The Statia National Marine Park was established in 1996 with the objective of conserving and managing the marine resources for the benefit and enjoyment of the people and future generations. The park surrounds the island (encompassing the entire coast) and extends from the high water mark out to a depth of 30 metres (100 ft). The total area of the park is 27.5 km². Within the Marine Park, there are two actively managed reserves where anchoring and fishing are not permitted in order to protect pristine coral reef.
The Marine Life of Statia
There are 3 types of coral reef within the marine park:
- Bombs, lava blocks and solidified lava flows shaped like ‘fingers’.
- In the Southern Reserve, a distinctive spur and groove zone (a series of alternating rocky fingers and sandy channels)
- Reef formed on the remains of wrecks, both new and old, dating from the 1700s to 2004.
The coral reefs of the Marine Park also boast a high biodiversity. 100% cover (with over 43% coral and 15% sponges) has been recorded in the Reserves. Among the species found are: Angelfish, Butterflyfish, Flying Gurnard, Moray Eels, Spotted Drums, Frogfish, Sea Horses, Octopus, Lobster, Rays, Sharks, and Turtles. From January to April Dolphins and Whales can be heard as they migrate through the Marine Park. The Botanical Garden presents a popular viewpoint for Humpbacks during this time.