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Planning and Natural Resources (DPNR) Invites Residents of St. Thomas To Clean-Up Downtown With ‘Rock City Clean Streets’

CHARLOTTE AMALIE — Department of Planning and Natural Resources Commissioner Dawn Henry invites the residents of the St. Thomas community to volunteer their services for a clean-up drive of downtown Charlotte Amalie on Saturday, December 16th.

Groups leading the charge in the “Rock City Clean Streets” initiative include the Virgin Islands Marine Advisory Service – St. Thomas (VIMAS), Department of Planning and Natural Resources – Coastal Zone Management (DPNR-CZM) and the Virgin Islands Conservation Society (VICS).

The organizers are inviting all interested volunteers to assemble at 9 a.m. in the Fort Christian Parking Lot.

The volunteers will be placed into teams which will target Charlotte Amalie West beginning at Emile Griffith Ball Park, the Waterfront and Backstreet areas and Charlotte Amalie East to include Havensight.

Even after almost three months, the effects that hurricanes Irma and Maria had on the transfer of debris is unsightly and environmentally damaging. “This is our third Rock City Clean Streets event since the storms, and the support keeps growing. I’m especially excited that we are working with the UVI Biology Club to recycle all aluminum cans, and all rigid plastic will be separated for the Beach Plastics Recycling Program,” said Kristina Edwards, Education & Outreach Coordinator of the Coastal Zone Management Division. She said, “I’m looking forward to continuing this momentum with the Charlotte Amalie community to keep our Rock City streets clean.”

“After the hurricanes, a lot of plastic debris is now overflowing from garbage bin sites and is collecting in some storm drains,” said Howard Forbes Jr., St. Thomas coordinator, Virgin Islands Marine Advisory Service. “We’re aiming to improve the aesthetics and overall health of the environment by removing this debris before it can enter our oceans and affect our wildlife.”

Volunteers will also be provided with water and all cleaning supplies. However, volunteers are asked to bring along a refillable water bottle to help minimize debris.

For more information on partnering and volunteering, interested persons can contact the organizers via phone at (340) 998-4820 or email

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The Author

John McCarthy

John McCarthy

John McCarthy is primarily known for his investigative reporting on the U.S. Virgin Islands. A series of reports beginning in the 1990's revealed that there was everything from coliform bacteria to Cryptosporidium in locally-bottled St. Croix drinking water, according to a then-unpublished University of the Virgin Islands sampling. Another report, following Hurricane Hugo in 1989, cited a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) confidential overview that said that over 40 percent of the U.S. Virgin Islands public lives below the poverty line. The Virgin Islands Free Press is the only Caribbean news source to regularly incorporate the findings of U.S. Freedom of Information Act requests. John's articles have appeared in the BVI Beacon, St. Croix Avis, San Juan Star and Virgin Islands Daily News. He is the former news director of WSVI-TV Channel 8 on St. Croix.

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