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Boaters Who Drop Anchor Will No Longer Avoid Fee

Sept. 27, 2004 – Boaters who dropped their anchors instead of paying the $15-a-night fee to use moorings at V.I. National Park bays have forced the park, starting Friday, to extend the nightly fee to include anchoring.
"The reason for the change is to discourage vessels from anchoring when mooring buoys are available," Art Frederick, park superintendent, said in a news release.
He said since the park's mandate is to protect, preserve and conserve, the park must make sure that happens. He said using the moorings protects coral and sea grass habitats from anchor damage.
Christiana Admiral, who supervises the park's fee collection program, said Monday that if the moorings in a particular bay are all in use, boaters might still anchor.
The park has about 200 moorings spread around most of its bays.
Boats up to 60 feet are asked to use the moorings. Those over 60 feet must drop anchor. Admiral expects that the money raised through the mooring and anchoring fee will allow the park to install moorings to handle bigger boats.
Boaters can pay in advance for as many nights in park waters as they wish at any of the pay stations.
No advance commitment is necessary, however, there is a limit of 14 nights per year.
The pay stations are located at the finger pier adjacent to park headquarters in Cruz Bay and near the water sports shop at Caneel Bay Resort.
The pay station at Hawksnest Bay, currently located in front of the dinghy channel, will be moved to a spot near the restrooms when the park finishes rebuilding the facilities.
The pay station at Maho Bay is currently located up the stairs from the water sports center, but Admiral said plans are in the works to create a floating pay station from one of the park's old boats.
The pay station at Leinster Bay is now sitting where the trail to Leinster Bay and the road to Annaberg Plantation intersect. Admiral said it would be moved closer to Waterlemon Cay because the water is too shallow for boaters to come ashore at the current location.
Pay stations are also located at Salt Pond Bay near the portable bathrooms and at Lameshur Bay by the V.I. Environmental Resource Station dock.
She had no date for the changes to be made.
Admiral said that there no longer is a fee to enter Annaberg Plantation because the area doesn't get enough use.
"Visitation was so low, it barely paid the fee collector's salary to be out there," she said.
The park plans to install a donation box to support exhibits, research, education, and interpretive programs throughout the park.
There is still a fee to use Trunk Bay. Children under age 16 are always free, but adults pay $4. A yearly pass runs $10 for individuals and $15 for families. Until the park dropped the Annaberg Plantation fee, the same fee got visitors into both Trunk Bay and Annaberg Plantation.
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