NPS to Conduct Research on Saint Croix Island

The National Park Service (NPS) will be conducting geophysical surveys on Saint Croix Island from May through August to determine whether archeological resources are at risk from erosion. To facilitate the work, researchers will be staying on the island overnight so neighbors may notice lights and sounds that are not typically present. 

In July 2016, a diverse group of park managers, archeologists, geologists, and other experts met to discuss management planning priorities for Saint Croix Island in the context of climate change. Recommendations included the continuation of geophysical surveys, last conducted on the island in 2003, to determine whether critical archeological resources are at risk from erosion.

“Non-invasive research, such as ground-penetrating radar, is critical to protecting and understanding the archeological resources on Saint Croix Island,” said Superintendent Kevin Schneider. “Ongoing, science-based research informs our decision-making and helps fulfill our mission to protect the history of Saint Croix Island in perpetuity.”

Saint Croix Island was proclaimed as a national monument in 1949 and re-designated as an international historic site in 1984. It commemorates the 1604 site of the first French attempt to colonize the territory called Acadia and the location of one of the earliest European settlements in North America. A memorandum of understanding between the United States and Canada recognizes the international significance of the site and commits both nations to joint planning and commemoration. Parks Canada maintains a self-guiding interpretive trail on the opposite shore facing Saint Croix Island in Bayside, New Brunswick. The NPS manages Saint Croix Island and a mainland shore parcel in Calais, which includes a visitor center, interpretive trail and shelter, and views of the island. To help preserve the island’s archeological record and reduce erosion, the NPS discourages visits to the island, and camping is prohibited.

For more information about Saint Croix Island International Historic Site, please visit, call 207-454-3871, or stop by the visitor center, which is open through October 9, Columbus Day. The visitor center is located off U.S. Route 1 about 8 miles south of downtown Calais. 

To learn more about national parks in Maine and how the NPS works with communities to help preserve local history, conserve the environment, and provide outdoor recreation, please visit

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