Located on the West End of St. Croix, the Sandy Point National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1984, when 340 acres were purchased from the West Indies Investment Company. The land was purchased specifically to protect nesting habitats of endangered leatherback sea turtles. The leatherback sea turtle is the largest sea turtle species in the world, and the largest nesting population within U.S. jurisdiction occurs at Sandy Point. Sandy Point also provides a crucial nesting habitat for the endangered hawksbill sea turtle and the threatened green sea turtle. An additional 43 acres were acquired to protect the Aklis prehistoric archaeological site occupied by neo-Indians. Excavation at the site yielded a mix of Virgin Islands ceramic styles dated to a calibrated age range of A.D. 600 to 900. It is also home to a stand of endangered Vahl’s boxwood trees and more than 100 species of birds. Besides enjoying the longest beach on St. Croix, Sandy Point offers excellent opportunities for hiking, wildlife observation and nature photography. The refuge is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays, and closed during peak turtle nesting season of April through August.
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