Virgin Islands Coral Reef National Monument
The Virgin Islands Coral Reef National Monument is a U. S. National Monument located off Virgin Islands; the clear waters surrounding Saint John support a complex system of coral reefs. The health of these reefs is tied to its component plants and animals as well as adjacent non-coral marine environments such as sandy bottoms, seagrass beds, mangrove forests. Seeking to provide greater protection to the sensitive coral reef resources, President Clinton established the Virgin Islands Coral Reef National Monument on January 17, 2001; the monument includes 12,708 acres of federal submerged lands within the 3 mile belt off Saint John, including Hurricane Hole and areas north and south of Saint John. The coral reefs of the U. S. Virgin Islands suffered from coral bleaching in 2005, which led to a 60% decline in coral activity; the USGS began extensive research in the area and scientists discovered unknown coral ecosystems at the submerged stems of mangrove trees in the Hurricane Hole area of the National Monument.
They found about 30 of the 45 coral species in the Virgin Islands, an astonishing diversity for the small area, were surprised by the number of sponge species as well. This is the first known occurrence of corals in a mangrove ecosystem. Virgin Islands National Park Official NPS website: Virgin Islands Coral Reef National Monument
Salt River Bay National Historical Park and Ecological Preserve
Salt River Bay National Historic Park and Ecological Preserve is a unit of the National Park Service on the island of St. Croix in the U. S. Virgin Islands, it preserves upland watersheds, mangrove forests, estuarine and marine environments that support threatened and endangered species. It contains the Columbus Landing Site, a National Historic Landmark, the only known site where members of a Columbus expedition set foot on what is now United States territory; the site is marked by Fort Salé, a remaining earthworks fortification from the French period of occupation, about 1617. The park preserves prehistoric and colonial-era archeological sites including the only existing example of a ball court in the US Virgin Islands. Salt River Bay is located on its central coast; the bay is a large inlet with the left fed by the Salt River. The park property encompasses all of the land abutting the bay; this area's blend of sea and land holds some of the largest remaining mangrove forests in the Virgin Islands, as well as coral reefs and a submarine canyon.
Salt River Bay's natural history, its vitally important ecosystem of mangroves, coral reefs, submarine canyon, has witnessed thousands of years of human endeavor. Every major period of human habitation in the Virgin Islands is represented: several South American Indian cultures, the 1493 encounter with Columbus, Spanish extermination of the Caribs, attempts at colonization by a succession of European nations, enslaved West Africans and their descendants. More than a dozen major archeological investigations since 1880, together with historical research, reveal a remarkable story. On February 24, 1992 Congress created the park, under cooperative management of the National Park Service and Government of the Virgin Islands of the United States; these agencies jointly manage this park. As an historic area of the National Park Service, the park was administratively listed on the National Register of Historic Places on the same day; the Columbus landing site had been designated a National Historic Landmark on October 9, 1960.
The Salt River Bay National Historical Park and Ecological Preserve will be honored with the 53rd quarter in the America the Beautiful Quarters in 2020. The bay was the location of a Taino village and batey since the 1300s, until conquered by the Caribs in 1425; the Columbus landing site is located on a point at the western side of the bay. It is here that Columbus sent a longboat to shore on November 14, 1493, to explore the area and acquire fresh water and provisions. A nearby village was occupied by Taíno people, enslaved by invading Carib forces, Columbus' men took some of the women and children with them when they set out to return to the ship. While en route, they encountered a canoe occupied by Caribs, a brief skirmish took place, in which one of the canoe's occupants was slain and the others captured; this was the first recorded fight by the Spanish with the New World native population, they named the site Cabo de la Flecha. The island had been abandoned by the Caribs by 1590, became Spanish territory.
It was taken by the English in 1641, the Dutch in 1642. The Dutch built triangular earthworks called Fort Flamand near the site, taken over by the French in 1650, renamed Fort Salé, it remains the only known structure to survive from this early colonial period. Gudmund Hatt first discovered the site in 1923. Excavations revealed petroglyphs, human sacrifice remains and stone belts; some of the artifacts are now in the National Museum of Denmark. Salt River is home to one of two bioluminescent bays or bio bays on the island of St. Croix; every year thousands of people flock to see the glowing water of the Bio Bay that's created by a micro-organism, the dinoflagellate Pyrodinium bahamense. The bay is home to other bioluminescent marine life including Ctenophora or comb-jellies and Odontosyllis phosphorea or Fireworms. Bio Bays are rare with "only seven year-round lagoons known to exist in the Caribbean", says Dr. Michael Latz of the Scripps Institute of Oceanography at the University of California San Diego, an expert on bioluminescent organisms, "Any place that has a bioluminescent bay should cherish it like a natural wonder, like a treasure".
