Vieques is an island located 41 miles east of San Juan
and 7 miles off the eastern coast of mainland Puerto Rico. Vieques is twice as large as New York's Manhattan with about 8,000 residents and 40 palm-lined sand beaches. Having more tourist facilities than its island neighbor 18 miles east, Culebra
, Vieques is often a top vacation spot for Puerto Ricans.
The island in the past has been occupied by both French and the British before Puerto Rico acquired it in 1854. Ruins of many sugar and pineapple plantations show that the island was once a flourishing agricultural economy. The U.S. military took control of two-thirds of the island's 26,000 acres in 1941. Much of the government-owned land is now leased for cattle grazing. On May 1, 2003 the US military abandoned Vieques Island. The following link is to the EPA agency of the American Government environmental Cleanup activities at this location;
EPA on Vieques Island