All posts tagged: environment

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 …

Miss World Cayman Islands EnviroWalk: Walk For The Planet

“We recognize the privilege we have living in the Cayman Islands being surrounded by the serene beauty of our oceans and nature.  It is important to us that we work alongside our community to preserve our oceans and local wildlife.  We believe in doing our part to contribute to raising awareness about environmental issues impacting our island and conservation efforts.” – Laura Butz, Committee Head for Environment, Miss World Cayman Islands Committee.  Miss World Cayman Islands (MWCI) is raising environmental awareness one step at a time.  On 30th June 2019, will be their first ever ‘EnviroWalk’ to raise awareness for the environment.  “We are very excited to host our first EnviroWalk/Run on June 30 and sincerely thank our sponsors of the Walk – Flowers and Jacques Scott. We hope to continue doing this event as a fundraiser for the Miss World CI pageant but more importantly to bring awareness to the public about what we can do to help our environment. We believe it is important to preserve what we have now so our kids …

Kelsie Bodden, Miss World Cayman Islands: A Beauty With A Purpose

Kelsie Bodden is the current reigning Miss World Cayman Islands.  She is a true beauty with a purpose.  Kelsie has embarked on a journey that is inspiring to others.  She is proud to raise awareness about local environmental issues.  Since her return from competing in the Miss World Pageant 2018, held in China, Kelsie has been meeting with local environmental organizations to find out how she can contribute to educating the community about conservation and environmental issues.  Kelsie has participated in local beach cleanups with The Nation Trust of the Cayman Islands and Plastic Free Cayman.  She has taken Plastic Free Cayman’s 345 Pledge to reduce her use of single-use plastics.  Most recently, Kelsie volunteered with Eco Divers Reef Foundation to help with their coral nursery program.  As a means of raising awareness about environmental projects she is working on, Kelsie started her “Be Kind To The Environment” series on her blog.  Kelsie is looking forward to other environmental projects she will be working on later this year.  Stay tuned.     Q&A with Kelsie …