Salt River Bay is a living museum on St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands. Prehistoric and colonial-era archeological sites and ruins are found in a dynamic, tropical ecosystem that supports threatened and endangered species. Salt River Bay’s natural history, its vitally important ecosystem of mangroves, estuary, coral reefs, and submarine canyon, has witnessed thousands of years of human endeavor.
Every major period of human habitation in the Virgin Islands is represented: several South American Indian cultures, the 1493 encounter with Columbus, Spanish extermination of the Caribs, attempts at colonization by a succession of European nations, and enslaved West Africans and their descendants. More than a dozen major archeological investigations since 1880, together with historical research, reveal a remarkable story.