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Coastal & Ocean Resources

Aerial Photography of Body of Water
Coastal & Ocean Resources​

Key Indicators

7% of total employment comes from the Ocean environment, almost three times more than the average of 2% for Ocean and Great Lakes states

A workforce of 23,318 strong

  • Sitting at the crossroads of the Caribbean
  • Easy access to both North and South American markets
  • Duty-free imports
  • Permanent Jones Act Exemption: seamlessly connecting between US and global markets with streamlined logistics, reduced shipping costs, and increased flexibility in shipping routes
Coastal & Ocean Resources​


The United States Virgin Islands are strategically positioned to leverage its extensive coastline and marine resources in cultivating a robust blue economy. Its coastal ecosystems support extensive coral reefs, seagrass meadows, mangroves, and areas of wetland, which combine to support the tourism and fishery sectors in the Virgin Islands Pelagic ecosystem.

Embracing sustainability principles, the USVI actively seeks to preserve and responsibly harvest ocean resources. With a focus on sustainable fisheries management, the islands promote practices that ensure the long-term health of marine ecosystems while supporting the livelihoods of local communities. Furthermore, initiatives in marine and maritime sectors, including eco-friendly tourism, marine research, and conservation projects, underscore the USVI's commitment to fostering a balanced and sustainable blue economy that safeguards the precious marine environment for future generations.

boats on sea during daytime

Areas to Contribute to Growth

Strategic Sectors: Opportunities for Contributing to Economic Expansion



Sustainable Harvesting​

Alternative Energy

Coastal & Ocean Resources​


The Center for Marine and Environmental Studies (CMES) addresses environmental problems unique to tropical island communities.

It advances knowledge and learning in coastal marine systems through research, education, and outreach programs. Based in the McLean Marine Science Center in St. Thomas, CMES collaborates with local organizations, other universities, and government agencies to assess and monitor marine ecosystems and identify methods of conserving fisheries and marine and coastal areas supporting sustainable natural resource management.

The Water Resources Research Institute (WRRI) conducts research throughout the U. S. Virgin Islands. WRRI is one of the 54 water resources research institutes established at land-grant universities throughout the United States and its territories.

Established in 1973, WRRI conducts research on water resources and related areas, assists in the training of students and water resources professionals, and provides information exchange around water resources locally, regionally, nationally, and internationally.
group of fresh graduates students throwing their academic hat in the air

Ecosystem Dynamics: Nurturing Growth

Exploring Programs and Companies Driving Innovation and Sustainability

New Laboratory

The Nature Conservancy has opened a new laboratory in St. Croix. It will serve as a center for innovative approaches to coral conservation and advance coral science in the Caribbean and across and planet.


Gold Coast Yachts

Gold Coast Yachts

Gold Coast Yachts manufactures composite multi-hull commercial sailing catamarans, custom sailing catamaran yachts, wave-piercing power catamarans, and displacement power catamarans. In the William D. Roebuck Industrial Park in St. Croix, GCY can drive boats to Europe, the Panama Canal, Hawaii, and the mainland for true worldwide business.

Tropical Shipping

Tropical Shipping

Tropical Shipping is a leading maritime transportation company specializing in cargo shipping across the Caribbean, Bahamas, and Central and South America. The company has strategically positioned terminals and offices across the Caribbean and in select ports in Central and South America to provide reliable and efficient shipping solutions, emphasizing customer service and cargo safety throughout its operations.

How the Economic Development Authority
Can Help You

Unlock new horizons within the US Virgin Islands with the business potential our territory offers with the help of the USVI Economic Development Authority.
With tailored tax programs, incentives, financing options and more.

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