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Great Morass: Negril Attractions & Sightseeing, Jamaica

Great Morass

One of the island's prime nature attractions, a boat safari into the 7,000-acre Great Morass wetland, Jamaica's third national park. Jamaica's 125-square mile wetlands are perched near the confluence of the sea and several rivers, the Black river of which is the longest. For those interested in unspoiled nature or just getting off the beaten track, you can hire a local guide to take you up the 12 miles of navigable river before reaching the mangrove swamps.

This fragile ecosystem is a crucial preserve for over one hundred bird species, plentiful game fish, and around 300 protected crocodiles. There is even the infrequent manatee seen where the river meets the sea.

This stretches north ten miles from the South Negril River to Orange Bay and is two miles wide. It is virtually impenetrable and is said to be the remnant of a primeval forest. It is the second largest freshwater wetland in the island and forms a refuge for endangered waterfowl. At the edges where it links to flowing water systems the endemic fish the God-a-me is found. It can live out of water in moist shady spots.

The morass is critical to the Negril environment. Like a giant sponge it filters the water flowing down from the interior of the parish. The Negril Watershed Environmental Protection Area has been created to protect the morass and reefs. As the tourism sector there expands it places additional demands on the infrastructure and increases the danger to the environment.

On the quiet side of Jamaica, St. Elizabeth boasts an incredibly diverse terrain. There are deserted beaches all along the southern coastline with picturesque fishing villages and small sandy coves hidden among the rocks. The Black River, Jamaica's longest river, is flushed through the Great Morass, a swampy marshland that is the largest wetland habitat in the Caribbean.

St. Elizabeth has long been ignored as a tourist destination and the small farming and fishing communities still retain the flavor of 'old-time' Jamaica, making it a prime destination for the truly adventurous.

Negril Attractions, Sightseeing and Tours - Place of interest to visit on your Jamaica Holiday

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