Introduction ::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 ::Navassa Island
Caribbean, island in the Caribbean Sea, 35 miles west of Tiburon Peninsula of Haiti
18 25 N, 75 02 W
total: 5.4 sq km
country comparison to the world: 244
land: 5.4 sq km
water: 0 sq km
about nine times the size of The Mall in Washington, DC
0 km
8 km
territorial sea: 12 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
Current Weather
marine, tropical
raised coral and limestone plateau, flat to undulating; ringed by vertical white cliffs (9 to 15 m high)
lowest point: Caribbean Sea 0 m
highest point: unnamed location on southwest side 77 m
arable land: 0%
permanent crops: 0%
other: 100% (2005)
strategic location 160 km south of the US Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba; mostly exposed rock with numerous solution holes but with enough grassland to support goat herds; dense stands of fig trees, scattered cactus
People ::Navassa Island
note: transient Haitian fishermen and others camp on the island
Government ::Navassa Island
conventional long form: none
conventional short form: Navassa Island
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
the laws of the US where applicable apply
none (territory of the US)
the flag of the US is used
Economy ::Navassa Island
Subsistence fishing and commercial trawling occur within refuge waters.
Communications ::Navassa Island
no television or radio broadcast stations (2009)
Transportation ::Navassa Island
none; offshore anchorage only
Military ::Navassa Island
defense is the responsibility of the US
Transnational Issues ::Navassa Island
claimed by Haiti, source of subsistence fishing