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Navassa Island:
Geography

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Navassa Island Page


Other pages in this profile of Navassa Island:
People, Government, Economy, Communications & Transportation, Military & Transnational Issues.
Background
Definition
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.
Location
Definition
Caribbean, island in the Caribbean Sea, 35 miles west of Tiburon Peninsula of Haiti
Geographic coordinates
Definition
18 25 N, 75 02 W
Map references
Definition
Central America and the Caribbean
Area
Definition - World rank and map
total: 5.4 sq km
land: 5.4 sq km
water: 0 sq km
Area - comparative
Definition
about nine times the size of The Mall in Washington, DC
Land boundaries
Definition
0 km
Coastline
Definition
8 km
Maritime claims
Definition
territorial sea: 12 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
Climate
Definition
marine, tropical
Terrain
Definition
raised coral and limestone plateau, flat to undulating; ringed by vertical white cliffs (9 to 15 m high)
Elevation extremes
Definition
lowest point: Caribbean Sea 0 m
highest point: unnamed location on southwest side 77 m
Natural resources
Definition
guano
Land use
Definition - World rank and map
arable land: 0%
permanent crops: 0%
other: 100% (2005)
Natural hazards
Definition
hurricanes
Environment - current issues
Definition
NA
Geography - note
Definition
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


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