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Marine Photographs for Education

A photo of a Rock Beauty Angelfish taken by William Goodwin in Cayman Brac waters.

While some 50,000 plus persons live, work and enjoy all that the Cayman Islands have to offer, very few ever venture beneath the waves unless they visit one of the Islands' many beaches.

William and Donna Goodwin hope to change this scenario by inspiring Cayman's next generation to venture into the deep.

Award-winning photographers, the husband and wife team have donated five DVDs to the Education Ministry containing more than 800 images and video clips of marine life and underwater scenery taken just off the coast of Cayman Brac.

"Most kids may never have an opportunity to dive and experience Cayman's marine beauty for themselves," Mrs. Goodwin explained. "With all of the environmental changes, we wanted to capture some of that beauty before it's gone, but we also hope to inspire the kids to take charge and become advocates for their environment."

The DVDs were recently presented to Education Minister, the Hon. Rolston Anglin, who commended the Goodwins for their generosity.

"I think that this is a good indication of what can happen when private citizens, who are simply doing what they love, use their talents to assist our school system," he said. "For them to have stepped up and done this, completely free of cost, is highly commendable and we really just want to thank them.

"They have demonstrated that it's possible to assist our education system without spending a lot of money, and that all of us can have a profound impact on our children's education by simply sharing our own work and interests with them. I encourage others to partner with the education system in similar fashion."

The images have since been loaded onto the Education Department's interactive Studywiz web portal, where both teachers and students can access them for lessons and projects. They have been dubbed the Cayman Islands Underwater Image Bank for Students and are under copyright for use as educational tools only.

It is expected that the images and videos will help supplement resources in the Central Caribbean Marine Institute's ocean science programme. They can also be used in the biology component of GCSE science; GCSE leisure and tourism studies; and any other areas deemed relevant by teachers.

The idea for the donation was born following a chance meeting between the Goodwins and Minister Anglin during the grand opening of the Alexander Hotel in Cayman Brac last year.

The couple, both of whom have been taking photos in Cayman's waters for several years, decided to give youngsters an opportunity to appreciate the beauty of the reefs and underwater scenery surrounding their own home environment.

About the Goodwins

A former high school science teacher, journalist, and author, William (Bill) Goodwin has been diving in the Cayman Islands since 1976. He and his wife Donna, a career physical therapist, have been working as a video and photography team since 2004.

Last year, William's photo of a peppermint shrimp lurking inside a branching vase sponge, won him the grand prize in the nature category of National Geographic Magazine's 2009 International Photography Contest. There were 208,000 entries from 28 countries. (Visit National Geographic Magazine for a look at the photo).

In 2008 his photo of a grouper peeping through a sea fan, just offshore Cayman Brac, won best in show at the 11th International Coral Reef Symposium in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.

Source: William and Donna Goodwin, ptsllc@bellsouth.net.

(GIS)

For further information contact: Kenisha Morgan