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Exchange Rate Home >> Country Info >> Navassa Island

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Introduction
Geography
People
Government
Economy
Communications
Transportation
Military
Transnational
Issues
  Introduction Back To Top

Background:
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 Back To Top

Land boundaries:
0 km

Climate:
marine, tropical

Map references:
Central America and the Caribbean

Geographic coordinates:
18 25 N, 75 02 W

Natural resources:
guano

Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Caribbean Sea 0 m
highest point: unnamed location on southwest side 77 m

Terrain:
raised coral and limestone plateau, flat to undulating; ringed by vertical white cliffs (9 to 15 m high)

Geography - note:
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

Area:
total: 5.4 sq km
land: 5.4 sq km
water: 0 sq km

Location:
Caribbean, island in the Caribbean Sea, 35 miles west of Tiburon Peninsula of Haiti

Coastline:
8 km

Area - comparative:
about nine times the size of The Mall in Washington, DC

Environment - current issues:
NA

Maritime claims:
territorial sea: 12 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm

Natural hazards:
hurricanes

Land use:
arable land: 0%
permanent crops: 0%
other: 100% (2005)

  People Back To Top

Population:
uninhabited
note: transient Haitian fishermen and others camp on the island

  Government Back To Top

Diplomatic representation from the US:
none (territory of the US)

Dependency status:
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

Legal system:
the laws of the US, where applicable, apply

Flag description:
the flag of the US is used

Country name (Goverment):
conventional long form: none
conventional short form: Navassa Island

  Economy Back To Top

Economy - overview:
Subsistence fishing and commercial trawling occur within refuge waters.

  Communications Back To Top

  Transportation Back To Top

Ports and terminals:
none; offshore anchorage only

  Military Back To Top

Military - note:
defense is the responsibility of the US

  Transnational Issues Back To Top

Disputes - international:
claimed by Haiti, source of subsistence fishing

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  1. Which is the largest ocean in the world?
  Atlantic ocean
  Artctic ocean
   Pacific ocean
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