outpouring of interest and engagement in response to our request for public comments,” said Virgin Islands National Park Superintendent Nigel Fields. “We are pleased to now offer further opportunities for the public to meet with park staff and share their thoughts at various locations around St. John.”
Staff will be available to receive comments at Bethany Moravian Church in Cruz Bay from 6pm-7:30pm on Tuesday, March 1, 2022 and at Calvary Baptist Church in Coral Bay from 6pm-7:30pm on Thursday March 3, 2022.
Additionally, park staff will be present at the Virgin Islands National Park pavilion Feb. 28th – Mar. 3rd from2pm-4pm daily to transcribe and/or accept written comments.
Written comments may also be hand-delivered or mailed to the park headquarters by Mar. 4 at:
Caneel Bay Redevelopment and Management Plan
c/o Superintendent Nigel Fields
1300 Cruz Bay Creek
St. John, VI 00830
Fields continued, “It is important to understand that this process does not call on the public to vote for a particular concept, rather to offer meaningful feedback and insight that will help inform the NPS approach moving forward. We welcome all comments and encourage the community to fully leverage this and future opportunities to help shape the Caneel Bay redevelopment.”
While the Caneel Bay retained use estate (RUE) will remain in place until its expiration on September 30, 2023, the NPSbegan planning for the Caneel Bay redevelopment last fall. The draft purpose of the plan is to identify a sustainable and resilient redevelopment strategy for the Caneel Bay area that preserves and protects its significant cultural and natural resources while providing a range of visitor experiences, including overnight and day use opportunities, and promotes economic activities that integrate the values and history of the community of St. John.
To learn more about the proposed redevelopment options and submit comments, please visit Parkplanning – Caneel Bay Redevelopment (nps.gov).
About Caneel Bay: Caneel Bay currently operates under a retained use estate (RUE), a unique arrangement crafted by Laurance S. Rockefeller in 1983, setting aside the 150-acre resort for independent operation and management within Virgin Islands National Park without NPS oversight. The NPS expects to assume full responsibility for the property when the RUE expires on September 30, 2023. The resort was severely damaged by Hurricanes Irma and Maria in 2017 and remains mostly closed. In addition to long being an economic driver on the island, Caneel Bay is also an important cultural and historical site and the location of the 1733 Akwamu Slave Rebellion, one of the first sustained revolts of enslaved people in the Americas. Current information about the NPS redevelopment of Caneel Bay is available at https://go.nps.gov/CaneelBay.
About the National Park Service. More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America’s 423 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Learn more at www.nps.gov, and on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube.