As a child, Lorenzo Hodge used to fish in one of the village ponds, alive with mangroves and birds.
These days, the 46-year-old pumps gas into ships at the business his father built, next to a dirt pile 25-feet tall now covering most of the pond.
It is a reminder of development gone awry.
"Back then I didn't really pay attention to things like that. Now the problems it is creating make me wonder," he said.
On a Saturday in June, Hodge joined the bay's restoration committee, jumping into a clogged stormwater channel.
Slicing uprooted trees with a chainsaw, they gathered wood, coconuts and other debris blocking the waterway since Irma.
Organiser John Cline, a 55-year-old pastor, said tourists visit the British overseas territory to sail in clear waters and relax on pristine beaches.
"If that goes, why do they come?" he asked. "It's important for us not only to restore it, but to keep it from getting any worse."
The committee is also replanting vegetation and cleaning the ocean floor, with plans to replant mangroves damaged by Irma.
'ON THE EDGE'
Contemplating a car rental business built on one of Cane Garden's four filled-in ponds, Gore sketched out her idea for a walkway around the bay to showcase "the Caribbean picture of idyllic tropical nature".
The battle to rescue what has been spoiled can still be won, she and others insist.
The stakes extend well beyond Cane Garden Bay's residents.
About a third of the BVI's gross domestic product comes from its nature-based tourism industry that draws international yacht owners and cruise ships, authorities say.
At the epicentre, Cane Garden Bay punches above its weight, hosting many of the hundreds of thousands of cruise-ship passengers who flock to the BVI's renowned beaches each year.
Two years ago, the government launched a project to stop this community "right on the edge", as one official described it, from degrading irreparably - so far investing about $500,000 provided by the European Union.
The work includes restoring a pond key to flood control and installing a drainage system, said the Ministry of Natural Resources and Labour.
Irma, for all the pain it caused, may have opened up an opportunity to finance the village's vision of a greener future.
Cane Garden Bay's district representative, Melvin Turnbull, is tasked with allocating some $1 million in reconstruction funds for the area, and has earmarked a quarter to rehabilitate natural flood barriers.
The young politician said the hurricane created "a level-playing field" to tackle pre-existing problems.
"It just gives us a fresh opportunity to rebuild what we want to have for the next 20, 50 years," he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.
On the to-do list are planting rain-sucking gardens and installing a "biorock", a steel structure tingling with electric currents that grows into an artificial coral reef.
Where the remaining $2.7 million needed for longer-term measures will come from remains unclear, Turnbull added.
SHIPS STAY AWAY
On the beach, massage therapist Jem Marques, 39, said her customers had dwindled this summer from ten a day to a handful or none, as cruise companies took the BVI off their itinerary due to Irma.
Previously, the ships could disgorge thousands of people onto the beach daily.
But not everyone wants them back, with detractors saying they put "a lot of stress" on the bay, said local journalist Freeman Rogers.
"Sure, they make a little mess," said Marques, who had to quit her apartment when her income dived after the storm. "But we appreciate them, because if they feel like a $20 massage, they do it."
Reggae star Rymer is also preparing for their return, building a six-floor hotel to replace the smaller one he opened in 1981.
"Development will happen - and it has happened here in a really big way," he said. "Nothing stays the same."