Philanthropist, financier and St. John homeowner Donald Sussman announced on Monday that he donated Mingo Cay island – a nearly 50-acre island two miles off the northwest coast of St. John and two miles off the northeast coast of St. Thomas – to the Trust for Virgin Islands Lands.
“Mingo Cay, like all of the U.S. Virgin Islands, is a natural treasure. These islands are a gift for all who have had the privilege of experiencing their breathtaking vistas, spending time in and on the Caribbean Sea and witnessing local wildlife in their natural and undisturbed habitat,” Sussman said in a news release issued Monday. “While other Virgin Islands continue to be developed to share that beauty with visitors from around the world, I have preserved Mingo Cay for the past 17 years and am pleased to entrust its future protection and preservation to TVIL.”
Sussman, the founder and chief investment officer of Paloma Partners, is an avid sailor and longtime champion of Virgin Islands economic development as well as the preservation of open lands. He has owned Mingo Cay since 2003, the news release said.
The Trust for Virgin Islands Lands is a nonprofit, community-based conservation organization. Its mission is to protect tracts of agricultural and natural landscapes that provide significant benefits to the citizens of the Virgin Islands.
“I am thrilled at the transfer of Mingo Cay to the Trust for Virgin Islands Lands,” said Eleanor Gibney, TVIL board member, horticulturist and former president of the St. John Historical Society. “Mingo has great value to the natural and historic heritage of the Virgin Islands, and its importance as an open space and a refuge will certainly grow over the coming years. I am extremely grateful that Mr. Sussman has made the generous decision to donate the cay to a Virgin Islands-based organization.”