Union Creek Reserve
Location on Great Inagua Island, Union Creek Reserve was established in April 1965. This enclosed tidal creek and sea turtle research station lies in the northwest corner of the Inagua National Park. Union Creek encompasses an area of 4,940 acres and it is a natural habitat for green and Hawksbill turtles. Mangroves surround the creek and the bottom is covered in lush seagrass meadows.
Seven square miles of enclosed tidal creek on Great Inagua serves as a very important research site for sea turtles, especially the Green Turtle.
- Established: 1958
- Size: 112,640 Acres
Following the creation of the Bahamas National Trust in 1959, concern began to be expressed for the sea turtles. Dr. Archie Carr had initiated a program concerned with the research of the sea turtles, the protection of their nesting grounds and their reintroduction to former nesting grounds.
One of the regions where this research was being conducted was at Union Creek, north of the Inagua National Park. Three hundred turtles were sent to Union Creek in 1959 in an effort to restore this area. Dr. G. Charleston Ray approached the Trust’s Executive Committee with the idea of the Union Creek Reserve being a part of the BNT, the result of which was the establishment of the Union Creek Reserve in 1963.
Dr. Archie Carr was mentor to Dr. Karen Bjorndal and Dr. Alan Bolton, Special Advisors to the Trust’s Council. Dr. Bjorndal has been studying sea turtles at Union Creek since 1974 while pursuing her Ph.D. and returns every year with her partner Dr. Alan Bolton, to continue their long-term studies on growth and nutrition.
Importance to History
The house at Union Creek was Built around 1900 and serves as a research station and living quarters for researchers at Union Creek.
Importance to Research
Green turtles take up residency in shallow creeks like Union Creek at about 25 cm in length. They may remain resident in a specific creek for a decade or more. Union Creek has provided the world with some of the most important scientific data on the endangered green turtle. Research at Union Creek is a joint project of the Bahamas National Trust and Archie Carr Center for Sea Turtle Research at the University Of Florida.