Wednesday, May 9th, 2018, 7:30pm: Turtle Watch - NESTING!
General info for all hikes and walks: Hikes and walks are $5 for members, and $10 for non-members (become a member). The terrain is uneven once we leave the parking lot. It is sand for the most part, some deep and loose. The guide may periodically stop and talk along the way. Bring sturdy, comfortable walking or hiking shoes, water, bug spray, rain poncho, etc., but please review the guidelines posted below so you are prepared.
Specific info for this event: We'll be exploring some of the beautiful southwest corner of St. Croix and hopefully witnessing one or more turtles laying eggs! The hike will be mostly in deep sand along the beach. We will discussing turtles, of course, their nesting habits, the three types we usually see here (Greens, Hawkbills, and the Leatherbacks), and more!
This will be an evening/night time event, lasting approximately until midnight. Please read all the guidelines provided by the Wildlife Refuge for this activity, as well as anyone you're bringing with you. You will want to bring water for the duration but food is not allowed. (click here for Guidelines)
Photography/videography is prohibited. No cell phones, cameras, video games, or flashlights will be allowed.
Meet time is 7:30PM... please do not be late, the gate will be closed/locked once we go in. Everyone goes in together, everyone comes out together.
See the meeting spot on Google Maps
Driving directions: Go west on Melvin H. Evans Highway (Rt. 66) to the very end. Where you would normally turn towards Fredriksted, continue straight west for another 4/10 of a mile, until you reach a "Sandy Point" sign, and a parking area.
Area info: Known as Sandy Point National Wildlife Refuge, the area was once mined for sand, from the late 1970's to 1982. The West Indies Investment Company mined the beach sand to within 100 to 150 feet of the southeast shoreline. Over the years the shoreline has restored itself, and has been reshaped, yet again, by the recent hurricanes.
It was Otto Tranberg, a native Crucian who began the campaign to protect the turtles. In 1979, the US Fish and Wildlife Service designated a strip of land as "critical habitat" for the nesting of leatherback turtles. There are also over 100 species of birds, and endangered plants in the area. It is the longest beach area in the Virgin Islands, and its geological formation is unique in this region of the Caribbean. The coral reef system and open sea that surrounds Sandy Point support a large variety of marine organisms.
St. Croix Hiking Association - home page