Although the already limited parking at Maho Bay recently got even more difficult, the action is needed in order to preserve the fragile and eroding beach.
In early May V.I. National Park personnel installed management boulders in areas where people often parked right on the sand along popular Maho Bay beach, explained VINP Chief Ranger Mark Marschall.
“We realize there is a shortage of parking there, but we needed to block off those spots where people were driving all the way on the beach,” said Marschall. “We didn’t take away any of the parallel type parking spaces off the pavement.”
The spaces were illegal areas to park in the first place, Marschall added.
“People had a clear shot from the road all the way on to the beach,” he said. “People usually back in there and some people actually drove on the beach. We blocked the five illegal spaces there.”
With sea turtle nesting season in full swing, it’s more important than ever to avoid parking on the beach, according to Marschall.
“Turtles can nest anytime of the year, but right now we are getting in the height of nesting season,” he said. “Parking on the beach can confuse the turtles or damage their nests. Also, we don’t want people causing root damage to the plants that are holding the beach together there.”
The boulders seem to be working and people aren’t resorting to parking in the roadway, Marschall explained.
More Spaces Coming
“While we realize it’s not the busy time of year here, we’re not noticing an increase in cars parking on the road,” said the VINP Chief Ranger.
Park officials expect to add three to five parking spaces as part of the planned restroom and pavilion facilities project, Marschall added.
Although an existing building has already been demolished, the VINP Chief did not comment on when the construction project would be started or completed.