Nature fee introduced for Man of War Shoal Marine Park

POSTED: 01/23/12 8:00 PM

St. Maarten – Visitors to the Man of War Shoal Marine Park will have to pay a Nature Fee to be able to enter the park as of today (Monday). A day pass costs $3 and a year pass costs $15. Residents are exempt from paying this fee. St. Maarten’s fees match those charged in other parts of the region and the world.
“This fee is for non-residents and visitors to the island. The Marine Park was established for the people of St. Maarten so we feel that they should not have to pay this fee. After lengthy negotiations and consultations with all Stakeholders, including a survey which was distributed to visiting divers we were able to arrive at a fee which was mutually accepted by all,” Nature Foundation Marine Park Manager Tadzio Bervoets said.

The levying and collection of the fee is based on the ministerial decree of December 30, 2010 designating the Man of War Shoal as a Marine Park, the minister appointing the Nature Foundation St. Maarten to collect the fee and the National Decree Maritime Management. The foundation will use the money to manage and maintain the Man of War Shoal Marine Park and other dive sites in St. Maarten’s territorial waters and to educate people about both the Man of War Shoals Marine Park and the country’s unique underwater environment.
In return for the payment divers will get a nature tag, which has been distributed to dive centers on both sides of the island.

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