Mangroves are flowering trees that live in saltwater or brackish water in mudflats near shorelines. Red Mangroves (Rhizophora mangle) are the most distinctive, with their complex ariel prop roots. These root systems, when submerged, support a diverse community of sponges, ascidians, algae, corals and crabs
They provide crucial habitat for juvenile reef and pelagic fish as well as lobsters. The roots also trap sediment and associated pollutants to improve offshore water quality and slowly build more land. The trees also provide roosts, nesting habitat, and feeding areas for many bird species.
White and black mangroves (Laguncularia racemosa and Avicennia germinans) grow in the sand soil and sediment upland from the red mangroves. They are often found in salt ponds.
Visitors can find good examples of mangroves in Hurricane Hole. The mangroves in Hurricane Hole host a unique array of corals. ” (Source: NPS.gov)
Join Island Roots Charters, ONE of SIX tour operators with PERMITTED access into Hurricane Hole, for a wonderful half-day sightseeing and snorkel tour through the least disturbed mangroves in all the U.S. Virgin Islands.
More information from Island Roots Website
Located on St. John’s east end is a magical place known as Hurricane Hole. For hundreds of years, Hurricane Hole has been a safe haven for boats to seek shelter from bad storms.
As a Coral Reef National Monument, the mangroves of Hurricane Hole also act as a very important underwater sanctuary for a remarkable variety of fish species, coral communities, anemones and sea grass beds. Essentially, the mangroves are the ocean’s nursery!
You will find all types of juvenile fish, Spiny Lobsters, Queen Conchs and baby barracudas hidden among the mangroves’ intricate root system. Snorkeling here is unlike any other reefs found along the shorelines of St. John.