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YEAR 2008 - CRP Project #3001C (Caribbean)

Project #3001C
Hurricane Hole Moorings
Mangrove Protection Project

St. John, US Virgin Island

Aerial View of Hurricane Hole - click to enlarge
Aerial View of Hurricane Hole and Refuge Sites

Project name:   Hurricane Hole Moorings / Mangrove Protection Project  
Project number:   3001C  
Project status:   Complete  
Grant Administrator:   Gulf of Mexico Foundation (for NOAA)  
Grantee:   Friends of the Virgin Islands National Park  
Project location:   St. John, US Virgin Island  
Grant period:   Jan 1, 2021 – Dec 31, 2020  
Grant amount:   $38,000  
Land Ownership:   Public (VINP and VICRNM)  
Lat/Long:   64°41’ 28.46” W; 18°21’ 5.13” N  
Types of Habitat:   Mangrove-fringed bays  
Project leader:   Joe Kessler
President, Friends VINP
PO Box 811
St. John, VI 00831

Species Benefiting From Restoration:
   • Red mangrove (Rhizophora mangle)
   • Black mangrove (Avicennia germinans)
   • White mangrove (Laguncularia racemosa)
   • Scleractinian coral (Diploria, Montastrea, Colpophyllia, Siderastrea)
   • Indirectly: approximately 80 fish species

Acres of Habitat To be Restored:
Approximately .55 acres or 900 linear feet of mangroves

Project Summary:
Friends of the Virgin Islands National ParkThis project, located within VINP and VICRNM, will help protect the most pristine mangroves in the Virgin Islands from further damage from lines tied to mangrove roots and trunks, and protect near shore coral from anchors placed among coral heads and coral encrusted rocks, as vessels are secured in Hurricane Hole during storms. By installing a chain mooring system with “berths” for an additional 30 vessels, this completes the project, providing a safe alternative to tying to mangroves and helps preserve the fish nursery habitat that populates the reefs and near shore waters to the east and south of St. John.

Project Objectives:
The overall objective of the project is to protect the mangrove forests bordering Hurricane Hole, enabling them to regenerate, grow and prosper. Specifically, this will be achieved by reducing and hopefully eliminating the most significant stress factor to the mangroves by providing a safe and viable alternative for mariners to secure their boats during hurricanes and other tropical storms.
To this end 96 storm berths have already been installed in the four bays of Hurricane Hole during the previous phases of this project. This final phase of the project will install moorings in all of the remaining areas where installation of the mooring system is feasible. The storm mooring system has proved very popular with local boaters and the facilities are fully subscribed during hurricane season. Boaters appreciate that the mooring system is stronger than the mangrove roots, trunks and branches used previously and are much easier attach their boats to. They also appreciate the administrative procedures that relieve some of the stress in preparing their boats for a storm.

Community Involvement:
Through the Hurricane Hole Advisory Group (established during earlier phases of the project) local boaters provided input into the design and location of the moorings, helping to ensure their effective use and reporting any problem to the proper authorities. This advisory group is comprised of official and unofficial leaders of the boating community. Meetings are held when input is required for the effective operation of the storm mooring system. Communications with the boating community is done through the local boaters groups, yacht clubs, the local newspapers and radio. VINP/ VICRNM staff conduct an annual signup for storm mooring berths and uses these gatherings as an additional outreach opportunity with local boaters. The Friends uses this opportunity to inform boaters about the project and its donor(s).

Click on photo to enlarge

Moorings set up - click to enlarge
Moorings set up

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NOAA Restoration Center

Gulf of Mexico Foundation

Friends of the Virgin Islands National Park


Local boating and fishing community


Gulf of Mexico Foundation - PMB 51, 5403 Everhart - Corpus Christi, TX 78411
(800) 884-4175 toll free - (361) 882-3939 phone - (361) 882-1262 fax
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webmaster: Carrie Robertson