Bryan Meets With Assistant Secretary of Insular Affairs, NPS Director On Salt River
CHARLOTTE AMALIE — Governor Albert Bryan, Jr. discussed upgrading the Visitor’s Center at Salt River National Park during a meeting at Government House today with Assistant Secretary of Insular Affairs Douglas Domenech and National Park Service Deputy Director Dan Smith.
Bryan said he is reviewing an agreement between the Government of the Virgin Islands and the National Park Service for construction of a new Visitor’s Center, which Mr. Smith characterized as “world class,” at Salt River Bay National Historical Park and Ecological Preserve.
Domenech said the agreement would create a joint venture between the National Park Service and the Government of the Virgin Islands.
Art and artifacts that had been kept at Salt River before the hurricanes would be returned to the new facility. There currently is a small collection of art and artifacts on display at Fort Christiansvaern, and others are under the care of the Danish Government until the Salt River Project is complete.
“Salt River could be one of the most significant historical places in America,” Domenech said.
During the meeting, Bryan also asked for any assistance the Office of Insular Affairs and the National Park Service could offer to provide more opportunities to enable children in the territory to visit Buck Island Reef National Monument.
“I would really like some support around getting more kids to the monument, getting kids to the water and learning about the Buck Island Monuments,” he said. “These things are huge parts of our economy, our eco-culture, and we’re not utilizing them as well as we could.”
Salt River Bay National Historical Park and Ecological Preserve documents the human and natural Caribbean world from the earliest indigenous settlements in the central Caribbean to their clash with seven different colonial European powers to the present day.
Congress created Salt River Bay National Historic Park and Ecological Preserve in 1992 as part of the National Park System to preserve, protect and tell the story of its rich contributions to the nation’s natural and cultural heritage. The 1,015-acre park is jointly managed by the National Park Service and the Government of the Virgin Islands.
Almost 32,000 people have visited Salt River Bay in St. Croix since 2016.
Christopher Columbus first set foot in what is now United States territory at Salt River Bay in 1493.