Clock ticks on future of GT harbour

| 18/09/2015 | 120 Comments
Cayman News Service

Vibrant reef in the George Town Harbour, Grand Cayman Photo by (Courtney Platt)

(CNS): Cabinet will be making a decision on the development of the controversial cruise berthing facilities in George Town harbour in a matter of weeks, the tourism minister has said. A separate seabed survey commissioned by the tourism ministry has been completed and once consultants, PricewaterhouseCoopers, complete the business case, the PPM government is expected to discuss the project. But as fears grow that a decision has already been made behind closed doors to press on with the project, the Department of Environment (DoE) has issued a clear warning that the facility will be dangerously detrimental to Cayman.

In the wake of the findings by the Environmental Assessment Board (EAB), DoE Director Gina Ebanks-Petrie, whose job is to advice government on environmental conservation and protection, has made it clear that the proposed mitigation on this project will not prevent massive destruction and has many knock-on problems.

Speaking out in an article published by the Environmental News Network, Ebanks-Petrie said that if the 15 acres of reef in George Town are destroyed as anticipated based on the best case findings of the Environmental Impact Assessment, it will be very difficult to find similar sites that could absorb the displaced businesses and visitors brought by the ships. “Possible alternative options for snorkelling, like Stingray City, are already over-subscribed and under tremendous stress,” she warned.

Marine and dive industry and most tourism stakeholders have urged government not to go ahead but there are mounting fears that pressure from influential merchants has already swayed government and that the Cabinet will press on. Tourism Minister Moses Kirkconnell told CNS last week that the discussions in government and caucus have not yet happened and that there would be a debate based on all the documentation once Cabinet received all of the relevant reports.

The pro-port lobby has been investing in a campaign to persuade the public that there are mitigating measures that will limit the destruction, even though the EIA paints a very different picture.

“The pro-port side seems to take comfort from these mitigation options, but what is being missed, or glossed over, is that the environmental study also assesses the effect of those measures and the consultants judge that they will have little or no effect on reducing the severity of the impacts,” Ebanks-Petrie warned. “The public and decision makers need to remember that ‘mitigation’ of an impact does not equal complete removal of the impact, and they should focus on the severity of the predicted residual impact, i.e. those impacts which remain even after the use of mitigation measures.”

In the EIA the consultants scored the impact of dredging on water quality in George Town Harbour as a significant negative impact, grading it –D, and the grade does not improve as a result of recommended mitigation because of the limited impact such measures as silt curtains actually have. The consultants classified the destruction of coral reef during dredging even higher on the negativity scale, at  -E, which still only moves to –D if, and only if, the coral could be moved, which most experts agree has a very low probability of success.

“Even with these proposed mitigation measures, that come with a significant price tag. The resulting situation is still extremely dire, and this seems to be lost in the soundbites being heard in the news,” said Ebanks-Petrie.

What the government has not yet outlined is the genuine benefit of this project to the wider community outside a small number of downtown merchants and a limited number of tour operators – or how it will be financed as there are no commitments from the cruise lines.

The wider local tourism sector has rejected the proposal, the Chamber of Commerce wants government to look at less destructive alternatives and the public consultation found the vast majority of participants are opposed to the project. The vast majority of support came directly from Kirk Freeport workers and owners.

The dive industry, both at home and abroad, has warned that the project will make a significant negative dent in Cayman’s world renowned dive tourism product and could come close to destroying it all together. But the massive loss of marine habitat, not just the reefs, at a time when the environment ministry is trying to expend protections to give the sea around us a fighting chance is unimaginable for many local people.

The proposed destruction also comes in the face of an already relatively successful cruise product in Cayman without berthing facilities. An industry report published less than three years ago (BREA 2012) found 90% of cruise visitors to Grand Cayman disembark here. The Department of Tourism’s statistics on cruise arrivals indicate that at the end of 2015 numbers of cruise visitors will reach 1.7 million.

Watch former tourism director, Angela Martins, speak out against the port project

“The Department of Environment fully acknowledges the contribution that cruise tourism makes to the economy, and the need to upgrade and improve the arrival and departure experience of cruise visitors,” Ebanks-Petrie said. “However, after careful consideration of the environmental losses and the risk to the overall tourism product associated with berthing facilities, our view is that a scheme of appropriate landside enhancements would offer the best solution.”

The EIA has attempted to place a dollar value on the economic losses associated with the destruction, which the DoE boss said needs to be properly incorporated into the updated business case. “From where I sit, the economic business case does not appear to have been held to the same standard of actual data collection and robust analysis and scrutiny as the environmental impact assessment; I see this as a significant problem for decision-makers,” said added.

Keith Sahm from Sunset House, a spokesperson for the Save Cayman campaign, which is urging government to take a different approach to the development of cruise tourism, said the campaigners want to ensure that decisions made today are based on accurate facts. The economics of the project are just as concerning to the campaigners as the environmental destruction, and he warned, “Once the decision is made, Cayman will have to deal with the consequences.”

Meanwhile, posting on Facebook this week on the SaveCayman page, Chris Kirkconnell, a prominent member of the pro-port movement and one of the limited number of retailers most likely to benefit from the project, derided the campaigners and dismissed the DoE director’s concerns. He accused her “of being been against the port from the beginning” and unduly influencing the EIA. He said that email communication between the DoE and environmental scientists was biased.

