Navassa Island

 

This uninhabited island was claimed by the US in 1857 for its guano. Mining took place between 1865 and 1898. The lighthouse, built in 1917, was shut down in 1996 and 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 and annual scientific expeditions have continued.

 

Geography:
Location: Caribbean, island in the Caribbean Sea, 35 miles west of Tiburon Peninsula of Haiti
Geographic coordinates: 18 25 N, 75 02 W
People:
Uninhabited

note: transient Haitian fishermen and others camp on the island

Government:
Country name: conventional long form: none

conventional short form: Navassa Island

Dependency status: unorganized, unincorporated territory of the US; administered by the Fish and Wildlife Service, US Department of the Interior, from the Caribbean Islands National Wildlife Refuge in Boqueron, Puerto Rico; in September 1996, the Coast Guard ceased operations and maintenance of Navassa Island Light, a 46-meter-tall lighthouse on the southern side of the island; there has also been a private claim advanced against the island
Communications:
None
Transportation:
None; offshore anchorage only
Military:
Defence is the responsibility of the US

Economy:

Subsistence fishing and commercial trawling occur within refuge waters.