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HomeCommunityNational ParkBuck Island Reef NM Modifies Hours of Operation, Cites Rules

Buck Island Reef NM Modifies Hours of Operation, Cites Rules

Buck Island Reef National Monument — Turtle Beach (file photo)

Buck Island Reef National Monument modifies hours of operation in support of territorial and local efforts to assist in public health advisories and limitations implemented by the Government of the Virgin Islands.

Buck Island Reef National NM is implementing an immediate temporary public use limitation effective Thursday, Aug. 12. Buck Island Reef NM will be closed by 4 p.m. daily to all boaters. This temporary closure is implemented under section 36 CFR 1.5 (a) and based upon a determination that such action is necessary for public health and safety.

Visitors to Buck Island Reef are advised to maintain social distancing of at least six feet while on beaches, trails and on boats. They are encouraged to adhere to the guidance provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and territorial and local public health authorities to protect their health, those around them and park employees.

Consistent with CDC recommendations, people who are not yet fully vaccinated must continue to wear masks indoors and in crowded outdoor spaces. Individuals looking to get a COVID-19 vaccine can visit www.vaccines.gov or www.covid19usvi.com. Or they can text their zip code to 438829 to find a location close to them and make an appointment.

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The following are guides to follow while visiting Buck Island:

  • Buck Island Reef NM waters will remain open to boating activities in open waters.
  • Anchoring and mooring permits will be accepted.
  • Comfort stations at Buck Island are open for use.
  • Parties, BBQs and large gatherings are prohibited.
  • No alcoholic beverages and/or containers are allowed.
  • Guided hikes and other on-site public or educational programs remain canceled.
  • The park will not issue special visitor use or business permits.
  • Boaters must make other arrangements for trash disposal. Do not leave trash on shore
  • Maintain distance between vessels. Vessels should not be tied or “rafted” together.

Whether seeking wide-open spaces or exploring a historic urban neighborhood, visitors should follow CDC guidance to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and adopt the following recreate responsibly tips:

  • Know before you go. Visit NPS.gov/findapark for current park conditions as well as the availability of restrooms and other facilities. Make a plan; follow the 10 Essentials. If you are sick, stay home.
  • Keep it close. Follow state, tribal and local orders of where you are traveling. The NPS is working closely with public health professionals to make operational changes and adapt to changing conditions.
  • Keep your distance. Follow the CDC’s social distancing guidelines and stay at least six feet away from other people. If you are not fully vaccinated, wear a mask indoors and in crowded outdoor spaces.
  • Know your limits. Postpone challenging hikes or trying new activities while first responders, parks and communities continue to concentrate on responding to the pandemic.
  • Keep it with you. If you brought it, take it with you. Trash pickup and restroom facilities will continue to be limited in many park areas. Follow “Leave No Trace” principles.
  • Keep it inclusive. Be an active part of making our nation’s parks and public lands safe and welcoming for all identities and abilities.

Contact Supervisory Park Ranger Gabriel Laurencin or Acting Superintendent Reginald M. Tiller at 773-1460 ext. 222, or visit www.nps.gov/chri for additional information and updates.

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