As the government’s marine environment expert, however, Ebanks-Petrie is duty bound to tell the politicians if their policies will destroy the environment and the advice she is giving to the Cabinet is based on scientific fact. It is not possible for the senior civil servant to massage the findings or sugarcoat what will happen if government goes ahead with the project. In her honest view as a result of the evidence, research analysis and scientific data, there is no way to prevent significant and irreversible destruction of the harbour’s marine life, which will have a direct and detrimental impact on a significant number of businesses and workers.

The marine habitat is a critical factor and Ebanks-Petrie said, “Coral reefs all over the world are under serious threat on various fronts: coastal development, overfishing, sedimentation, climate change, etc. Marine scientists are agreed that we need to take all possible steps to protect remaining reefs at the same time as taking corrective action to address the threats, both locally and globally.”

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Category: Marine Environment, Science & Nature

Comments (120)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Just when you think the save cayman group is spewing garbage “Who” cones along with the biggest fairytale of them all. The businesses that work in cruise in Cayman have historically employed a much higher percentage of Caymanians than its stayover tourism counterparts…by a multiple. The banking industry may employ a higher percentage but this is the industry where you find the token Caymanians. Do t get me started on the law firms. Speak to those few lucky enough to get near the top and ask them what the possibility of reaching equity partner are. Moving on to the following finance crew, you can count on one hand those Caymanians that make the real money. The only reason business ownership in general is becoming harder is because of one monopoly that has been allowed to operate at will. Don’t follow yourself, go ahead and erase the cruise industry and all other aspects of Cayman life will suffer.

    When it all comes to roost, I hope the elected officials are able to look back and see that they are the ones that saved the real cayman and not the ones that look back and see the tumbleweed rolling down harbour drive.

    • Anonymous says:

      I’ve been waiting for a relevant poster for days. Thank you for combating ignorance.

    • Anonymous says:

      Well said…if it was left to the DOE we would still be a mosquito ridden thatch rope making community. They have opposed every single project whose benefits we now enjoy. Where do they think Govt. gets its income to pay their salaries and provide them with their boats to play in.

  2. Anonymous says:

    We need this dock badly. People here ,who are complaining don’t even want to know the truth.The sad part is that they can’t win the argument and so here comes the bias. Digging 10 feet of material is not going to cause this amount of damage. Even if you dropped in on top of Eden rock.The natural weather will blow it off the reef in Northwesters. They know it and we know it.
    Greed you all have the nerve to call us greedy because of one family ? What about the guys who own Red Sails, Bodden Shipping, Atlantis ,Cathy Church,Websters tour co., ????.They are not going to have a problem paying any of their bills. They can take any people working on their tenders and switch them to driving their new 65 ft sail boat. By the way they got 5 more. So they are not starving. But lets stop talking about family and greed because this has nothing to do with greed. We have ships coming 2 days one week and 3 days the next for 6 months. This is the problem . Cozumel Mexico is working 6 days a week year round. WHY??????? BECAUSE THEY HAVE DOCKS. LET ME SAY THAT FOR YOU AGAIN ” BECAUSE THEY HAVE DOCKS ”
    No amount of lies because you don’t want to change is going to change that . If the piers are not built there will be an exodus of Caymanians leaving this country for the UK and Canada.

    • Anonymous says:

      I would be so happy if my fellow Caymanians who are stupid enough to support this dock and narrow minded enough to put their pockets before something as important as the marine environment (our only resource- let’s face it Cayman is not the beauty that Hawaii is on land) to leave- good riddance.

    • SSM345 says:

      We do not need this dock badly, there are 2 other projects that need to be taken care of first; the airport and the dump. The dock is not going to be the savior you all think it is going to be. Stop comparing Cayman to Mexico, its 1000 times the size of our Island and can accommodate those numbers, we cannot.
      Where are all these people going to go? The beach is full when 2 ships are in town, as is the sandbar. There is nothing in GT other than the same crap these people see on every other stop they go to.
      Our beach will disappear before this project is complete, anyone who did Geography at school knows this, those for this project are in clear denial.

      What about all the work required to upgrade our infrastructure? Seen or heard anything on this? No, because they haven’t even thought of the work involved.
      People objecting this have legit reason to be concerned, you all don’t want to hear it. You are playing with fire and if our Govt.’s past record is anything to go by, we are going to get burned beyond recognition on this one.
      There is a reason why we are the crown jewel of the Caribbean, because we didn’t follow everyone else and we do not have to now.
      The fact that the cruise industry is mute on this, there is bugger all profit projected for the risk at hand and the huge fact that we have no money to spend on it should make this a dead subject, but of course it won’t because there are elections in 2017.

      • Anonymous says:

        The Airport just broke ground and the dump is starting it’s progress.
        Reading through your comment above you have no idea what you are talking about on any of these matters. Just a simple troll

        • Who I am. says:

          I know who this individual is personally, we grew up together. We have a massive divide on other issues many of which are part and parcel of that which pertains to our shared existence and that is indicative of the universal gravity of the issue at hand. He has spoken forthrightly and without error.. In this he is not a troll. He has spoken the straight truth. It is the author of that which I respond to who is the most deserving of said title.

