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Archive for coral reef national monument

A Community Under the Sea

By Linda Tancs

Virgin Islands Coral Reef National Monument includes federal submerged lands off the island of St. John supporting a diverse and complex system of coral reefs and other ecosystems such as shoreline mangrove forests and seagrass beds. In fact, an area within the monument known as Hurricane Hole includes some of the least disturbed mangrove ecosystems remaining in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Mangroves act as nurseries for grunts and other fish like queen angelfish and gray snappers. St. John is accessible via ferry service from St. Thomas. Once on St. John, the only part of the monument accessible by land is in Hurricane Hole. To get there, follow route 10 from Cruz Bay to Estate Hermitage. The majority of the monument extends eastward from Borck Creek to Haulover Bay along the southern shoreline of the island.

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