Let me state for the record that ALL the Virgin Islands (US or British) have beautiful beaches and some really great food, people and places.
That being said, St. Thomas especially, suffers from the chronic problems associated with all poor areas--be they stateside or elsewhere in the Caribbean/World. Some of these problems are easy fixes...others, not so much.
However, when your ENTIRE economy is reliant upon the influx of dollars spent by visiting tourists who come because of your land/ocean's beauty and purity, does it not behoove you to ensure that said land/ocean is as clean and beautiful as possible?
Now I understand that the local population does not have much money. I do not expect them to be out there manicuring what they possess for a lawn, nor to spit shine their cars, nor install "green" technology on their houses.
What I do expect them to do, if in only their own self interest, is to keep their land unabused. Unfortunately, no different than the white trash found in the trailerparks of the US, the poor of the Virgin Islands take no pride in their land/property either. I'm not sure at what economic tipping point individuals begin to care for their surroundings but it surely has not been reached in the vast majority of cases on St. Thomas.
Instead what you find is garbage tossed in every spare nook and cranny, dilapidated cars abandoned into every bush you look, rotting houses on every street and islands filled primarily with people who care more about the hair on their head, cell phone in hand, and ganja in their pocket than they do about their own islands.
Therefore, my first decree as ruler of the Virgin Islands would be to outlaw plastic shopping bags.
These scourge of the modern world blow around, get stuck in trees, end up in the water, kill wildlife, are rarely recycled and use up fossil fuels. I detest them with a passion.
By outlawing them on the islands you cause very little impact to the locals (cloth reusable bags can be made widely available or at worst, degradable paper bags can be substituted) while making the islands that much more pleasing to the eye, lungs, feet, animals and soul.
So I have said.
So let it be done...