  3. Who I am. says:

    There is a dire need for participatory democracy in the Cayman Islands. The decision to go forward with the CBF is one that should be put to a national referendum. Although compared to the UDP’s maladministration of this and all other issues relating to the Cayman Islands and the PPM’s administration is leaps and bounds better in the absence of an acceptable comparative benchmark, the fact remains that there is a definitive conflict of interest regarding the players in this issue. The Cayman Islands in it’s entirety will be made to pay for the CBF in one way or another. The Cayman Islands and her people are not the ones who will benefit in any way, shape or form that could justify this massive expenditure/loss of natural resources on a national level when the reality is that the majority of Caymanians have been dispossessed of the benefits of the cruise tourism industry and the tourism industry in general. This in conjunction with the Caymanian being indirectly taxed at every turn to pay for the infrastructure necessary which is and has been implemented by a repeatedly inefficient and easily corruptible and unaccountable system of governmental administration especially in a country with a cost living being one of the highest in the world.

    How many Caymanians does one see anymore in any and all sectors of the tourism industry? The ratio of Caymanian representation within these enterprises is very low. The arguments made by the monopolistic Caymanian business owners who prefer someone who makes less money than is fair and would find it almost impossible to stand up for fair treatment and wages due to their status as an expatriate because they would be shown the door if they did stand up does not hold water. We also have a presence of those within the tourism industry who are expatriate and would do anything and everything to inhibit a Caymanian from getting a foothold as an owner/operator and/or in an employment position where one actually makes a living wage. How many Caymanian bartenders are there nowadays? The answer is slim to none and this is not by accident, those expatriates who now have positions within these sectors view the Caymanian as a threat to their newfound livelihood and will and do endeavor to hold on to their market share while engaged in complete complicity with the monopolistic Caymanian businessman/woman for they have found a symbiotic relationship within the skewed, debilitating, unfair, destructive and untenable morass which the tourism industry in and of Cayman has become when it comes to a Caymanian perspective of the scenario at hand.

    It is not by mistake that the creation of a welfare state has been promulgated as a parallel consequence to the by and large dispossession of stakeholder status within the main pillars of our economy save for the “token Caymanian” as an all too often public relations stunt. The meaning of who is and is not a Caymanian has been purposefully blurred and unjustly and/or unwisely bequeathed for the purposes of political expediency of a select few at the expense of all. The vitriolic back and forth insults and worse between the Caymanian and expatriate community are a direct result of the actions of and presence of those for whom greed and wholly undeserved power are their sole guiding force and the utilization of the “divide and conquer” tactic of warfare is employed with complete disregard for the consequence which the country has, is and will continue to face. The myopic idea that the status quo can continue unmitigated without consequences that will ruin it for all of us is as unwise as not learning from the plethora of historical examples around not only our geographical region but worldwide. It is not by chance that a vast majority of the low wage expatriate workers now in Cayman have come here directly as a result of the consequence of the injustices suffered in their own respective countries.

    The question of whether or not the CBF should go forward is as of now set to ultimately be decided upon by a very small group of elected individuals within cabinet. The conflicts of interests within this group of people will not allow for a truly objective decision to be made. There is an argument out there which says that if they do not do it now the danger and nightmare scenario of allowing this to possibly again be put into the hands of the likes of the previous administration and/or any amalgamation of such dictates that it should go forward now. The way forward is not to allow that fear to be a deciding factor but for the Cayman Islands to permanently disallow the abuses of power and influence to continue. We already have a massive issue to deal with due to the destruction and havoc which has already occurred and will be near impossible to successfully mitigate. The monopolistic entity who was utterly complicit with the previous administration, to say the very least with any hope of publication, has and will continue to follow their modus operandi to the detriment of the overall health of the Cayman Islands and the presence of an economy which can sustain the people of the Cayman Islands and not just a select few for whom integrity has long been lost and forgotten. Sir Winston Churchill once spoke of democracy in these terms; democracy is the worst system of governance until one looks at the alternatives. The decision to go forward or not with the CBF is an issue of such massive importance and consequence, not to mention expense, that it unequivocally rises to the level of one of those issues that should go to a national referendum. At the very least, if we in and of the Cayman Islands get it wrong then we will have no one but ourselves to blame.

    • Anonymous says:

      I agree 100% this Government is not in a place to make any objective, safe decision on this subject matter and it should be put to the people!

  4. Anonymous says:

    Everyone that lives on the north of the island sees the Oasis every week when it crosses. All Cayman will be if the port gets shut down is a waving gallery to passing ships. More and more will just go by and we will become the islands that time forgot.

  5. Anonymous says:

    I’ve spoken to so many people over the last couple of months about this and most of the locals I talk to are all for it or at least not against the dock. It seems like the mass of anti dockers are all foreign padi and dema group members. Finding local opposition is few and far between outside of the diving companies and those related to the tender guys.

    • Anonymous says:

      And then there’s the educated, young and independent Caymanian that cares about the future of this Island and the wellbeing and “inheritance” (natural and social) of out children- we are against it, we do not want he burden of this catastrophic mistake on the shoulders or for our children to ask us one day “why on earth were you so stupid”.

