Top Tourist Attractions in Navassa Island, 2023, Best Places

Best Places to Visit in Navassa Island, Top Attractions

Navassa Island is an uninhabited island in the Caribbean that is administered by the Fish and Wildlife Service of the Department of the Interior of the United States of America as a National Wildlife Refuge. The island is also claimed by Haiti. It lies about one-quarter of the way from Haiti to Jamaica. Navassa Island is just one of many islands and islets that entered US possession due to this curious piece of legislation, that is still in force. A 46-metre (50 yd) tall lighthouse was built in 1917, on the southern side of the island. The Coast Guard ceased operations and maintenance of Navassa Island Light in September 1996. After the lighthouse was shut down administration of Navassa Island transferred from the Coast Guard to the Department of the Interior. A 1998 scientific expedition to the island described it as a unique preserve of Caribbean biodiversity; the following year it became a National Wildlife Refuge. The island is considered an unincorporated territory of the US that is administered from Washington, DC, by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Department of the Interior. There has also been a private claim advanced against the island. Navassa has been underwhelming visitors since 1504, when crewmen sent by Columbus arrived and promptly died from drinking contaminated water. An American sea captain claimed the mesa-shaped islet for the U.S. in 1857 for its rich deposits of bird excrement, used to make fertilizer and gunpowder. Over the next three decades, African-American workers living in virtual slavery mined over a million tons of fossilized guano by hand (which the Navassa Phosphate Company of Baltimore shipped out on the S.S. Romance). In 1889, the workers rose up and killed five supervisors, sparking a legal battle over possession of the island that went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. The island and its animal inhabitants—mostly lizards and feral dogs today—were abandoned in 1898 after the Spanish-American War.