A combination of factors creates the necessary conditions for bioluminescence: red mangrove trees surround the water. A study at the Bio Bay located at Salt River Bay National Historical Park and Ecological Preserve is being conducted by faculty and students from the University of South Carolina, the University of North Carolina Wilmington and the University of the Virgin Islands, their research is focused on analyzing quality and nutrient composition of the water, the distribution of the dinoflagellate Pyrodinium bahamense, the abundance of "cysts," dormant dinoflagellates embedded in the sea floor. The National Park Service and its partner institutions completed a study of the bioluminescence phenomenon in the Mangrove Lagoon in Spring 2014. Salt River Canyon is a prehistoric river and waterfall having cut two deep walls facing each other across a quarter mile of blue water; the feature is one of the best known of St. Croix's dive features, along with the Frederiksted Pier; the most popular scuba diving locations are a few hundred yards outside the Salt River Bay.
Although most of the boat moorings are 25-45'
Transportation in the United States Virgin Islands
The United States Virgin Islands is the only place under United States jurisdiction where the rule of the road is to drive on the left. However all passenger vehicles are left hand drive due to imports of U. S. vehicles. Cars drive on the left hand side of the road, but nearly all the automobiles on the island have left-side steering columns. Due to the terrain, roads are narrow and take with sharp turns, they tend to be poorly surfaced. The USVI have about 750 mi of public roads and 490 mi of private roads. Most public roads are paved with asphalt or concrete. There are few shoulders. Guts and retaining walls help prevent flooding and landslides. Private roads are unpaved or semi-paved. Virgin Islands Transit public buses run between the main areas of local interest. Bus fare is $1 or less. Owned "dollar ride" or "dollar run" taxi buses stop at or near many bus stops, they do not follow a regular schedule. It is possible to get off anywhere along their route; these buses charge a flat rate for the trip, either $1 or $2.
Nearly all taxis are shared taxis, either enclosed vans or open-air "safaris", that go to destinations that are most convenient for tourists. They are required by law to charge a flat fare that varies by destination. Though less common, private taxis to other destinations can be negotiated. There are many car rental agencies which rent jeeps; the USVI contain no railways although there was a marine railway on Hassel Island. Many flights connect the islands to the U. S. mainland. Flights operate between Saint Thomas and Saint Croix, from both of them to other islands in the Caribbean. Two international airports serve the islands: Henry E. Rohlsen International Airport Cyril E. King International Airport There are no airports on Saint John or Water Island. There are two seaplane bases: Charlotte Amalie Harbor Seaplane Base Christiansted Harbor Seaplane Base About two million people visit the U. S. Virgin Islands by cruise ship each year. On Saint Thomas, large cruise ships dock at the West Indian Company Dock and the Austin "Babe" Monsanto Marine Facility in Crown Bay.
Cruise ships can anchor in the Charlotte Amalie Harbor and tender to Waterfront. On Saint Croix, cruise ships arrive at the Ann E. Abramson Marine Facility in Frederiksted. Mini-cruise ships can dock at Gallows Bay near Christiansted. On Saint John, mini-cruise ships arrive in Cruz Bay; the two main ferry terminals on Saint Thomas are The Edward Wilmoth Blyden IV Marine Terminal in Charlotte Amalie and the Urman Victor Fredericks Marine Terminal in Red Hook. The ferry terminal for Saint Croix is at The Gallows Bay Dock. On Saint John, passenger ferries enter at The Loredon Lawrence Boynes Sr. Dock while The Theovald Eric Moorehead Dock and Terminal at Enighed Pond. Water Island has a small dock at Phillips Landing. There are frequent inter-island ferries. Cruz Bay, Saint John can be reached from Red Hook on Saint Thomas. Car barges run between Cruz Bay and Red Hook. Water Island can be reached from Saint Thomas. There is Gallows Bay, Saint Croix. International ferries run between Saint Thomas, Saint John, the neighboring British Virgin Islands.
On Saint Thomas, cargo vessels are served by the Crown Bay Cargo Port. On Saint Croix, cargo vessels are served by The Gallows Bay Dock near Christiansted and the Wilfred "Bomba" Allick Port and Transshipment Center in Krause Lagoon. On Saint John, cargo vessels are served by the Victor William Sewer Marine Facility and the Theovald Eric Moorehead Dock and Terminal. There are numerous marinas and anchorages in the USVI. Vessels entering the islands must proceed directly to a port of entry for clearance before passengers and crew go ashore. Additional ports and anchorage sites include: Saint Thomas American Yacht Harbor Benner Bay Frenchtown Yacht Haven Marina Saint Croix The Gordon A. Finch Molasses Pier Green Cay Marina Limetree Bay Saint John Coral Bay Chocolate Hole Although a U. S. territory, the USVI are maintained as a "free port" in a separate customs zone. Travelers to the continental United States and Puerto Rico need to pre-clear U. S. customs and present a passport or proof of U. S. nationality.