  6. Anonymous says:

    It is funny that people get their knickers in a twist over the Smith Road widening and the inconvenience it causes regarding traffic for two months, yet they are happily supporting the build of berthing facilities and probably assume that this will not have an impact on the current infrastructure (or lack thereof) for the next few years.

    Let’s see what mess this is going to be when they try to build a dock and move the equipment, machinery, materials and vehicles around on the harbor front while still accommodating cruise ship passengers and the daily import/export operations at the port, never mind finding parking alone for all those workers and staff anticipated to be involved with construction on a daily basis. Perhaps Government is planning on doing that construction solely at night and clearing everything out of the way again in time for day break!?!

    I hope that those business owners and others involved with the tourism industry who are screaming for the berthing facility to be the answer to everything can afford a long and hard dry spell cause things will get much worse before they get better. How many people do you anticipate will want to walk around town to the sounds of the construction, the dirt and dust. Forget being able to leave your store doors open to entice people in with cool AC!

    Once word has gotten around that you hit a massive construction site once arriving in Cayman, I bet cruise ships will drastically reduce their call to port in Cayman until the project has been finished, and if they come, I bet a lot more people will chose to stay on board rather than spending their precious vacation day tracking around a disaster zone!

    • Anonymous says:

      How many multi million $ construction sites have been going on constantly on 7MB for years and not once has it stopped anyone from coming? Kimpton is way more disturbance and landside dirt fill and concrete than this dock will be. Quit the foolishness.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Where is the proof that a berthing facility will result in economic benefits for the next 20-30 years? This whole thing is based on assumption and to make a few business people happy. That is it!

  8. Anonymous says:

    Let’s put the environmental factor aside for a minute. The last time PPM attempted to built 3 schools at the same time. One was completed at almost double the planned cost, not sure of the status of the school in West Bay, but the one in GT was started and is now sitting only 1/4 finished, rotting away while exposed to the elements for the last god knows how many years.

    So now we are going to do a massive airport expansion AND a cruise ship berthing facility AND potentially extension of the east-west arterial (a road which NRA/DOH already are unable to maintain on a regular basis) and we are expecting a different outcome?

    When will people learn?

  9. Anonymous says:

    I can’t wait for the cruise dock. Based on all the comments so far on this blog it will surely mean the end of world hunger and all illness. Thank you Kirkconnell family for giving it to the public at no cost. I pray you all get nominations for the next Heroes Day.

    Bless you and thank you in advance for saving the entire world!!

  10. Anonymous says:

    “[Chris Kirkconnell accused Ebanks-Petrie] of being been against the port from the beginning and unduly influencing the EIA. He said that email communication between the DoE and environmental scientists was biased.”

    But the fact that Daddy is Deputy Chairman of the Port Authority and cousin Moses is the Tourism Minister is not an issue?

    XXXXXX

  11. Anonymous says:

    So I’ve lived hear for 14 years and I dive quite a bit. Sure i’ve been to devils grotto and sotos but my understanding is they have a threat of being stressed not that they will be taken out. I’ve done hundreds of dives and not once has balboa ever come up in conversation with any of my buddies. I get that there is some historical significance. Maybe it makes sense to move it or maybe the funds are better spent creating a new site that you can actually dive every day. I LOVE the Kittiwake. I just don’t see or understand how the mass hysteria about the environmental side is justified. Most of all the diving I’ve done has been in completely different areas.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Only in Cayman expanding a dock is “controversial”. The rest of the world build things of the like al the time. Bridges, docks, roads is considered normal development.

    • Anonymous says:

      The destruction of the environment and the total costs associated with the port are the issues that are not clear

      • SSM345 says:

        Also the fact that these pro-pier enthusiasts keep comparing us to other developments in countries 50-100 times the size of Cayman where they don’t feel the same impact that we will as they have tons of other natural resources. Cayman still does not feature on world maps in 2015 its that small and we have absolutely no natural resources to fall back on if this fails. A project of this magnitude will have catastrophic effects to Cayman. The first being that the beach will go, and it will, before the project is completed.

    • Anonymous says:

      Other places in the world have perhaps the infrastructure to support such a project or do understand that you can’t drastically change one end of the infrastructure and leave the surrounding infrastructure completely untouched.

      This has been the problem in Cayman time and time again, nothing is thought through, just let it do quick and half assed.

      People are screaming for this so their children will have employment. Guess what, there is a half build school sitting on Walkers Road with no funding to finish it!! If we continue to get the results of school leavers we have these days, you don’t have to worry about them having employment because they will be unemployable and more people will be imported to fill the jobs people claim this project will provide for years to come!!

    • Anonymous says:

      You do realize Cayman is Cayman and not the rest of the world? They are able to facilitate such things.

  13. Anonymous says:

    I can’t say I have a huge opinion on this one either way. I do feel like the pier will help the economy long term, I do think the whole environmental campaign is a little over blown but I hope they keep arguing because I rather enjoy getting to see the kirkconnell son on the tv and will be a little sad if they take him off air when a decision is made.

    • Anonymous says:

      Why do you believe this would help the economy in the long term? Just because a lot of money is thrown at something doesn’t always mean that it will be a success.

