Author: ecochiccayman

International Women’s Day: Girl Power Cayman Visit The Blue Iguanas

In celebration of International Women’s Day, I am sharing a recent private tour of the Blue Iguana Conservation Facility with Girl Power Cayman and Miss World Cayman Islands. Both Miss World Cayman Islands and Girl Power Cayman share a passion for raising awareness about the environment and supporting our community.  On a personal note, it has been such a privilege working with these wonderful organizations.  I am constantly inspired by this strong group of women.  I am thankful for the amazing friendship and sisterhood we all share.  I am so proud of Girl Power Cayman’s enthusiasm and interest in learning more about conservation and ways to help protect our environment.   As previously mentioned, Jaci Patrick, Miss World Cayman Islands 2019 and Girl Power Cayman recently visited the Blue Iguana Conservation Facility located at the Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park.  We had an incredible guided tour learning fascinating facts about Cayman’s endangered Blue Iguana, which is endemic to Grand Cayman.  The girls were able to ask questions and get an exclusive behind the scenes look …

Sage Larock: Sustainable Swimwear Re-Releasing The Chateau Swimsuit

Sage Larock is Re-Releasing their sustainably made Chateau Swimsuit on 15th November (America’s National Recycling Day) to raise awareness about ocean pollution and ghost nets.  The ethos of Sage Larock is to redefine and redesign fashion to be sustainably and ethically made for the betterment of our environment.  Their commitment to ocean conservation is the driving force behind inspiring their swimsuit collections.  Sage Larock uses sustainable fashion as a platform to raise awareness about the plastic pollution crisis and the impact it is having on our oceans.  Plastic impacts nearly 700 species in our ocean, ranging from plankton to whales.  Seabirds and sea turtles often mistake plastic for food which can result in dire consequences.  Plastic has been found in more than 60% of all seabirds and in 100% of sea turtles species (Ocean Conservancy).  Even coral reefs are affected by plastic.  When plastic debris becomes entangled on coral it starves corals of vital oxygen and light, and releases toxins enabling bacteria and viruses to invade  (UN Environment Program).  Furthermore, ghost nets are also a …

People Protect What They Love

“People protect what they love, they love what they understand and they understand what they are taught.” – Jacques-Yves Cousteau, The quote above has always resonated with me. It’s true, people protect what they love. Growing up in the Cayman Islands I learned from an early age that our oceans, marine life, and coral reefs are one of the greatest treasures and assets we have been bestowed custodians of. We have a moral obligation to protect and preserve the precious coral reefs surrounding our islands. After all, our coral reefs are the very heart of Cayman. From a young age, in school, we are taught that Cayman has always had a strong and deep connection to the ocean. Our Coat of Arms has the words, “He Hath Founded It Upon The Seas” inscribed.  For many of us, these words serve as a reminder that our past, present, and future is and always will be linked to the ocean. The generations before us built our heritage on this strong connection to the ocean.  The Cayman Islands heavily …

What You Need To Know About Turtle Nesting Season In The Cayman Islands

The Cayman Islands was originally named “Las Tortugas” in 1503 by Christopher Columbus, due to the abundance of turtles found in our waters.  Five hundred years later, turtles are still one of the most beloved and iconic animals in the Cayman Islands.  There are three species of turtles that can be found in the Cayman Islands: the critically endangered Hawksbill Sea Turtle, the endangered Green Sea Turtle, and the vulnerable Loggerhead Sea Turtle.  Sea turtles are a strong symbol for the Cayman Islands and need support through protection and conservation.  That being said, during Turtle Nesting Season it is vital that turtles and their nests are kept safe and not disturbed, so that hatchlings (baby turtles) are able to make their way to the water.   Some simple ways the community can help protect turtles during nesting season include keeping the beaches clean of litter and keeping nesting beaches dark and safe for turtles. Homes in popular nesting areas are asked to keep blinds closed and to use ‘turtle friendly lighting.’ This attractive amber lighting …

Protecting the Biggest Fish in the Sea with the Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation

Personally, whale sharks are my absolute favorite shark species.  It is an incredible privilege to see them in all their glory in the wild.  For some of us, the opportunity to swim with a whale shark is once in a lifetime.  They are fascinating and docile creatures.  They reach an impressive size, up to 14 meters making them the largest fish in the ocean.  Whale sharks are considered to be gentle giants of the sea.  Their mesmerizing distinctive pattern is thought to aid camouflaging in their environment and is a unique, identifying mark like human fingerprints.  There is still so much to learn about Whale Sharks.  On that note, today we are featuring Ocean Conservationist Louisa Gibson from Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation to learn more about their team’s research studying the behaviors of Whale Sharks in Isla Mujeres, Mexico.   About Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation Whale Shark Research Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation and Guy Harvey Research Institute have partnered with a research group in Isla Mujeres, Mexico called Ch’ooj Ajauil to tag whale sharks with …

A Day In The Life Of A Shark Conservationist: Ellen Cuylaerts

One of my personal heroes is Ellen Cuylaerts.  I have great admiration for Ellen’s ocean conservation efforts.  She is a true luminary.  Ellen faced her fears and learned how to dive and swim with sharks.  By embracing her fear, she gained a deeper love, respect, understanding, and appreciation for sharks.  It is her bravery, and curiosity to learn more about our ocean and sharks that teaches us we can all do great things if we stay true to ourselves and follow our passions.  Ellen’s tremendous love and dedication to shark conservation are evident in her underwater photography.  She uses her passion for photography to show sharks in their natural habitat.  Her photos not only capture incredible ocean moments and encounters with one of the world’s most fascinating creatures, but they tell a powerful story.  Sharks are incredibly misunderstood creatures, resulting in them often being feared.  Through her photography, Ellen strives to change the perception of sharks by reminding all of us that sharks are not to be feared, but respected.  They play a vital role …