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George Town Reef Restoration

Published 3rd March 2015, 1:2pm

Working in partnership with the government of the Cayman Islands, Carnival Cruise Line has pledged a contribution of $100,000 to the Cayman Islands National Trust to support the ongoing George Town Reef Restoration Effort.

Under the guidance of the Department of the Environment, local dive and water sports operators have been working diligently to repair damage to the reef that occurred in August 2014 when Carnival Magic’s captain was inadvertently guided by the Port Authority-licensed Pilot to drop anchor outside of the designated anchorage zone. “The fact that Carnival is supporting the DOE and the volunteer partners on this restoration project demonstrates their appreciation of Cayman’s valuable marine environment and the need to protect and maintain it,” said the Minister of Environment, Wayne Panton. “The Ministry thanks Carnival for this initial donation and we welcome their continuing partnership with us on this critical restoration work.”

“We hugely value the beautiful reefs and pristine environment that make the Cayman Islands so extraordinary,” said Christine Duffy, President of Carnival Cruise Line. “When you consider that coral reefs cover less than 0.2 percent of the ocean floor, we understand the paramount importance of preserving and protecting them.”

Duffy added, “Grand Cayman is one of our guests’ favourite destinations and, as Grand Cayman’s longest-standing cruise partner and the company bringing the most guests there each year, we are very pleased to pledge this contribution in support of the ongoing coral reef restoration efforts.

Hon. Moses Kirkconnell, Minister for Tourism, who met with Carnival Cruise Line Executives in February, commended the cruise line for its willingness to collaborate in the conservation project saying, “The Cayman Islands Government is appreciative of this gesture which has been provided in good faith by a most valued tourism partner. This initial pledge to provide funding will assist the important work being undertaken on the reef, which is largely a community effort by teams of dedicated volunteers whose primary motivation is to conserve our Island’s spectacular marine environment.”

“I am pleased to welcome Carnival Cruise Line as a partner in this important initiative and provide the assurance that this and all subsequent donations from Carnival will solely be used to support the George Town Reef Restoration Effort,” Kirkconnell continued.

The Cayman Islands are one of the world’s top diving destinations and its marine ecosystems are home to a spectacular array of vibrant fish and coral species. The Island welcomes more than 2 million visitors a year, many of whom visit to dive and snorkel in the country’s crystal clear waters on its renowned coral reefs.