The immigration status of non-U. S. Citizens may be checked during this process as well
Protestantism is the second largest form of Christianity with collectively between 800 million and more than 900 million adherents worldwide or nearly 40% of all Christians. It originated with the 16th century Reformation, a movement against what its followers perceived to be errors in the Roman Catholic Church. Protestants reject the Roman Catholic doctrine of papal supremacy and sacraments, but disagree among themselves regarding the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist, they emphasize the priesthood of all believers, justification by faith alone rather than by good works, the highest authority of the Bible alone in faith and morals. The "five solae" summarise basic theological differences in opposition to the Roman Catholic Church. Protestantism is popularly considered to have begun in Germany in 1517 when Martin Luther published his Ninety-five Theses as a reaction against abuses in the sale of indulgences by the Roman Catholic Church, which purported to offer remission of sin to their purchasers.
However, the term derives from the letter of protestation from German Lutheran princes in 1529 against an edict of the Diet of Speyer condemning the teachings of Martin Luther as heretical. Although there were earlier breaks and attempts to reform the Roman Catholic Church—notably by Peter Waldo, John Wycliffe, Jan Hus—only Luther succeeded in sparking a wider and modern movement. In the 16th century, Lutheranism spread from Germany into Denmark, Sweden, Latvia and Iceland. Reformed denominations spread in Germany, the Netherlands, Scotland and France by reformers such as John Calvin, Huldrych Zwingli, John Knox; the political separation of the Church of England from the pope under King Henry VIII began Anglicanism, bringing England and Wales into this broad Reformation movement. Protestants have developed their own culture, with major contributions in education, the humanities and sciences, the political and social order, the economy and the arts, many other fields. Protestantism is diverse, being more divided theologically and ecclesiastically than either the Roman Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox Church, or Oriental Orthodoxy.
Without structural unity or central human authority, Protestants developed the concept of an invisible church, in contrast to the Roman Catholic view of the Catholic Church as the visible one true Church founded by Jesus Christ. Some denominations do have a worldwide scope and distribution of membership, while others are confined to a single country. A majority of Protestants are members of a handful of Protestant denominational families: Adventists, Anglicans, Reformed, Lutherans and Pentecostals. Nondenominational, charismatic and other churches are on the rise, constitute a significant part of Protestant Christianity. Proponents of the branch theory consider Protestantism one of the three major divisions of Christendom, together with the Roman Catholic Church and Orthodoxy. Six princes of the Holy Roman Empire and rulers of fourteen Imperial Free Cities, who issued a protest against the edict of the Diet of Speyer, were the first individuals to be called Protestants; the edict reversed concessions made to the Lutherans with the approval of Holy Roman Emperor Charles V three years earlier.
The term protestant, though purely political in nature acquired a broader sense, referring to a member of any Western church which subscribed to the main Protestant principles. However, it is misused to mean any church outside the Roman and Eastern Orthodox communions. Protestantism as a general term is now used in contradistinction to the other major Christian traditions, i.e. Roman Catholicism and Orthodoxy. During the Reformation, the term protestant was hardly used outside of German politics. People who were involved in the religious movement used the word evangelical. For further details, see the section below. Protestant became a general term, meaning any adherent of the Reformation in the German-speaking area, it was somewhat taken up by Lutherans though Martin Luther himself insisted on Christian or evangelical as the only acceptable names for individuals who professed Christ. French and Swiss Protestants instead preferred the word reformed, which became a popular and alternative name for Calvinists.
The word evangelical, which refers to the gospel, was used for those involved in the religious movement in the German-speaking area beginning in 1517. Nowadays, evangelical is still preferred among some of the historical Protestant denominations in the Lutheran and United Protestant traditions in Europe, those with strong ties to them. Above all the term is used by Protestant bodies in the German-speaking area, such as the Evangelical Church in Germany. In continental Europe, an Evangelical is either a Calvinist, or a United Protestant; the German word evangelisch means Protestant, is different from the German evangelikal, which refers to churches shaped by Evangelicalism. The English word evangelical refers to evangelical Protestant churches, therefore to a certain part of Protestantism rather than to Protestantism as a whole; the English word traces its roots back to the Puritans in England, where Evangelicalism originated, was brought to the United States. Martin Luther always disliked the term Lutheran, preferring the term evangelical, derived from euangelion, a Greek word meaning "good news", i.e. "gospel".
