Commissioner Jean-Pierre L. Oriol of the Department of Planning and Natural Resources is reminding the community that all offshore cays maintained by the Government of the Virgin Islands may only be visited for scientific research or with permission through a free permit for visitation from April 1st to November 15th to protect nesting sea birds. Those cays include: Bovoni, Capella, Carval, Cas, Cockroach, Congo, Cricket, Dog, Dutch Cap, Flanagan, Flat, Little Flat, French Cap, Grass, Hassel, Kalkun, Leduck, Outer Brass, Perkins, Ruth, Saba, Sail, Salt, Savana, Shark, Turtledove, West, and Whistling Cay.
“The offshore cays are some of the last refuges of indigenous species of the Virgin Islands including skinks, ground lizards, and cactus. The cays provide this safe haven for species that are in the Virgin Islands as a part of our historical and material culture and protected under law,” Commissioner Oriol stated.
Permit applications are available for ecotourism ventures, scientists, agencies, and visitors accompanied by a representative of the Department at https://dpnr.vi.gov/fish-and-wildlife/permit-application/. All proposed activities should be outlined in the application. Please note that all drone and helicopter activities below 1000 feet overhead are prohibited during the same period.
For more information, please contact the Division of Fish and Wildlife at 340-773-1082.