Sunday, December 21, 2014

FTV We'll be heading to St. Thomas USVI

 The Virgin Islands are located between the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea. They extend from west to east about 60 miles, at the top of the arc of Caribbean islands. They are 40 to 50 miles east of Puerto Rico. The arc of Caribbean islands begins off the coast of Florida and extends all the way to South America and includes hundreds of islands and cays.

The Virgin Islands consist of two groups of islands, the United States Virgin Islands (USVI) and the British Virgin Islands. The USVI consist of 4 larger islands and some 50 smaller islets and cays. The total area of the USVI is 133 square miles.

Try this USVI Treasure Hunt

The Virgin Islands are the easternmost extension of the Greater Antilles. The islands are the peaks of submerged mountains that rise from the ocean floor. Most of the islands rise only to a few hundred feet above sea level. The USVI includes four larger islands; St. Croix, St. Thomas, St. John and Water Island. The geography of the islands consists of seaside cliffs, mountains with lush forest, tiny streams, arid lands and beautiful white sand beaches. Each island has its own unique physical characteristics.
Famous for its beauty Magens Bay's palm fringed, stroll-able shoreline and clear, shallow water is popular with residents and visitors

Drakes Seat: British privateer Sir Francis Drake, commissioned by Queen Elizabeth I, is said to have used this spot to spy on enemy ships of the Spanish Fleet passing through the Passage

St. Thomas is home to the capital of the U.S. Virgin Islands, Charlotte Amalie.In the capital of the Virgin Islands, Charlotte Amalie stands a large fort with walls 3 to 6 feet thick was built to defend the Danish settlement and the harbor from pirates that sailed into the harbor.

Watch this video to see the Ocean Floor around the St Thomas

Mangroves are unique plants because they thrive in relatively adverse conditions. Mangroves must deal with high levels of salt in the water, muddy soil, and waves breaking against the shore. During the low tides their roots are completely exposed to the air and completely submerged during high tides. Mangroves are halophytes,or salt loving, but do not require salt water to survive.
The mangroves location around coastal areas and in estuaries combined with their unique root systems has provided a habitat for a variety of organisms. Coastal birds such as pelicans, spoonbills, and osprey use the mangroves as a nesting site and the mangroves are home to many food sources for the birds. In the waters around the mangrove roots, a variety of juvenile fish can be found. Algae and marine invertebrates such as sponges, corals, and anemone can be found attached to prop roots while clams, sea snails, shrimp, and other organisms use the mangroves for shelter and a feeding ground. The mangroves are the key to major food webs in the coastal community.

As crucial as mangroves are as a habitat and member of a food chain they are equally as important to the physical landscape of the coast. The root systems of the mangroves and their overall abundance are crucial to prevent erosion from waves by absorbing the impact of the waves and preventing the soil from being carried into the ocean. If the coast is eroded to much the surrounding waters could be subject to situation which has damaging effects like the production of algae blooms. During hurricane season mangroves are vital to preserving the coast form even greater damage had the mangroves not been there to absorb the impact of the waves. Without the mangroves protecting coastlines erosion would destroy the coast sweeping the soil into the ocean.
Unfortunately, mangrove forests have been completely cleared for urban development. Often mangroves are destroyed without considering how essential they might be to the ecosystem. Although the human impact on mangrove communities in Florida and the Caribbean is severe there is still a chance to preserve what is left. Further development of the coast must be prevented and legislative action is necessary to conserve the remaining mangrove environments.
(From )

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