The followers of
African Americans are an ethnic group of Americans with total or partial ancestry from any of the black racial groups of Africa. The term refers to descendants of enslaved black people who are from the United States. Black and African Americans constitute the third largest racial and ethnic group in the United States. Most African Americans are descendants of enslaved peoples within the boundaries of the present United States. On average, African Americans are of West/Central African and European descent, some have Native American ancestry. According to U. S. Census Bureau data, African immigrants do not self-identify as African American; the overwhelming majority of African immigrants identify instead with their own respective ethnicities. Immigrants from some Caribbean, Central American and South American nations and their descendants may or may not self-identify with the term. African-American history starts in the 16th century, with peoples from West Africa forcibly taken as slaves to Spanish America, in the 17th century with West African slaves taken to English colonies in North America.
After the founding of the United States, black people continued to be enslaved, the last four million black slaves were only liberated after the Civil War in 1865. Due to notions of white supremacy, they were treated as second-class citizens; the Naturalization Act of 1790 limited U. S. citizenship to whites only, only white men of property could vote. These circumstances were changed by Reconstruction, development of the black community, participation in the great military conflicts of the United States, the elimination of racial segregation, the civil rights movement which sought political and social freedom. In 2008, Barack Obama became the first African American to be elected President of the United States; the first African slaves arrived via Santo Domingo to the San Miguel de Gualdape colony, founded by Spanish explorer Lucas Vázquez de Ayllón in 1526. The marriage between Luisa de Abrego, a free black domestic servant from Seville and Miguel Rodríguez, a white Segovian conquistador in 1565 in St. Augustine, is the first known and recorded Christian marriage anywhere in what is now the continental United States.
The ill-fated colony was immediately disrupted by a fight over leadership, during which the slaves revolted and fled the colony to seek refuge among local Native Americans. De Ayllón and many of the colonists died shortly afterwards of an epidemic and the colony was abandoned; the settlers and the slaves who had not escaped returned to Haiti, whence. The first recorded Africans in British North America were "20 and odd negroes" who came to Jamestown, Virginia via Cape Comfort in August 1619 as indentured servants; as English settlers died from harsh conditions and more Africans were brought to work as laborers. An indentured servant would work for several years without wages; the status of indentured servants in early Virginia and Maryland was similar to slavery. Servants could be bought, sold, or leased and they could be physically beaten for disobedience or running away. Unlike slaves, they were freed after their term of service expired or was bought out, their children did not inherit their status, on their release from contract they received "a year's provision of corn, double apparel, tools necessary", a small cash payment called "freedom dues".
Africans could raise crops and cattle to purchase their freedom. They raised families, married other Africans and sometimes intermarried with Native Americans or English settlers. By the 1640s and 1650s, several African families owned farms around Jamestown and some became wealthy by colonial standards and purchased indentured servants of their own. In 1640, the Virginia General Court recorded the earliest documentation of lifetime slavery when they sentenced John Punch, a Negro, to lifetime servitude under his master Hugh Gwyn for running away. In the Spanish Florida some Spanish married or had unions with Pensacola, Creek or African women, both slave and free, their descendants created a mixed-race population of mestizos and mulattos; the Spanish encouraged slaves from the southern British colonies to come to Florida as a refuge, promising freedom in exchange for conversion to Catholicism. King Charles II of Spain issued a royal proclamation freeing all slaves who fled to Spanish Florida and accepted conversion and baptism.
