Sea Turtle Program


The Virgin Islands National Park Sea Turtle Monitoring and Protection Program aims to protect sea turtle nests, facilitate research projects, and spread awareness of sea turtle conservation in Virgin Islands National Park and its surrounding waters including the Virgin Islands Coral Reef National Monument. The program funded by Friends of Virgin Islands National Park is managed by Program Managers, Willow Melamet and Katie Ayres working with Park Rangers and a team of some 80 volunteers.  Work encompasses:

Nest Protection - Nests are protected and monitored throughout incubation and excavated upon emergence. Hatchlings found during excavations are released to the ocean.

Volunteer Beach Monitoring - Volunteers walk assigned beaches from June to November looking for signs of sea turtle nesting activity.

Research - Independent research as well as collaborations with other programs and institutions help us gain a better understanding of the sea turtles utilizing the waters and beaches of the Virgin Islands.

Education Outreach - Fostering awareness for sea turtle conservation through community and school education outreach programs.
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By The Numbers

The 2022/23 season counted 25 leatherback, hawksbill, and green nests hatched with 2,289 hatchlings making it to the ocean! 

Sea Turtle Crawl Tracks

Join Our Turtle Patrol

If you live on St. John from July to November and have your own transportation, we invite you to volunteer with our turtle team.


Turtle Hotlines

Report mistreatment of turtles to NPS Park Rangers: (866) 995-8467 

Report turtle tracks and nesting activity to or (760) 470-8995 Do not disturb the area or walk on the crawl. Take photos. 

Report turtles in distress or stranded to the STAR network: (340) 690-0474

Help us Protect Them

Be A Turtle Friend

Do wear rash guards and reef safe sunscreen.

Don't touch a sea turtle!  Aside from harming them, it's the law!

Keep six feet away when snorkeling and don't chase them.

Hawksbill Sea Turtle Hatchling

Turtle Resource Library

Learn more about the species that live here, how to snorkel with them, how to identify tracks, and more!  Please use these resources to educate yourself and others!


Teacher Resources

Schedule a trip to the Park or a classroom Turtle Talk and utilize the resources in our library for lesson planning. 

A sea turtle on the seafloor

Turtle Talks & Seminars

Lets Talk Turtles Virtual Seminar | Recorded May 25, 2023 | Watch Here

Our seminars, boat trips and more run from November to June.  The 2023/24 schedule will be available in October/November 2023.

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Shop Turtle Gear

Stop by the National Park Visitor Center in Cruz Bay or shop online for tees, rash guards, stickers, magnets, and more turtle-y awesome things.  Proceeds help protect and preserve the Park we all love! 


Adopt A Turtle Or Donate Today!

Help protect and preserve the Park we all love! Together we are Virgin Islands National Park’s best friends!