the great mangrove cleanup


The st. thomas east end reserve (steer)

The St. Thomas East End Reserve (STEER) is a Marine Reserve and Wildlife Sanctuary on St. Thomas' East End. 

Within STEERs bounds is one of the last remaining large mangrove lagoons in St. Thomas. These mangroves provide protection for juvenile fish and other marine wildlife, including commercially important species. They are favored by sailors during storm events for their sheltering branches and roots, and protect the shoreline from storm surge. You can learn more about STEER at

The Great Mangrove Cleanup

STEER is adjacent to the Bovoni Landfill and is vulnerable to debris runoff from nearby guts. Overflowing trash bins were common sights after Hurricanes Irma and Maria when resources were overwhelmed.  We are therefore calling the community to participate in The Great Mangrove Cleanup. This is the first ever community cleanup of this scale! Plus, not only will the debris be removed, researchers will sort and catalogue it. The resulting information will be used for data collection purposes.

What to expect on cleanup day

  • Shore-based and boat-based teams
  • Each team will have a safety coordinator
  • Appropriate for all levels of experience with water-based activities
  • Ages 10 and up
  • NOAA Safety briefing
  • Support power boat on hand
  • Pizza will be provided by Pizza Pi
  • Collected debris will be catalogued and used to create data maps
  • Data will be used in targeted outreach campaigns
  • All collected debris will be properly disposed of

This one-day community event will have activities for students, and children as young as 10. Pre-register using the form below. We hope you can participate in this important event.

Questions may be directed to Dr. Kristin Wilson Grimes at 207-907-0366 or or Howard Forbes, Jr. at 340-513-7203 or

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