  14. Anonymous says:

    What people are not realizing is that the dredging is only actually going 10 feet deep at the most extreme. The dredge zone starts in 26ft of water and only needs to go down to 36ft to accommodate the largest ships. As you get deeper the dredging is only a couple feet deeper than the current depth. Save Cayman acts like you’re doubling the depth in the harbour and this is not the case. Scare tactics all around. The dredging companies have stated that if we used a cutter suction dredge they could finish in a couple of weeks. This is not the massive dredge operation that it its being made to seem like.

    • Anonymous says:

      Except it’s not a suction cutter. See the OBC, EIA – unless you have evidence of you made-up claim

      • Anonymous says:

        The EIA actually clearly shows both dreging types as options. cutter suction was used in the harbour house canal. The EIA says they recommend mechanical but bids should be taken on both dredging methods and both should be considered. The EIA modeled for both.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Boy there are some people with no understanding of how the economy works. This dock will be one of the saving economic and CI Gov revenue graces. CIG brings in millions a year just from the head taxes. How do you think non revenue government branches survive? They are supported and paid for by cruise and stayover tourism. Even DOE itself is funded by the cruisers. If you want to guarantee higher duties and or other taxes then go right ahead and stop this dock and see where we end up. That’s without even starting to get into how CIG makes even more millions on the duty of everything imported and sold in town whether it be restaurants, shops etc.

    • Anonymous says:

      Except the OBC doesn’t show that. There’s the crux, your claim doesn’t stand up to scrutiny.

    • Anonymous says:

      The public is keenly watching how the PPM led coalition handle this issue in light of the reports & assessments that do not support the current CBF proposal…

      The EIA has attempted to place a dollar value on the economic losses associated with the destruction, which the DoE boss said needs to be properly incorporated into the updated business case.

      “From where I sit, the economic business case does not appear to have been held to the same standard of actual data collection and robust analysis and scrutiny as the environmental impact assessment; I see this as a significant problem for decision-makers,” said added.

      If all the expert advice government pays for is objectively taken on board by the PPM there is only on decision or outcome for government in this matter. Otherwise the principle of transparency is nothing more than a great expensive game of misdirection and smoke and mirrors.

    • Anonymous says:

      Have you received anything in writing from the cruise ship industry that they will continue to come in the 20 years, no matter what?

      • Anonymous says:

        The fact that they will be paying for the dock is the reason they will keep coming. CIG are not paying for this…the cruise lines are…!!
        Another lesson we have learnt from another mistake made by Jamaca.

    • SSM345 says:

      “millions on the duty of everything imported and sold in town whether it be restaurants, shops”.

      Do you know what “duty free” means?

      • Anonymous says:

        Again you are uninformed. 99.5% of everything sold in GT stores has duty on it. Things were duty free so the name stuck years ago but hardly anything except liquor being taken back on board is actually duty free.

  16. Sunrise says:

    This is going to be a sad day for the Cayman Islands, when we have to destroy our ecosystem to accommodate the greedy, unsatisfied, money chasing, poor decision makers, for their own gains. Why are we destroying the very thing that is attracting tourist to our Islands, and something that I have marveled at since the age of 3 years old, when I first started snorkeling. We have one of the most beautiful harbors in the world, why are we so determined to destroy it!!! I have read a lot of comments concerning this issue with the proposed docks, and some of the comments suggest that Caymanians want and need this dock. I am a born Caymanian, just like a lot of the other true born Caymanians. I just want to say that this is a serious concern for us all, not only for Caymanians, but especially for Caymanians!!! We are the ones that will be left with this huge bill and destruction, after all is said and done. Why do we always have to cater to the rich and powerful? Why can’t we set an example for the rest of the world, and when all the other places have destroyed their reefs and pristine corals, the Cayman islands will be the only one left to hold it’s head high and be proud of our conservation efforts.

    Some comments say that we need this dock in order to live, I have never heard more BS in all my life. We have survived, at least I have for the last 50+ years without having to kiss any —!! I am not trying to be rude, but how much destruction do we need before we are satisfied? How much of a bank account do we need, before we are satisfied? We are just like a shy, coward pet, when someone stamps their feet, we run and hide in the shadows, obeying our master!! We need to be bold in standing up for the preservation of the Cayman Islands, we are following the world ideas too much and not enough conservation on our behalf.

    Where are all of the additional visitors going to go? What attractions are they purchasing that will not be up to capacity? Check when we have 4 cruise ships in town, Hell, Stingray City, Rum Cakes, Turtle Farm, etc., are all a shame to try and accommodate a well educated tour, it is just elbow to elbow and a lot of people do not enjoy this. We have to do something first of all about the customer satisfaction, starting in the George Town area. I have not read so far what the plans are for George Town? Are we just going to build docks and leave the same old George Town area as is, maybe with a few more jewelry and rum cake stores? We have to start with improving on the comfort of our visitors, our terminals and dispatch areas are a laugh and have always been. We are so backward with this that it is pathetic, we have one of the worst disembarking areas in the Caribbean if not the world!! But, on the upbeat, we have one of the most pristine and beautiful harbors in the world as it is now, which is a huge plus for these Islands.

