Anguilla

Environment:

Anguilla is the most northerly of the Leeward Islands in the Lesser Antilles, between the Caribbean Sea and North Atlantic Ocean, east of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. It is a flat and low-lying island of coral and limestone, with 33 beaches. The highest point is Crocus Hill at 65 meters (213 feet). Supplies of potable water sometimes cannot meet increasing demand, largely because of poor distribution. There are no Biosphere Reserves, or IUCN members from Anguilla; though, Anguilla does have marine parks. The Department of Environment Anguilla oversees The Valley Reserve, and its nature trails.

Important bird areas of Anguilla include Cove Pond, Grey Pond and Long Pond, in addition to the various protected smaller islands and cays. Anguilla Scuba Diving is a general website about marine protected areas, scuba diving and the fish life of Anguilla. Shoal Bay Scuba is a dive shop on the West End of the Island. Douglas Carty Diving & Excursions offers experience with a native Anguillan who grew up in the ocean.

Protected Areas:

Culture:

Colonized by English settlers from Saint Kitts in 1650, Anguilla was administered by Great Britain until the early 19th century, when the island – against the wishes of the inhabitants – was incorporated into a single British dependency along with Saint Kitts and Nevis. Several attempts at separation failed. In 1971, two years after a revolt, Anguilla was finally allowed to secede; this arrangement was formally recognized in 1980, with Anguilla becoming a separate British dependency.

The economy, and especially the tourism sector, suffered a setback in late 1995 due to the effects of Hurricane Luis, but recovered in 1996. Another economic setback occurred during the aftermath of Hurricane Lenny in 2000. Before the 2008 world-wide crisis the economy of Anguilla was expanding rapidly, especially the tourism sector; for instance, 2006-2007 saw an influx of large numbers of foreign workers, brought in as labor for major tourist developments due to the local population not being large enough. The Caribbean Development Bank funded the Sustainable Tourism Master Plan 2010–2020 for Anguilla, as well as a major overhaul of Anguilla’s environment and land planning legislation. The Anguilla Renewable Energy Office is actively pursuing the transition to renewable energy production, with a 10 year plan to make the island energy independent.

Although there is no World Heritage, nor ICCROM members in Anguilla, the UK Department for Culture Media and Sport has submitted Fountain Cavern for consideration to the Tentative Lists of World Heritage. Fountain Cavern is a well-preserved pre-Columbian archaeological site, located inland from lower Shoal Bay East on the northeast coast of Anguilla, within the boundary of Fountain Cavern National Park. The Anguilla Archeological and Historical Society documents finds of archaeological or historical significance on the island. Established in 1988, Anguilla National Trust acts as the custodian of Anguilla’s natural, cultural, and historic heritage. For example, Wallblake House is a heritage plantation house and museum in The Valley.

Anguilla is known for its music, in particular the reggae singer, Bankie Banx, called an “Anguillan Bob Dylan”. His beach bar on Rendezvous Bay, The Dune Preserve, has been called “the coolest place on the planet”. Moonsplash Music Festival is held annually at The Dune Preserve. The annual Anguilla Summer Festival serves as the island’s version of carnival. The CuisinArt Golf Resort & Spa offers tours of their innovative Hydroponic Farm & Organic Garden three times a week. Regular ferry service is available between Anguilla and Saint Martin, via Anguilla Ferry, GB Express and The Link Ferries.

References:

  • Mitigating Anthropogenic Lighting on Sea Turtle Nesting Beaches in Anguilla: Recommendations for a Lighting Ordinance in a Tourism-Based Economy by KN Lake, 2008
  • Tourism development in Anguilla by P Wilkinson, 2001
  • Anguilla: a tourism success story? by PF Wilkinson, 1995
  • A Study of Fountain National Park and Fountain Cavern: Anguilla, British West Indies by J Gurnee, 1989