Navassa Island( Central America and Caribbean )


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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 US 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
Location:
Caribbean, island in the Caribbean Sea, 35 miles west of Tiburon Peninsula of Haiti
Geographic coordinates:
18 25 N, 75 02 W
Area:
total: 5.4 sq km
land: 5.4 sq km
water: 0 sq km
Area comparative:
about nine times the size of The Mall in Washington, DC
Land boundaries:
0 km
Coastline:
8 km
Maritime claims:
territorial sea: 12 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
Climate:
marine, tropical
Terrain:
raised coral and limestone plateau, flat to undulating; ringed by vertical white cliffs (9 to 15 m high)
Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Caribbean Sea 0 m
highest point: unnamed elevation on southwest side 77 m
Natural resources:
guano
Land use:
arable land: 0%
permanent crops: 0%
other: 100% (2011)
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Natural hazards:
hurricanes
Environment current issues:
NA
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Geography note:
strategic location 160 km south of the US Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba; mostly exposed rock with numerous solution holes (limestone sinkholes) but with enough grassland to support goat herds; dense stands of fig trees, scattered cactus
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uninhabited
note: transient Haitian fishermen and others camp on the island
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Government
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conventional long form: none
conventional short form: Navassa Island
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the laws of the US, where applicable, apply
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the flag of the US is used
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Economy
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Subsistence fishing and commercial trawling occur within refuge waters.
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Transnational Issues
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claimed by Haiti, source of subsistence fishing
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