Most went to the area around St. Augustine, but escaped slaves reached Pensacola. St. Augustine had mustered an all-black militia unit defending Spain as early as 1683. One of the Dutch African arrivals, Anthony Johnson, would own one of the first black "slaves", John Casor, resulting from the court ruling of a civil case; the popular conception of a race-based slave system did not develop until the 18th century. The Dutch West India Company introduced slavery in 1625 with the importation of eleven black slaves into New Amsterdam. All the colony's slaves, were freed upon its surrender to the British. Massachusetts was the first British colony to recognize slavery in 1641. In 1662, Virginia passed a law that children of enslaved women took the status of the mother, rather than that of the father, as under English common law; this principle was called partus sequitur ventrum. By an act of 1699, the colony ordered all free blacks deported defining as slaves all people of African descent who remained in the c
Episcopal Diocese of the Virgin Islands
The Episcopal Diocese of the Virgin Islands is a diocese of the Episcopal Church in the United States of America which includes both the United States Virgin Islands and the British Virgin Islands. The diocese is a part of Province II of the Episcopal Church; the current Diocesan Bishop of the Virgin Islands is the Edward Ambrose Gumbs. The cathedral church of the diocese is the Cathedral Church of Charlotte Amalie; the diocese comprises 14 churches. There is a functioning parish school on St. Thomas All Saints Cathedral School there was an academic campus on St. Croix, St. Dunstan's Episcopal High School. St. Dunstan's closed in the 1990s. There is the St. Georges School located on the parish property of St. Georges Episcopal Church in Road Town, Tortola in the British Virgin Islands, which opened the St. Georges School in Palestina Estate near to the St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Sea Cow's Bay, Tortola in the British Virgin Islands. There is the St. Mary's School located on the parish property of the St. Mary's Episcopal Church in Valley, Virgin Gorda in the British Virgin Islands.
In 1917 when the United States bought the Danish West Indies from Denmark, the three Anglican parishes and one mission on the islands were under the Anglican Bishop of Antigua, part of the Diocese of Barbados. On the transfer of the U. S. Virgin Islands from Danish to American Sovereignty, the Bishop of Antigua, on 30 April 1919 transferred the ecclesiastical jurisdiction of the Churches of the Anglican Communion in those islands to the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America; the House of Bishops, assembled at Winston-Salem, North Carolina, did on 7 November 1947 erect the Anglican Churches in the Virgin Islands to the status of the Missionary District, to be known as the Missionary District of the Virgin Islands. The Presiding Bishop appointed the Bishop of Puerto Rico as bishop-in-charge of the new mission district. By a Deed of Relinquishment the Archbishop of the West Indies on 24 November 1963 transferred ecclesiastical jurisdiction of the Anglican Churches in the British Virgin Islands to the Protestant Episcopal Church of the United States of America.
In 1962 Cedric Mills was appointed Bishop of the Virgin Islands by the House of Bishops and he arrived in 1963 and assumed jurisdiction over all Anglican and Episcopal churches in the wider Virgin Islands. In 1971 the diocese elected its own bishop for the first time. Edward Mason Turner, rector of St. Paul's in Frederiksted, was elected bishop in November 1971, he was consecrated bishop in May 1972. The Bishops of the Diocese are: 1. Cedric E. Mills. Edward M. Turner. Don Taylor, elected by the Bishops of Province II, Interim Bishop: Telésforo A. Isaac. Theodore A. Daniels. Isaac. Edward Ambrose Gumbs. In accordance with the usage in the ECUSA, the diocese is divided into three deaneries each headed by a regional dean and named as follows: 1. St. Thomas-St. John Deanery. St. Croix Deanery. Virgin Islands Deanery. Episcopal Church in the United States of America Christianity Anglican Communion All Saints Cathedral School Anglican Communion listing for diocese The Episcopal Church in the United States of America
Cruz Bay, U.S. Virgin Islands
Cruz Bay, U. S. Virgin Islands is the main town on the island of Saint John in the United States Virgin Islands. According to the 2000 census, Cruz Bay had a population of 2,743. Cruz Bay, located on the west coast of Saint John, is the island's largest commercial center and the location of the main port on Saint John; the primary access to Saint John is through Cruz Bay Harbor. Frequent barge and ferry, including car ferry, service connects Saint John to the neighboring more-developed island of Saint Thomas. Ferries run between Cruz Bay and Tortola, Virgin Gorda, Jost Van Dyke in the British Virgin Islands. Cruz Bay is home to numerous shops and restaurants which are frequented by tourists and locals alike; the Virgin Islands National Park Visitor Center, the Elaine Sprauve Library, a United States Post Office are located in Cruz Bay. Cruz Bay beach is lined with beach shops. There is a casino; the beach has soft white sand, a designated swimming area, space for day boaters to anchor. The National Park Service has its headquarters near the waterfront in Cruz Bay as does U.
S. Customs and Immigration; the Cruz Bay Town Historic District was listed on the U. S. National Register of Historic Places in 2016. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Cruz Bay has a tropical monsoon climate, abbreviated "Am" on climate maps. St. John: US Virgin Islands – Official site for United States Virgin Islands Department of Tourism Virgin Islands: American Paradise – Official site for National Park Service, US Department of the Interior Reef Fishes of St. John, U. S. Virgin Islands – Official site for US Geological Survey, Biological Resources Division Cruz Bay Visitor Center – Official site US Virgin Islands Tourism Association – Official site Friends of the VINP Archaeology Intern Blog