Sea Turtle Program

turtle-etiquette

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 100 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! 

Sea Turtle Crawl Tracks

Volunteers Needed

Volunteers for the 2022/23 season need to be residents of STJ and able to commit for most of July-November (we will work around your vacation schedules) for at least one early morning patrol per week on a set schedule.  Please contact vinpturtles@friendsvinp.org:

A sea turtle on the seafloor

Turtle Talks & Seminars

Maho Turtle Info Table: Every Tuesday and Thursday until end of July from 9AM to 11AM.

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.

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Turtle Hotlines

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

Report turtle tracks and nesting activity to  vinpturtles@gmail.com or (340) 643-8560 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

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Talking Turtles Virtual Seminar

June 16 | 12PM

Join the VINP Sea Turtle Program leaders, Willow Melamet and Adren Anderson for an update on the program and the challenges our sea turtle population face as we kick off the 2022/23 nesting season.

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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Teacher Resources

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

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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!