    We have to give our visitors, one of the best experiences in their lives that they have never had before!! We have to educate these taxi drivers, tour operators, tour drivers, restaurant/bar employees, how to properly handle anyone visiting our Islands with a first class experience. Most of the persons that is supporting this project on the taxi/tour side have let greed in their own country, destroy what what beneficial for them and had to run to Cayman for a living. Now, they are the seem ones that is supporting this project, not thinking about the past or the future!! This is one project that this Caymanian, will not be supporting. If you are going to destroy our ecosystem out of greed and only for the almighty dollar, then I will personally see to it that I will no longer support this government or the 500+ strong members that is behind me. When I say members, there is a lot that we have done in the past without letting people know our identity publicly, and have accomplished a lot by being strong headed and hearted.

    Please, I beg of the ministry, be very careful with your decision, or it may have an irreversible damage to our people, which we will not stand for. On the other hand, I do applaud the Minister for all the work and studies that have gone into the research and reports that were generated from these studies. However, sir, be bold in your decision. Do not let the almighty dollar destroy the Cayman Islands, as you will be the one remembered for a lifetime for making this unworthy decision for a few greedy merchants. I truly believe that you will make the right decision and start with the upgrading of George Town and we will find a sensible solution to this problem.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Who is going to pay for it? Who will guarantee the arrival numbers to make this a bankable idea? What will CIG do to replace passenger arrival fees during the lengthy period that this donor recovers their investment? Nobody in government or elsewhere has provided the answers to these fundamental questions.

  18. caymanaindonkey says:

    Of course this deal is already done. PPM love to put us in debt, look at the last time they were in power, Big Al did the something, borrowed money to build new schools, new gov building and on and on.

    If we are to spend the money let use it were it is needed most. The airport (which they have started) we need bigger planes.
    That’s the only project I would support the ppm on.

    I do beleive we need to look at education, crime, prison, mental health, and other social matter, not a dock.

    Lastly, CNS, as mentioned by many in favour with the port, if we do not build it, the cruise ships will not come. Has an news agency on the island directly contacted the headquarters of these cruise ship organisations and asked them the question, if we don’t build the port, will you still come?

    CNS: Yes, all the news agencies are asking them. We have not heard from them directly but did get this response from the FCCA FCCA wants ‘eco-friendly’ piers

    • Anonymous says:

      The biggest ships are being built to service the liners’ own private harbour island compounds. That’s where the mass-market money is. They can de-risk the entire passenger experience and capture 100% of the upland service revenue, everything from food, alcohol, gazebo rentals to casino. The higher risk Mexico/Honduras Western Caribbean routes include Cayman, and are becoming less attractive to mass cruise tourism because of real and perceived crime and are nowhere near as profitable. Building a pier system (even if there was funding for that) might seem to be inviting, but it doesn’t necessarily mean any more or larger ships will come.

      • Anonymous says:

        Actually the Oasis doesn’t even go to their own islands because they only tender into them. Oasis was not build for this purpose.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Setting aside the real environmental concerns and the fact that CIG doesn’t have the money to build this dock anyway (which will lead to direct income taxation), there is an inherent conflict of interest here. The group pushing hardest for this dock and the powerful tourism minister in CIG are from the same family and somehow no one questions this. This is a textbook example of how things can get pushed through by only a few vocal and connected individuals.

  20. Anonymous says:

    I guess we are being honest in this thread.

    Cayman is not the most beautiful island in the Caribbean. It does not enjoy mountains other than the dump and the interior does not have the beauty of say a Jamaica.

    What Cayman is world famous for is the diving. The crystal clear warm waters containing nothing really dangerous to attract the beginner and intermediate diver.

    The most famous area of Grand Cayman is 7 mile beach. It is also world known. There is a risk to this berthing pier in the form of dredging that will impact the natural flow of sand along 7 mile beach.

    NO ONE knows exactly how dredging a hole off George Town will impact this natural sand movement. There will be damage to the dive product as well.

    There are a handful of local business men who are behind the push for this project for business reasons. Cayman needs to retain its quaint “small town” relationship to visitors and the pier moves us in the wrong direction.

    This government has shown us time and time again their strengths are not in effectively managing large construction projects. Every one in the past 25 years has been a financial nightmare.

    We have a ticking time bomb in the form of the GT dump being ignored to move this pier forward. Our focus is misplaced it needs to be on the dump.

    Cayman will never be a huge cruise ship destination which is a good thing. We cannot allow a few businessmen to scare us into a flawed construction project playing upon our fears.

    There is enough real concern about the risks involved for any prudent leader to refocus attention to dealing with the dump. Granted it is not a sexy project but real leadership knows how to evaluate priorities.

    Don’t let the rum cake and jewelry shops push this project forward.

  21. Anonymous says:

    I have been staying silent through this all but enough is enough.
    This project is badly needed for us Caymanians. I grew up taking people to sand bar and a lot of my family works in the water business. Hotels are great but they can’t feed us all year round. We need these ships to fill our boats. plain and simple.

    • Anonymous says:

      12;36 Thanks for standing up, you are one of many that have the sense to know if we don’t develop our infrastructures we will be left out in the cold.
      Cayman is a total Environmental sensitive Islands, we have been sacrificing bits and pieces of the environment for progress.
      When we were all green and untouched, Caymanians went to foreign countries to find work and made it better for themselves, the men toiled the oceans to survive.
      Today we have sacrificed parts of our Environment to develop properties and infrastructures so we all could return home and survived on our own, this is called progress.
      Now we have people that are presently satisfied with their gains and wealth from these past so-called destruction of the environment.

