Marine Parks Expansion
Department of Environment's first district meeting to make public presentations and receive comments on expanding Marine Parks around all three Islands takes place today (Tuesday, 23 October) in George Town at Elmslie Church Hall from 7 p.m.
This will be followed at 7 p.m. on each date in other districts as below:
- Wednesday, 24 October: East End Civic Centre;
- Thursday, 25 October: North Side Civic Centre;
- Monday, 29 October: Aston Rutty Centre, Cayman Brac;
- Tuesday, 30 October: Grouper Room, Little Cayman Beach Resort;
- Monday, 5 November: Turtle Farm Foyer, West Bay; and
- Tuesday, 6 November: Bodden Town Civic Centre.
DoE Director, Ms Gina Ebanks-Petrie explained that Cayman's Marine Parks, now 25 years old, have been the Islands' saving grace when it comes to retaining marine life.
However, Cayman's population increase, over-fishing, coastal development and tourism, as well as new threats associated with climate change linked phenomena such as coral bleaching and ocean acidification, and the emergence of invasive species such as the lionfish have all taken their toll on Cayman's marine environment. The overall health of the Islands' reefs and fish population is poor, she noted.
Following a public consultation period last year, over 50% of the 964 persons responding either wanted more or larger marine parks in the Islands to ensure that Cayman's marine resources have a reasonable chance against further decline, or even an opportunity for recovery. It was considered a vital step for preserving the Islands' marine heritage for future generations.
Now, draft maps of the new proposed Marine Parks system and regulations are available for the public to view and provide comment. These are available at the district public meetings; during the whole day at the venues of the meetings; as an exhibit during the entire consultation period at the DoE headquarters on North Sound Road as well as on www.DoE.ky.
For further information contact: Bina Mani