The Park also offers the opportunity to get up close and personal with St. Croix’s natural habitats and creatures through three citizen science programs.
Turtle Patrol is one of the Park's oldest volunteer programs. The marine park borders approximately 17 miles of shoreline, which includes about 12 bays that provide essential habitat for nesting sea turtles. The Park's nesting population is predominantly comprised of Green Sea Turtles (Chelonia mydas)
and Hawksbill Sea Turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata)
with the occasional Leatherback Sea Turtle (Dermochelys coriacea)
; the largest of the three species. Volunteers with Turtle Patrol monitor the Park's nesting beaches during the peak of nesting season from July through November. Information collected through this citizen-science based data collection program allows the park to identify key nesting beaches, possible threats to the nesting population and assess nest success through excavations. If you are interested in sea turtle conservation and have a favorite beach within the park, this may be the perfect opportunity for you!
Seagrass Patrol, and its volunteers, strives to educate the St. Croix community on the importance of this marine habitat by hosting quarterly seines
and water quality testing. During the volunteer and Marine Park-led seine a wide variety of organisms are caught, identified, catalogued and safely released.
The Marine Park in partnership with The Nature Conservancy (TNC)
installed it’s demonstration coral nursery site
at Cramer’s Park in 2019. Located on a small patch reef known as Sweepers’ Knoll, the demonstration site showcases, on a small scale, some of the reef restoration efforts taking place in the Virgin Islands. Coral Patrol was established to allow park volunteers interested in coral reef restoration to assist and gain experiences in nursery maintenance, transplanting coral from the nursery tables to the nearby patch reef, assisting with snorkel tours and vessel grounding response.