Press Release
7 December 2017 - 4:33pm

Acting Director for the National Parks Trust of The Virgin Islands (NPTVI), Ms. Lynda Varlack, reassures that despite the devastation caused by Hurricanes Irma and Maria, the National Parks and Protected Areas of The Virgin Islands are ready to receive guests.

Ms. Varlack said, “The recent hurricanes not only destroyed our National Parks and Protected Areas but our offices and newly built Visitor Centres. With over 21 National Parks and Protected Areas our rebuilding efforts remain ongo-ing, and we are all working to make the best of this difficult situation. We estimate that within the next two years we will be back up and running to full capacity having used this opportunity to make necessary improvements and up-grades. Thanks to the NPT team and our amazing group of volunteers and project partners, we were able to receive assistance, conduct park assessments and enact clean-up and repair efforts, thus allowing us to be ready to receive resi-dents and guests for this tourist season. In light of this, we continue to emphasise that park visitors and mooring users exercise caution, within the park system. Our marine team has been out assessing and repairing the moorings system across the Territory and we are still issuing Mooring Permits for use of the Mooring System. Any vessels found without a valid Mooring Permit will be fined.”

The Acting Director added that while priority was given to clean up the more popular and highly trafficked National Parks and Protected areas, some facilities will require more time and attention before they can be safely accessible. She said, “A few of our parks and park facilities sustained extreme damage and will remain closed to visitors until further notice such as the J R O’Neal Botanic Gardens, as well as the Visitor Centres at the Copper Mine National Park in Vir-gin Gorda, Sage Mountain National Park in Tortola and the Anegada Rock Iguana Headstart Facility. This allows us to concentrate our rebuilding efforts without the risk of endangering park visitors.”

Deputy Director for Marketing, Communication and Business Development, Ms. Diehdra Potter added, “These storm events presented the Trust with a unique opportunity, a clean slate so to speak. The goal is revamp our overall park and visitor experience over the next two years. This includes, but is by no means limited to, rolling out new signage and in-terpretation, strengthening our online presence, expanding our network of National Parks and Protected Areas, as well as, increasing our community engagement, partnerships and events.”

Temporarily located within the Office of the Conservation and Fisheries Department in the Quastisky Building 2nd floor in Road Town by the roundabout, NPTVI remains committed to serve the public by issuing Moorings Permits, as well as receiving applications for Territorial Moorings, and National Parks usage for events, filming and photography purposes.

The National Parks Trust of The Virgin Islands thanks the public for their continued patience and support as they strive to rebuild, and continue its mandate of protecting these Virgin Islands. For more information contact the Nation-al Parks Trust of The Virgin Islands at telephone 1 (284) 345 3650, or e-mail bvinpt@bvinationalparkstrust.org and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/NPTVI.

Photos attached:
Photo 1 of 3: Queen Elizabeth II National Park (Photo Credit: National Parks Trust of The Virgin Islands)
Photo 2 of 3: Devil’s Bay National Park (Photo Credit: National Parks Trust of The Virgin Islands)
Photo 3 of 3: Devil’s Bay National Park (Photo Credit: National Parks Trust of The Virgin Islands)

Author

Department of Information and Public Relations (GIS)

354 James Walter Francis Drive
RJT Edifice Building, 5th Floor
Road Town, TORTOLA VG1110

Tel: 284 468 2730
Fax: 284 468 2750
Email: gis@gov.vg

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