A group of
local students from the Cayman Islands Further Education Centre (CIFEC) are
getting serious about conservation. Five young people are working with DiveTech
Cayman to film underwater footage for a documentary called ‘Deep Bleu’, which
is looking at the threats to the marine environment, its grouper population,
water pollution, the conditions of local reefs and the effect of captivity on
dolphins. The initiative is part of an extended project class at CIFEC.
Bodden, Alexei Bush, Tariah Lemay-Nottage, Melissa Narcisse and Alyssa Thomas
have received $800 from the Ministry of the Environment and the Department of
Environment (DoE) to finance their dive trips and the related costs of diving
certification, equipment and camera gear.
(16), who is studying creative media, said the project would educate other
students about Cayman’s marine life.
project is about what the Cayman Islands revolves around — our water,” she
said. “We’re surrounded by it and tourists come to look at it. That’s really
what attracts them to the Cayman experience.”
students have filmed interviews with renowned marine life artist and
conservationist, Guy Harvey, and DoE staff and the group, which is filming
outside of school hours, expects to be finished in May.
As well as
making a much-needed contribution to raising awareness about conservation among
young people, as Cayman does not have any significant grass roots movement
agitating for more protection of its natural resources, the students will also
gain valuable experiences that could help them in their future careers.
Director Gina Ebanks-Petrie said, “These students have a chance to increase
their knowledge of one of Cayman’s vitally important ecosystems,” she said. “We
are hopeful that the approach they are taking will also help them to acquire
skills that will assist them in obtaining employment when the time comes for
them to enter the job market.”
Minister Wayne Panton said the project falls under his ministry’s mandate to
encourage greater appreciation of Cayman’s waters.
has always been an important part of the lives of Caymanians; we have grown up
with a deep appreciation for the opportunities it presents and the life within
it. I believe that today, our young people have an even deeper appreciation for
the value of our marine environment,” Panton said. “It is a part of who we are,
and by supporting projects like this documentary, we all broaden and enhance
our understanding of the need for preservation and protection, and of what we
can do as members of society to help.”
that the environment is a key selling point for Cayman as a tourist
destination and draws people to work and live here.