Title: Salt Ponds
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/CA01300965/00001
 Material Information
Title: Salt Ponds
Physical Description: Archival
Language: English
Creator: Division of Fish and Widlife, Department of Planning and Natural Resources
Publisher: Division of Fish and Widlife, Department of Planning and Natural Resources
Place of Publication: St. Croix, Virgin Islands
Publication Date: 2007
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: CA01300965
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of the Virgin Islands
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.

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Saltponds of the Virgin Islands


The saltponds ("ponds") in the Virgin Islands were bays that,
over time, have been closed in by reef or mangrove growth across
the bay's mouth. The barrier separating the pond from the sea is
created by storms which accumulate coral rubble and sand. This
barrier is called the berm.
The water in the pond is seawater that remained inside the
newly made berm. Additional saltwater can still seep into the pond
at high tide or it can wash over the berm during high seas
produced by storms.
Fresh water enters the pond from the surrounding hillsides.
The fresh water dilutes the seawater, thus lowering the salinity
of the pond. Changes in salinity can be very large (heavy
rainfall) and can occur very rapidly.
During the dry season, water in the pond evaporates, thus
increasing the salinity. Sometimes the pond will dry up
completely, leaving crystallized salt on the parched surface.
This salt can be harvested and used in cooking.
Saltponds act as sediment traps when runoff from the land
flows into them, preventing sediment and pollution from reaching
sensitive coral reefs and seagrass beds. Protection and
preservation of saltponds is of great importance in protecting
these habitats.
The strong odor which ponds often produce are the result of
high concentrations of decaying organic matter. This is a natural
process that produces nutrients used in the food chain.
Despite the drastic fluctuations in salinity due to influxes
of fresh and salt water, saltponds provide an important habitat
for many different creatures. Many crabs, insect larvae and some
halophilic (salt-loving) plants can be found living in ponds. The
various colors (brownish-pink, orange, green or red) seen at some
ponds are the result of brine shrimp and algae in the water.










Wading birds (herons, stilts, sandpipers and sometimes,
flamingos) and waterfowl (ducks, teal, coots) feed on organisms in
the ponds. Other birds kingbirdss, martins, and swallows) feed on
insects that fly over the ponds, and many nest or roost in the
surrounding vegetation safe from predators. In the evening, insect
and fish-eating bats can be observed. Our endangered Bahama
Pintail duck lives and breeds around saltponds.
Sometimes a storm can break the berm allowing fish to enter
the pond. Species such as sennet, barracuda, tarpon, mojarra,
mullet and snook are found in saltponds and are fed upon by birds
such as kingfishers, herons, and ospreys.
The complex ecology of a saltpond is only partly understood.
We do know that a saltpond is a dynamic system with constant
changes in the natural community in response to continuous changes
in salinity, temperature, turbidity and levels of oxygen and
hydrogen sulfide (from decaying matter) in the pond.
Saltponds serve a number of very useful purposes that benefit
man and the rest of the marine environment. They help keep our
coastal waters clean. They are the first line of defense in
protection of our seagrass beds and coral reefs. And they provide
homes and food for many species of wildlife.










St. Thomas Saltponds


1. Salt Cay
2. Mandahl Bay
3. Thatch Cay
4. Footer Point
5. Smith Bay Pond
6. Red Hook Pond
7. Cabrita Point North, South and West ponds
8. Great Bay North and South (Ritz Carlton) ponds
9. Water Point
10. Great St. James Christmas Cove
11. Great St. James East and North ponds
12. Little St. James
13. Benner Bay Pond
14. Bovoni Bay
15. Bolongo Bay

16. Coculus Bay
17. Little Coculus Bay
18. Frenchman Bay
19. Hassel Island East and West ponds
20. Water Island East Gregerie pond
21. Water Island Sprat Point North and South ponds
22. Water Island Limestone Bay
23. Water Island Flamingo Bay
24. Water Island Providence Point
25. Saba Island East and West ponds
26. Perseverance Bay
27. Fortuna Bay

Note: This does not show the location of every natural ponded area
around St. Thomas. The ponds shown are the largest and most
important for wildlife and sediment reduction.















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St. John Saltponds


1. Francis Bay
2. Leinster Bay
3. Brown Bay
4. Mt. Pleasant
5. Newfound Bay
6. Privateer Bay
7. Southside Pond
8. Elk Bay East, South and West ponds
9. Turner Point
10. Borck Creek
11. Popilleau Bay
12. Fortsberg
13. Harbor Point
14. Lagoon Point
15. Friis Bay
16. Salt Pond
17. Drunk Bay
18. Kiddel Bay
19. Grootpan Bay
20. Great Lameshur Bay East and West
21. Little Lameshur Bay
22. Europa Bay
23. Reef Bay
24. Fish Bay
25. Hart Bay
26. Chocolate Hole East, North and We
27. Enighed Pond
28. Frank Bay


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Note: This does not show the location of every natural ponded
area around St. John. The ponds shown are the largest and most
important for wildlife and sediment reduction.


















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St. Croix Saltponds


1. Rust-Op-twist
2. Altona Lagoon


3.
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5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
10.

11.
12.
13.


Southgate Pond
Coakley Bay
Buck Island
Robin Bay
Great Pond
Half Penny Bay
Billy French Ponds
SKrause Lagoon Remnants of larger lagoonal
system
SManning Bay
SLong Point
West End Saltpond


Note: This does not show the location of every natural ponded area
around St. Croix. The ponds shown are the largest and most
important for wildlife and sediment reduction.
































































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