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Petitioning Minister of Environment for the Cayman Islands Members of the Cabinet, Cayman Islands and 1 other

please say NO, but thank you for the tremendous effort!

In light of the grievous environmental impact predicted by the official assessment presented to public on 9th of June, 2015 we, the hereto signed respectfully petition to the Cayman Islands' Cabinet Members to please say NO, but thank you for the tremendous effort! We truly respect the great deal of good intentions, expense in time and resources that have gone into preparing this long awaited proposal, but we believe the long term cost to the environment is too great for the relatively short term gain for many reasons, a few of which are listed here.

The Environmental Impact Assessment indicates that dredging and its silt plume will destroy much of the unique, thousands of years old reefs that we currently earn over $9 million/year from and upon which numerous watersports operations are primarily dependent. Soto's South will certainly perish, but the deadly silt plume will likely affect all of the reefs in the harbor to various extents, including Soto's Central, Soto's North and Eden Rock. There are no alternative reefs with similarly high profile from 30' bases up to 8' depths on their tops, in calm, clear water anywhere else in Grand Cayman for future glass bottom boat and snorkeling tourism. Several species of corals will prove to be least silt tolerant, thus the death ring will be even wider for those, including two beautiful branching Acropora species that are on the IUCN Red List as critically endangered. Endlessly, the pit will constantly refill with sand, which the ships' thrusters will turn into sediment clouds, spoiling the clarity of the harbor for hours every day. Physics ensures that this aspect will never end, irregardless of maintenance dredging. Once done, the damage can never be reversed. Street traffic in the harbor will become intolerable. Over night visitor numbers will likely drop and those who come (as well as Caymanians) will likely be repulsed from visiting the down town area. The view from town will be dominated by the ships and murky water emanating from their thrusters. The silt cloud will spoil the wreck of the Cali as one of our most accessible and fishiest snorkeling experiences. Increased polluted rain run-off from busier streets and the new concrete surface will adversely affect the health of whatever corals may survive the initial siltation. Constant re-silting from ships' thrusters will gradually kill an ever widening swath of weakened corals over time as well as stain the aesthetics of the harbor's currently crystal clear status, curtailing many of today's glass bottom boat, snorkeling, diving and submarine tour sites. The wide gap between intact reef structures created by dredging will act like a fire-break to the normal migration of reef fish between Seven Mile Beach and Jackson Point, reducing effectiveness of the Marine Park. We object to the project as presented.

Please, please, please, DO NOT DREDGE

This petition was delivered to:
  • Minister of Environment for the Cayman Islands
    Members of the Cabinet, Cayman Islands
  • Director
    Department of Environment, Cayman Islands

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