Nov. 5, 2003 – Effective Dec. 1, boaters will have to pay to use V.I. National Park moorings when they tie up overnight.
The $15 fee applies for use between 5 p.m. and 7 a.m. There is no charge for mooring in the daytime.
Pipe safes have been set up at the Caneel Bay watersports shop, Hawksnest Bay beach, Cinnamon Bay beach, Maho Bay Camps at Maho Bay beach, Leinster Bay, Salt Pond Bay and Great Lameshur Bay for boaters to deposit their fees. At other bays with moorings, signs on the moorings will direct users to the nearest pipe safe.
Christiana Admiral, who is in charge of the financial end of the mooring fee collection program, said mooring users can pay by cash or charge card at the pipe safes. The revenues will go to fund the costs of maintaining the moorings, which have been installed to protect the park's marine resources from anchor damage.
In conjunction with advent of mooring fees, the park is implementing a "bay host" program. At designated bays, "the hosts will be around to help" boaters, Admiral said. They also will be keeping an eye on activities; however, they will not collect mooring fee payments from boaters or from the safes.
The boats of the bay hosts will be flying green National Park Service pennants.
Admiral said the bay hosts will receive a free mooring and pump-outs and a fuel allowance. They are to be on duty between 3 and 7 p.m.
Park officials also announced coming changes in the mooring setup at Hawksnest Bay. Starting in mid-December, the two easternmost moorings will be reserved for commercial vessels during the day until 4 p.m. and will be marked by blue buoys, rather than the white ones used on other moorings. The commercial vessels will be limited to two hours of mooring use per day, and those moorings will be available to private vessels from 4 p.m. to 9 a.m.
There also are park plans to enlarge the swimming area at Hawksnest Bay in order to protect the seagrass beds. Dinghies still will have access to the main Hawksnest beach and Gibney's Hawksnest beach through designated channels.
To learn more, or to volunteer as a bay host, contact Admiral by calling 776-6201, ext. 249.
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