78.5 F
Charlotte Amalie
Tuesday, November 29, 2022
HomeNewsLocal newsFirst Ship Visits St. Thomas; Volunteers Help Prepare Charlotte Amalie for More...

First Ship Visits St. Thomas; Volunteers Help Prepare Charlotte Amalie for More Calls

Seabourne Odyssey pays a call on Charlotte Amalie Friday, the first cruise ship visit since the island was hit by Hurricanes Irma and Maria.
Seabourne Odyssey pays a call on Charlotte Amalie Friday, the first cruise ship visit since the island was hit by Hurricanes Irma and Maria.

Volunteers worked Saturday to clean up Charlotte Amalie, getting the town ready for new visitors this week, but one cruise ship beat them to it, arriving at the island Friday.

Seabourn Odyssey paid a call on the port Friday morning, bringing the first visiting tourists to the territory since Hurricanes Irma and Maria blasted the the islands in September.

In preparation for the arrival of more ships and visitors, the V.I. Department of Tourism has its greeters ready and information centers open, while merchants on Main Street and in Havensight, where Odyssey docked, threw open their doors for sales for the first time since the onslaught of the two category 5 storms.

Saturday’s cleanup, organized by Planning and Natural Resources, V.I. Marine Advisory Service, V.I. Marine Relief Logistics and the St. Thomas-St. John Chamber of Commerce, was meant to get ahead of the first scheduled call, but organizers said they were still excited to do what they could before more ships were expected.

Advertising (skip)
Advertising (skip)
Advertising (skip)
Advertising (skip)

“Seeing a ship in port this early was definitely a welcome sight,” Kristina Edwards, education and outreach coordinator for DPNR’s Coastal Zone Management Commission, said Saturday.

CZM's Kristina Edwards instructs a cleanup crew as it prepares to work its way through Charlotte Amalie Saturday.
CZM’s Kristina Edwards instructs a cleanup crew as it prepares to work its way through Charlotte Amalie Saturday.

“I know at this point everyone’s tired of cleaning, but being able to be here to help restore even more the historic district is definitely important, especially as we begin to welcome visitors again.”

The cleanup ran from the Fort Christian parking lot eastward to Havensight and westward down to Frenchtown, focusing on hot spots such as the waterfront apron and guts along Main Street.

“There’s a particular problem with single use plastics, such as individual water bottles, soda bottles and plastic bags,” Edwards said. “These have always been a large part of our waste stream but lately, we’re finding bottles washing up, getting stuck in rocks along the shore here and clogging guts, which is causing flooding.”

To tackle the problem, Saturday’s cleanup group moved in teams across the historic district, filling up bags and bags of trash while the sun beat down overhead.

“I think it also helps us see things are getting back to normal,” said Maggie Reymore, a graduate student in marine and environmental science at the University of the Virgin Islands, as she prepared to fill her bag. “I live right up the road near Blackbeard’s Castle, so this is my neighborhood, and it has been sad to see the damage caused to the beautiful downtown area by the storms. Being here today really gives us all some hope, I think, of things getting back to normal and it feels good to be able to be a part of bringing it back.”

Cleanup volunteers also were treated to lunch Saturday by My Brother’s Workshop, which supplied sandwiches once volunteers returned around noon.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Keeping our community informed is our top priority.
If you have a news tip to share, please call or text us at 340-228-8784.




2 COMMENTS

Support local + independent journalism in the U.S. Virgin Islands

Unlike many news organizations, we haven't put up a paywall – we want to keep our journalism as accessible as we can. Our independent journalism costs time, money and hard work to keep you informed, but we do it because we believe that it matters. We know that informed communities are empowered ones. If you appreciate our reporting and want to help make our future more secure, please consider donating.