Navassa Island

Navassa Island nəvăˈsə [key], Fr. Navasse, coral and limestone islet, c.1 sq mi (2.6 sq km), in the Caribbean Sea between Haiti and Jamaica. Located c.100 mi (160 km) S of the U.S. naval base at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, the uninhabited island is an unincorporated American territory. Claimed by the United States in 1857, Navassa was the site of a guano-mining operation (1865–98) and a coast guard lighthouse (1917–96). An area of great biodiversity, the island is now a wildlife refuge.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2024, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

See more Encyclopedia articles on: U.S. Political Geography