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Contact: Murray Shoemaker, 435.260.2422
Contact: Jana Friesen-McCabe, 202.440.2785
St. John, Virgin Islands— Virgin Islands National Park is happy to announce that Honeymoon and Hawksnest beaches are officially reopened as of Monday, November 13, after suffering significant impacts from Hurricanes Irma and Maria in September. Both beaches required a large amount of work to cut trees, clear access, and remove debris.
At Honeymoon Beach, more than 170 cubic yards of debris were removed with another 200 cubic yards from Hawksnest. The four commercial buoys used by boats transporting cruise ship passengers have been safety assessed and returned to their correct positions. Public mooring buoys will be assessed as soon as possible. In the meantime, users do so at their own risk. At the National Park Service portion of Hawksnest Beach, dive teams did inspections for underwater debris and removed what they found. At the eastern portion of the beach, there is still debris in the water, so this area will remain closed until removal takes place. Visitors should continue to be cautious when swimming in all areas of Virgin Islands National Park.
Acting Superintendent Darrell Echols expressed his gratitude for all of the hard work it took to get the beaches open. “It’s been wonderful to see how park staff and those who responded to help have come together to get Virgin Islands National Park back in operation,” he said. “We have a long way to go, but today we can celebrate a significant achievement toward that goal.”