      They have no care or considerations for the future Caymanians, its all about them. They are claiming that we should not touch any more of our trees and ocean, so what do we do? return to where we were 45 years ago, back to Jamaica , Honduras, Cuba and Nicaragua.

    • Anonymous says:

      Gimme gimme gimme, but nobody cares who pays.

  22. Anonymous says:

    Destroy the reef for some lazy a$$ that doesnt want to get off a tender

    • anonimous says:

      How dare you refer to another human being in that manner and more so a tourist who is coming here to spend his or her hard earned dollar to benefit us. You ought to be ashamed of youself.

      • Anonymous says:

        No you ought to if you support this dock

      • Anonymous says:

        Selling out for the almighty dollar. This time it really is going to come back and bite you in the ass if this goes forward. And nobody will be able to blame anyone other than the Kirkonnells, Hamate’s and PPM Govt as all of you are ignoring the glaringly obvious side effect of building this; our beach will go. And when it does, Cayman will truly be up the creek with no paddle and a massive debt that we cannot afford.

    • Anonymous says:

      What an ignorant statement. shows this person don’t have a clue whats going on, probably listening to people under some grape tree. Educate yourself friend!

  23. Anonymous says:

    Strange….volunteers are still working on repairing (or trying to) the damage done to marine environment by Carnival Cruise Line’s ship last year and we are still discussing whether or not we should complete the destruction? I just don’t why this is even being discussed!! And yes, I am a Caymanian, 69 years old, and have no interest in any business connected to cruise tourism. I just know that if George Town harbor is dredged our enjoyment of the ocean, the marine life, Seven Mile Beach, as we know it and have known it all our lives, will be over and done with. Our children will know nothing of the beauty we have enjoyed.

    • Anonymous says:

      I have never been diving, but I grew up in the Sea too. But these days we have to see that keeping our children employed is more important than saving 2 dive sites. We have hundreds more dive sites, but no tourist are going to come here if we have crime and unemployed people roaming the streets. I pray our government will have the sense to build the dock this time.

    • Anonymous says:

      Another emotional person.
      Can you say what will be the be the phenomenon cause of this sand to be remove from 7 mile beach.
      The GT harbour is already 30 to 90 feet deep, having no effect on the beach for the 600 years its been there. Are you implying, if we deepen it 20 feet more this will cause the change of current to head to the 7 mile beach and wash away the sand?

      This is not practical,as the light current that we do have comes from the North, which over time, a small amount of sand will drift South, one only has to look at the fish market in town, (Matilda Corner) before Mieser Marine built the solid Pier in the harbour, the water was touching the retaining wall, today we have a sand beach approximately 30 feet wide and is growing. This proves the sand drift from the North and collected into this bay. thanks to the solid pier we now have a cove beach in town. Not even Ivan could move it!

      Do you know that the seven mile beach at one point was all mangrove trees, until a storm from the west direction brought in the sand from the Ocean and buried the mangroves? one only have to witness a natural erosion from a (storm) to see the mangrove limbs exposed on our 7 mile beach.
      Nature always play its part the sand always returns to cover up the mangroves, sometimes creating a wider beach.

      Because we have no strong current around the 7 mile beach, the sand stay put.

  24. CI only says:

    The entire false push against the dock project has cone from a mass push of people not resident in cayman. Between the demand and pads and save the anythings of the world’s the whole pretend save cayman group is only backed by people who don’t live here or haven’t even stepped foot on our shores

    • Michelle Scott says:

      This Caymanian knows you are not being truthful. I believe the majority of Caymanians see this for what it is… a boon for the contractors and downtown business men, with nothing of lasting benefit for the average Caymanian families. The destruction of our underwater beauty will be detrimental to all.

    • Charles Everbaum says:

      You are obviously a very misinformed individual. Do you not realize that coral reefs world wide are in decline over 80%. Coral reefs are the first defense against hurricanes, buffering and absorbing the waves. They provide habitat for fish and other marine life ( grossly over fished in Cayman) What the anti port people are saying is true and it is only a very few individuals that will benefit short term. Time to come into the 21st century and educate yourself about world affairs, especially what is happening in the ocean around you. If it wasn’t for people like Gina Petrie Ebanks (a Caymanian) and the expats this Island would have nothing left!

      • Anonymous says:

        The Expats that you say are saving our islands are very self-serving. They don’t care about whether I get business on my boats, they only care about creating a place that suits them and they can entertain their friends.

        • Anonymous says:

          Wrong- they have just evolved further than you and have high enough IQs to understand that nature effects THE WHOLE WORLD and you are still dumping in your own cave.

    • Anonymous says:

      False! I was born in GT hospital and lived here all my life and I am 100% against it.

      • Anonymous says:

        Thank you for that statement, Petrie and the expatriates are not the only ones against this port, but Caymanians are getting the blame anyway. Why dont you go after the real culprits the Politicians? and stop pointing fingers at the unfortunate ones that have no say in this country!

    • Anonymous says:

      Saying it again, allow ships to keep their casinos open and they will stay longer which means tenders will be more than enough to handle passengers and cayman businesses will make more money and we won’t need dock. Ask cruise lines what they think of idea. Maybe try it for one year. Fix dump first.

