WHEN THE KENNEDYS MADE A TRIP ST. CROIX IN THE EARLY FIFTIES, THEY PAID BUCK ISLAND A VISIT. THEY WERE FASCINATED BY THE NATURAL BEAUTY OF THE ISLAND, AND WANTED TO FIND A WAY TO PRESERVE IT.
They were responsible for initiating the legislation that made Buck Island more than just a local treasure. Today we have the Kennedys to thank for that initiative…Buck Island Reef National Monument is now one of only two Underwater National Monuments in the United States. The Monument protects a complete coral reef ecosystem and the habitat for several threatened and endangered species. Buck Island is situated just two miles off of St. Croix’s north shore and to be a part of its majesty is an experience you will never forget. Of the 19,015 acres that comprise the park, less than two hundred of them are above the water’s surface. It’s western beach, Turtle Beach, has been voted one of the top ten prettiest beaches in the world, as well as a favorite snorkel location in a readers poll. Its biggest attraction is a 4,554 acre long barrier reef that is home to more than 250 species of fish.