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Welcome to the Fish Bay Wetlands website!

Fish Bay satellite photo 1971
Satellite photo 1971

Fish Bay lies on the south shore of the island of St. John, in the US Virgin Islands. On the east side of the bay (right in the photo above), the shoreline is lined with stands of red mangroves edging out into the shallow water.
Fis Bay red mangroves
Behind the red mangroves (which can grow in salt water) there are wetlands and seasonal ponds that are brackish – fed by salt water flowing through inlets from the bay as well as rainwater and runoff from the surrounding hills.

The wetland area back from the shoreline is dominated by black mangroves, mixed with other trees that are able to tolerate brackish water.
mangrove pond midsize

Much of the area around Fish Bay is protected as conservation land, currently owned by the Island Resources Foundation. The wetlands provide valuable ecological habitats, while also slowing down runoff that would otherwise carry larger amounts of sediment into the bay. In addition, the mangroves provide protection to the shoreline during hurricanes and storm surges.

Fish Bay eastern shoreline and wetland area
Fish Bay eastern shoreline and wetland area

This coastal land supports a wide variety of wildlife, as well as many native trees and plants, some of them rare or endangered.

little blue heron on branch BIRDS

???????????????????????????????  TREES

lizards mating cropped  REPTILES

Young land crab  CRABS


Cuban frogs - male on top  FROGS

mongoose 2  MAMMALS 

The photos and videos posted on this website show many of the major species that can be seen in this rich ecological zone, but can only capture a small portion of the overall biodiversity to be found here. (All photos and videos were taken by Gail Karlsson unless otherwise noted.)

Hopefully further documentation and greater appreciation of all these life forms will help keep them safe and protected well into the future.

Gail Karlsson



cover IRF tree report  REPORTS


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St. John, US Virgin Islands