Proclamation 3443—Establishing the Buck Island Reef National Monument in the Virgin Islands of the United States
By the President of the United States of America
Whereas Buck Island, situated off the northeast coast of St. Croix Island in the Virgin Islands of the United States, was included in the public, government, or crown lands ceded to the United States by Denmark under the convention entered into August 4, 1916, and proclaimed by the President January 25, 1917 (39 Stat. 1706); and
Whereas all property thus acquired by the United States from Denmark, not reserved by the United States for public purposes prior to June 22, 1937, was placed under the control of the Government of the Virgin Islands by the act of June 22, 1936, 49 Stat. 1807 (48 U.S.C. 1405-1405c), with the legal title remaining in the United States; and
Whereas Buck Island was not reserved by the United States for public purposes prior to June 22, 1937, but has been owned by the United States continuously since the convention with Denmark in 1916; and
Whereas Buck Island and its adjoining shoals, rocks, and under-sea coral reef formations possess one of the finest marine gardens in the Caribbean Sea; and
Whereas these lands and their related features are of great scientific interest and educational value to students of the sea and to the public; and
Whereas this unique natural area and the rare marine life which are dependent upon it are subject to constant threat of commercial exploitation and destruction; and
Whereas the Advisory Board on National Parks, Historic Sites, Buildings and Monuments, established pursuant to the act of August 21, 1935, 49 Stat. 666 (16 U.S.C. 463), impressed by the caliber and scientific importance of the coral reefs of Buck Island, has urged their prompt protection to prevent further despoliation; and
Whereas the Governor of the Virgin Islands, under the authority vested in him by the legislative assembly of the Virgin Islands by an act approved December 1961, has relinquished to the United States, for the purposes of facilitating the establishment and administration of a national monument for the protection of the above-mentioned areas and objects of historic and scientific interest, such control as is vested in the Government of the Virgin Islands by the said act of Congress dated June 22, 1936, over the area hereinafter described; subject, however, to the condition that the United States, including any agency or instrumentality thereof, shall not adopt or attempt to enforce any rule, regulation or requirement limiting, restricting or reducing the existing fishing (including the landing of boats and the laying of fishpots outside of the marine garden), bathing or recreational privileges by inhabitants of the Virgin Islands, and shall not charge any fees for admission to the area.
Whereas it is in the public interest to preserve this area of outstanding scientific, aesthetic, and educational importance for the benefit and enjoyment of the people:
Now, Therefore, I, John F. Kennedy, President of the United States of America, under and by virtue of the authority vested in me by section 2 of the act of June 8, 1906, 34 Stat. 225 (16 U.S.C. 431), do proclaim that, subject to valid existing rights, there is hereby reserved and set apart, as the Buck Island Reef National Monument, the area embraced within lines drawn between the coordinates of latitude and longitude recited as follows:
Beginning at latitude 17°47'58" N., longitude 64°38'16" W.; thence approximately 10,450 feet to latitude 17°47'30" . N., longitude 64036'32" W.; thence approximately 1,500 feet to latitude 17°47'15" N., longitude 64036'32" W.; thence approximately 4,500 feet to latitude 17°47'00" N., longitude 64°37'16,"- W.; thence approximately 8,600 feet to latitude 17°47'35" N., longitude 64°38'37" W.; and thence approximately 3,075 feet to latitude 17°47'58" N., longitude 64°38'16" W., the place of beginning, embracing an area of approximately 850 acres.
WARNING is expressly given to all unauthorized persons not to appropriate, injure, destroy, deface, or remove any feature of this monument and not to locate or settle upon any of the lands reserved for the monument by this proclamation.
The Secretary of the Interior shall have the supervision, management, and control of this monument as provided in the act of Congress entitled "An act to establish a National Park Service, and for other purposes," approved August 25, 1916, 39 Stat. 535 (16 U.S.C. 1-3), and all acts supplementary thereto and amendatory thereof: Provided, that neither the Department of the Interior, nor any other agency or instrumentality of the United States, shall adopt or attempt to enforce any rule, regulation or requirement limiting, restricting or reducing the existing fishing (including the landing of boats and the laying of fishpots outside of the marine garden), bathing or recreational privileges by inhabitants of the Virgin Islands, or charge any fees for admission to the area.
In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of the United States of America to be affixed.
DONE at the City of Washington this twenty-eighth day of December in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and sixty-one, and of the Independence of the United States of America the one hundred and eighty-sixth.
JOHN F. KENNEDY
By the President:
Secretary of State
John F. Kennedy, Proclamation 3443—Establishing the Buck Island Reef National Monument in the Virgin Islands of the United States Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/269325