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, Adren Anderson and Willow Melamet 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 2021/22 season counted 34 hawksbill nests hatched and over 3,000 hatchlings making it to the ocean! 

A sea turtle on the seafloor

Turtle Talks & Seminars

Monday: Sea Turtle Talk | 5:30PM to 6:30PM | Cinnamon Raintree Cafe | Free

Tuesday: Sea Turtle Info Table | 9AM to 11AM | Maho Bay Beach Pavilions | Free.  Stop by to meet the turtle team.

Second Fridays: Turtle Exploration Boat Trip | 9:00AM to 12:30PM with pick ups/drop offs in both St.Thomas and St.John |  Learn more here.

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.


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


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!

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!

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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! 


Teacher Resources

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

Sea Turtle Crawl Tracks


Volunteers are the backbone of the Turtle Protection Program.  Every day from July-November some 80 volunteers patrol our beaches every morning looking for nesting activity.  Many of them pick up trash at the same time.  Huge thanks to them for helping protect these beautiful endangered species.