One of the Caribbean’s Best Beaches is Protected for Tourists

As the Caribbean tourist season hits its peak, one of its best beaches has been protected from development, The Trust for Public Land announced today.

The beach is at Maho Bay, on the north side of the island of St. John, where most of Virgin Islands National Park is located. The 225-acre beach and the hillside above are the largest single addition to the park since it was created in 1956, from land donated by Lawrence Rockefeller. "The beach and hillside at Maho may well be paradise, and can now be enjoyed by everyone who comes to this wonderful park," said Will Rogers, President of The Trust for Public Land.

Gerald Singer, an expert on Caribbean beaches and author of St. John Beach Guide, said, "This is one of the most beautiful beaches in the Caribbean. I'm happy to learn the delicate environmental balance of the lush Maho Bay valley and access to the beautiful beach and the calm, shallow bay with its abundant marine life will remain undisturbed by private development."

Brion FitzGerald, Superintendent of V.I. National Park, said, "This is one of the best beaches on St. John and is a significant piece of the island's natural and cultural history. It is wonderful that it will be available for park visitors."

The Trust for Public Land recently sold 74 acres to the National Park Service for $2.5 million, the last of a series of sales beginning in 2009, bringing the total land sold to 225 acres. The federal money came from the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF).

Rep. Donna Christensen, D-V.I., said, "I am glad that this very beautiful beach and the surrounding natural resources will be preserved for Virgin Islanders and visitors alike."

Founded in 1972, The Trust for Public Land is the leading nonprofit working to conserve land for people. The Trust for Public Land has protected more than three million acres from the inner city to the wilderness and helped generate more than $34 billion in public funds for conservation. Nearly ten million people live within a ten-minute walk of a Trust for Public Land park, garden, or natural area, and millions more visit these sites every year.