Let’s Help Get Coral Bay Cleaned Up

Image taken on May 1, 2018

Image taken on May 1, 2018

As most of you probably know, Coral Bay sustained an extreme amount of damage from last fall’s hurricanes. Since last September, the residents of Coral Bay have done a tremendous job of cleaning up their neighborhoods to the best of their ability, reopening their restaurants and shops, and welcoming tourists back into their small, tight-knit community. And they’ve done this with grace and with little-to-no complaints. But right now, they’re trying to voice their concerns about something important, but their voices aren’t being heard. This is where I think all of you can help…

For those of you who’ve driven through Coral Bay lately, you’ve likely noticed a rather large garbage pile across from the dumpster near Love City Mini Mart. What started as a small little pile has grown exponentially over the past few weeks. The pile is not only unsightly, but some say it also poses a health hazard.

So what’s with the pile? Well it seems as though residents were asked to leave their hurricane debris there, so it could be sorted and moved over to the ball field which has been acting as Coral Bay’s temporary dump. The problem, it seems, is that the contract for debris removal expired, which means that no one is attempting to remove the debris. So it continues to pile up.

When I drove by Tuesday afternoon, the debris stretched down the straightaway across from the dumpster and around the corner to Love City Mini Mart. Check out this video we shot from the Jeep which shows just how large this pile is.

So you may be wondering how you can help. Well, if you have a moment today, please consider making a quick phone call to one of our government agencies or representatives, or perhaps shoot one an email and ask them to clean up the garbage pile in Coral Bay. If you have a lot of free time, feel free to contact all of them. I think that if they hear from a lot of people, it may prompt them to take some action. It’s not fair for the residents and guests in Coral Bay to have to pass this mess on a daily basis. Here is a list of contacts:

Department of Public Works
340-776-4844
kinila.callendar@dpw.vi.gov

VI Waste Management Authority
1-844-962-8784
awallace@viwma.org

St. John Administrator Camille Paris
340-776-6484
camille.paris@go.vi.gov

Senator-At-Large Brian Smith
340-693-8061
bsmith@legvi.org

Congresswoman Stacey Plaskett
340-774-4408
stacey.plaskett@mail.house.gov

Governor Kenneth Mapp
340-774-0001
govkenmapp@go.vi.gov

And on a happier note, the ball field is starting to look great! Lots of debris has been removed over the past several days, and much of the tree debris has been chipped. See for yourself!

ball field coral bay cleaned upI know many of you will make that call today or send that email, and for that, I thank you. We honestly can feel the love and support you have for us from many, many miles away. Thanks for loving our little island, and thanks for doing everything you can to help us move forward.

16 comments for “Let’s Help Get Coral Bay Cleaned Up

  1. Keith Caywood
    May 1, 2018 at 9:44 pm

    Thank you for your BLOG, it’s great. When I was down this February there was a backhoe working in that area

    . Is there any machine to help deal with the debris? Has anyone got any plans on recycling? I plan on being at St. John 5.16.18~6.27.18 to help the recovery efforts. I would love your feedback. When I arrive, I will have friend who is an arboist. I want his thoughts of harvesting trees down from the hurricanes for possible use to rebuild. Thanks again for your BLOG. Keith Caywood

    • Demaris Ford
      May 5, 2018 at 11:46 am

      Hi Keith… I’m also coming in June for a couple of weeks and interested in helping with this. Recycling, composting, whatever can be done. If you are interested in my assistance please reach out.

  2. Mary Sue Hunt
    May 2, 2018 at 9:29 am

    Easy enough to send one email to all addresses at the same time. Done.

  3. Judy Roach
    May 2, 2018 at 12:01 pm

    We love St. John! It saddens me to see such a large pile up of garbage in Coral Bay. I sent emails to the addresses you posted. The address for the Department of Public Works didn’t work though! Please repost and I would be happy to send them an email!

  4. Michael Ford
    May 2, 2018 at 6:50 pm

    Aouut the first part of March we were on our way to Lameshur Bay and saw a GIGANTIC pile of rocks and dirt next to large piles of other debris at the ball field in Coral Bay. After we left the paved part of the road we encountered GIGANTIC pot holes on the road, all the way to the beach [much worse than any of our other visits]. I then thought the powers that be should take some the the GIGANTIC pile of rocks and dirt and put them in the GIGANTIC potholes, it’s not far and the road could be fixed. The deep muddy scary potholes scary might then be a thing of the past. Maybe the Jumbies could come over from the north side and help out.

    • Minnesota Mike
      May 3, 2018 at 2:31 pm

      Wow

    • Jay
      May 4, 2018 at 7:26 am

      The road to Little Lameshur with the huge holes is in the National Park and their responsibility. Approximately 3 years ago a large amount of rock was delivered to the side of the road. You probably didn’t see the piles because they are now overgrown with weeds. I don’t know why the Park has not spread the rock into the holes.

  5. PatrickMcCann
    May 2, 2018 at 7:00 pm

    I wrote about this in my trip report on Trip Advisor last week. We were in Coral Bay from 4/22-4/25 and drove past this every day. But what about the stench? It was much worse than any smell I had encountered at this spot in past years. Is the the Mangroves or the garbage or the debris? We saw two,people walking past with face masks. I hoe the government responds quickly to this.

    • Cindy Bartholomew
      May 3, 2018 at 6:32 am

      We are visiting St. John this week. We drove to Coral Bay Tuesday and were overcome by the stench and debris. I can’t imagine having to deal with it on a daily basis and I wonder about the short and long term health implications of this environment for both locals and visitors.
      Thank you for sharing the contact information. I will be writing emails soon in support of continued assistance and help for St. John.

  6. Amanda
    May 3, 2018 at 8:50 am

    I cannot believe how much this has grown in the two weeks since we’ve been there!! I will be sending these emails! We love Coral Bay and all of St. John, and this saddens us!

  7. Jay
    May 4, 2018 at 7:16 am

    When we went by yesterday evening (5/3) there was a large back hoe type machine sitting at the pile. I believe that work has begun.

  8. Steve Knowlton
    May 4, 2018 at 7:20 am

    Thanks Jen. Emails sent.

  9. L
    May 4, 2018 at 8:29 am

    Thanks you Jen – consider emails done!!

  10. M
    May 4, 2018 at 10:22 am

    This is being cleaned up. It was announced at the Long Term Recovery CommUNITY Update Meeting last Thursday night that DPW did not have the equipment necessary to complete the removal themselves–even though their 4/20 press release said they would. Instead, the contract went to a company in St. Croix. There was a machine at this site yesterday and the debris was being trucked away. This work is continuing today. The phone calls help, though. Whether you are on or off island, please continue to call VI WMA to let them know there is still debris. Getting involved in the St. John Angel Network Long Term Recovery Team work groups is a great way to learn what is going on and to have your voice heard.

    • News of St. John
      News of St. John
      May 4, 2018 at 3:11 pm

      Thanks! Yes, we posted a pic of the trucks over there yesterday!

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