An anchoring permit is REQUIRED for all private vessels visiting Buck Island Reef National Monument, including day use of the West Beach anchoring area and moorings located inside the lagoon. No anchoring is permitted inside the lagoon. The island is closed from sunset to sunrise. Overnight use is allowed only with a special permit and is restricted to the West Beach anchoring area only.
Anchoring permit applications are available at NPS Headquarters in Christiansted, or e-mail us. Permits must be approved prior to anchoring within the Park boundary. Boats must anchor in designated anchor area or be in transit into/out of the area. Please allow five (5) business days to process your permit application.
Completed permit applications can be presented to the Visitor Contact booth at Ft. Christiansvaern or faxed to (340) 719.1793, attention: Law Enforcement.
Please be advised that permit processing can take up to five (5) business days. Please plan your trip to Buck Island accordingly.
As a private vessel you are responsible to be aware of the Park Rules and Regulations, Park Boundaries, and the different activities permitted within the Park, listed below.
buck island rules and regulations
GENERAL INFORMATION FOR PARK VISITORS*
- Coral reefs are protected, operate boats cautiously
- The Park is open every day
- Possession of fishing equipment is prohibited
- All forms of fishing are prohibited
- All forms of collecting, taking, or harvesting on land or sea are prohibited
- Feeding / Disturbing of wildlife & marine life is prohibited
- Parties or groups of over 25 persons are required to get a Special Use Permit. Please call (340) 773.1460 x 224 or e-mail us
- Pets must remain ABOARD vessels at all times
- Volleyball nets and beach umbrellas are prohibited
- Anchoring requires anchoring permit and is permitted only in the designated area*
- Vessels over 42 feet (12 meters) are prohibited from the lagoon area.
- Observe the continuous “No Wake” zone from the West Beach anchorage to the east and north lagoon areas.
- Jet skis & kite surfing are prohibited.
- We have a “Pack It In, Pack It Out” policy; there are NO garbage facilities, please take ALL trash off the island.
Inside the Lagoon*
- Park boundaries were expanded in 2001, making Buck Island Reef National Monument a no-take area. The South Boundary is marked by yellow can buoys. Large white can buoys mark coral reef area.
- All wildlife and plants are protected in the park, including orchids, threatened and endangered sea turtle species, Brown Pelicans, St. Croix Ground Lizard, and Elkhorn and Staghorn corals.
- Anchoring permit applications are available at NPS Headquarters in Christiansted, or e-mail us. Permits must be approved prior to anchoring within the Park boundary. Boats must anchor in designated anchor area or be in transit into/out of the area. Please allow five (5) business days to process your permit application.
In the Event of an Emergency Call 911
Boating Safety Requirements and Tips
- The Underwater Trail is open from sunrise to sunset for snorkeling only
- Pick-up moorings are provided at the Underwater Trail and SCUBA areas
- Always snorkel with a buddy! Keep a sharp lookout for boat traffic
- Do not touch, stand or rest on the coral reef at any time
- SCUBA diving is restricted to the two SCUBA moorings provided by the Park north of Underwater Trail Area
- Vessels over 42 feet (12 meters) are prohibited from the lagoon area
- No overnight mooring in the lagoon
*All Buck Island Reef National Monument resources are protected by a variety of Federal criminal and civil statutes. These include, but are not limited to, the Endangered Species Act, the Marine Mammal Protection Act, the Park System Resources Protection Act and the regulations located at Title 36 of the Code of Federal Regulations that are applicable to National Park System units. Violators will be prosecuted and required to pay for the cost of restore any injured resource. If you see anyone injuring, harassing, taking, or otherwise interfering with a park resource contact (340) 773.1460 x 234 immediately. Thank you for helping us protect your park and resources.
- Float Plan. Tell a friend or relative when you are leaving, where you are going, when you are expected to return, what to do if you do not, and a description of your boat.
- Fire Extinguishers. Inspect annually; have ready to use.
- Personal Flotation Devices. Have both wearable and throw-able types, enough for every passenger.
- Sound-producing Device. Have a horn or whistle appropriate for boat.
- Emergency Kit. Keep on board in a waterproof floating bag: maps, flares, a first aid kit.
- Be Weather Wise. Check weather before leaving shore.
- Boat Safety Check. Test your navigation lights before leaving the dock and carry extra batteries.
- Never use drugs or alcohol before or during boat operation.