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Editor’s Note

Editor's Letter

Here’s looking at you, Mother Earth.

This month, we celebrate Earth Day—the one day of the year dedicated to loving the place we all call home. Living in the Virgin Islands, surrounded by all of nature’s splendors, it’s hard not to celebrate her beauty every day. Acknowledgement is not, however, going to be enough to preserve the environment.

Here in the Virgin Islands, we’ve made gradual progress toward going green. In the British Virgins, initiatives to recycle glass products at the GreenVI glass studio in Cane Garden Bay have proved effective, and off-the-grid islands are taking exemplary strides to use alternative methods for primary energy sourcing. And next month, the Island Resources Foundation will present critical environmental profiles to lawmakers with the hopes of implementing preservation policy. In the US Virgins, progress continues with solar and wind energy, and many developments are bidding for LEEDS certifications. However, on both island territories, lawmakers, private citizens and visitors alike each need to do their part to protect our coveted paradise.

For this issue, OBMI architect Steve Fox took a look at measures builders and homeowners could take to soften their footprints on our pristine land and seascapes. Simple things, like controlling the size of the building, minimizing the need for expansive retaining walls, and thwarting unnecessary energy consumption methods will go a long way, he explains.

Developments on the sparsely populated island of Great Camanoe, off Tortola’s northeastern coastline, stand as testaments to smart building. This month, we visited Coral Beauty, a stunning property nested on Great Camanoe with a bird’s-eye view over Marina Cay to Virgin Gorda. The newly renovated hillside home allows its homeowners and guests to experience the simple bounties offered by nature.

Writer Traci O’Dea also visited Frenchmans Estate, a two-part paradisiacal retreat atop Frenchmans Cay. The plantation-style design combines with meticulous attention to detail, making the property completely unique among properties that commonly fit among the Virgin Islands elite.

Biologist Shannon Gore reminded us why we should respect our beaches as she delved into the topic of sand mining, which threatens many of our pristine beaches. Through her research, a powerful argument is made to halt the excessive sandmining, that threatens our sandy shores.


This Earth Day, and every day, let’s band together and be sure to …

think green.


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