Cam Bay National Park
Great Camanoe, British Virgin Islands
An extensive shallow reef and lagoon system dominates Cam Bay, on the eastern shore of Great Camanoe. This is a popular anchorage with sailors, due to the calm waters and pristine marine environment for swimming and snorkeling. A white sand beach curves around the bay, encouraging hikers onshore to explore the salt pond that separates Cam Bay from Lee Bay and divides Great Camanoe in half.
Surrounded by woodland and cactus scrub, the salt pond traps sediment from freshwater run-off, which would otherwise affect reef growth within the bays.
Birdwatchers will enjoy watching the migratory wading birds and shorebirds that are attracted to this habitat, such as American coots (Fulica americana), black-necked stilts (Himantopus mexicanus), blue-winged teals (Anas discors), Caribbean coots (Fulica caribbea), common moorhens (Gallinula chloropus), ruddy ducks (Oxyura jamaicensis), white-cheeked pintails (Anas bahamensis) and sooty terns (Sterna fuscata).
Snorkelers can mingle with colourful reef fish such as the Yellowtail Snapper (Ocyurus chrysurus), Bar Jack Fish (Caranx ruber), Schoolmaster (Lutjanus apodus), Sharpnose Puffer (Canthigaster rostrata), Slippery Dick (Halichoeres bivittatus) and the Spotted Goatfish (Pseudupeneus maculatus). Green turtles (Chelonia mydas) may also be spotted, as they feed on the sea grass beds in the lagoon.
In addition to the ecological importance of the area, there is evidence of a pre-Columbian settlement in the bay, as pottery shards discovered in Cam Bay were carbon-dated at 800 A.D. This recent addition to the system of Parks and Protected Areas was donated by Mr. Herbert C. Lee.
Area: 19.6 acres
Marine Access - Moorings Permit required