CHARLOTTE AMALIE, U.S. Virgin Islands -- Coral World Marine Park
& Undersea Observatory on St. Thomas completed its installation
of wheelchair lift access as part of its program to make the park
accessible to all visitors.
The lift transports both guest and wheelchair above the steps to
the center of the 80,000-gallon doughnut-shaped tank, the
centerpiece of the Caribbean Reef Encounter exhibit.
Trudie J. Prior, Coral World's president and general manager,
said that "part of the reconstruction following Hurricane Marilyn
in 1995 included a redesign of the park to provide accessibility to
as many exhibits as possible.
"We created wheelchair-accessible walkways to the major
exhibits. With the completion of the new lift, we have removed all
obstacles to full viewing of the Caribbean Reef Encounter by guests
with mobility impairments," Prior said.
Walkways and ramps allow access to the Palm Court, Shark
Shallows and Touch Pool exhibits.
Pathways permit views of the Sting Ray and Turtle Pools, and a
ramp around the Mangrove Lagoon makes the Marine Gardens and its 21
Prior said the next project in Coral World's accessibility
program is to install television monitors so that visitors can
watch the feedings in the Predator Tank as well as the marine life
that is visible 15 feet below the sea.
Interpretative signage for those who are deaf or hard of hearing
also has been installed throughout Coral World Marine Park.
For information, contact Coral World Marine Park & Undersea
Observatory at (340) 775-1555.