      • Anonymous says:

        11;26
        Ask the cruise liners! aren’t they the ones that wont stop here because we have no pier to unload passengers? aren’t they the ones that built piers in every island to unload their passengers? aren’t they the ones building mega ships which will require piers?

      • Anonymous says:

        It is against tax laws for ships to open services such as casinos, gift shops while in port. the tenders are not enough to handle the mid-sized ships now, taking 4 hours to get 3500 passengers to shore. In order for the passengers to spend more money ashore we have to give them time to do so. Anyone who believes that a dock would benefit just a couple of merchants downtown is foolish, it will benefit hundreds of businesses including tours, taxi drivers, restaurants, shops, car hire companies, and thousands of individuals that depend on the cruise tourism business, not to mention the boost in our economy, and life back in to our struggling capital which many people seem too arrogant and ignorant to see is in trouble. When will people see that the dock is not the first project of its kind, there are hundreds of them worldwide and throughout the Caribbean, these contractors and reseachers know what they are doing, its not their first time. The tenders cannot be upgraded to become more efficient to a point where its worth doing, you make them bigger, they take longer to get on and get off. If it could be done other ports would have upgraded their tender system. Lets get out of get out of the last century and prepare for the future! Whoever is arrogant enough to say that the ships will keep coming here, they need us, is also foolish, we can’t cater to their needs now and we are far from seeing their potential, imagine how bad it will be in 10 years from now!

        • Anonymous says:

          Actually it’s the experts saying the dock doesn’t add up and people like you making unsubstantiated and inaccurate claims that it is needed. Read the reports.

    • Anonymous says:

      And who have profited from removing some of their environment to develop their infrastructures.

    • Anonymous says:

      I am a true Caymanian- I am 100% against the Dock- no 150% against it!!!

  25. What a mess! says:

    Well, it looks like Chris Kirkconnell and the Cayman Port group just woke up their staff members…. Likes and Dislikes are taking off like crazy pro port… Bloody Hell!

    • Chris Kirkconnell says:

      You guys are funny, it’s 830 and this is the first time I’ve been on this site.
      Out of town for a wedding. It’s nice to see the majority in support of the CBF though.

      • Anonymous says:

        Notice the casually thrown in reference to jetting off to a wedding “off island” like that is something ordinary folks get to do.

        Must be nice to be descended from Cayman royalty and have the ability to influence projects that are of questionable benefit to average Caymanians.

        Wow. Just wow.

        • Anonymous says:

          It is absolutely disgusting to hear people trying to trash others names like this. I have know both the Kirkconnells and the Wights my whole life and you couldn’t ask for two better families. Capt Eldon is one of the kindest and most amazing God loving people on this island. He spent most of his life working hard at sea to build the business they have today. Some may be envious of their success but that seems to be what Caymanians like to do, tear each other down. I have also worked with Gerry with little league and the school board and know how they care for this island. If you actually knew their children you would not be speaking like this. Have they been successful in business yes, but if you met them you would never know they have a big business they own. The four boys are all fantastic gentlemen and a model I would want any of my kids and grandkids to look up to.

    • Anonymous says:

      The port and other issues like the dump are deserving of a referendum. Let’s formulate a well written motion and put it to the people. Yes or No, it is that simple. Caymanians this may be the only way for you to have a say in what happens behind closed doors. The majority of people employed by the retailers of George Town are not able to vote in this country and so the skewed thumb opinions will not even have any influence over this and other matters that are so important that the populace needs to have input.

      • Anonymous says:

        I signed onto the referendum list as registered voter , while I am not neccessarily against the current CBF proposal , I do have concerns & thought the voters having a say could not hurt. That said , the word on marl road ( & it may just be rumour) is that the deal is done on the cruise berth and C.I.G will push ahead on its development. Will be interesting to see what surfaces ‘in a couple of weeks’ as to a decision.

  26. Save George town says:

    Both Dr Seymour and Mr roberts who made the report that save cayman and Mr Jackson have been talking about have said that 7 mile will not be affected. The beach is safe. Only a small amount of coral will be taken that is not dived now and we need both sides to get together to hold gov accountable to make sure all measures are taken to protect the nearby corals.

    • Anonymous says:

      The point is that there are no realistic measures to ‘protect the nearby corals’. (Read the reports, not the pro port claims) And the area is dived. Also snorkels and glass boated, every day. Just go in the harbor yourself and look. All those jobs / attractions will be lost. Permanently.

  27. Anonymous says:

    Cayman might as well pack up george town if the extremely limited anti port group was able to trick people into stopping the port

  28. Rob says:

    I’m indifferent about whether the port happens or not. What I’m disappointed about, is that the dump doesn’t received this level of sustained attention and rallying behind.

    Oh right, it hasn’t caught fire recently so it therefore doesn’t need our attention or another article, for now.

    Whether a port is built or not, those tourists on board will still see the giant 6-story mound of garbage off in the distance. How sexy is that?

    I believe revenues from cruise ship tourism would go up immediately after the dump is taking care of because it is currently deterring a lot of tourists from even getting off the ship, as it’s the first thing they notice.

    • Anonymous says:

      You will not see that support and lobbying for the dump because no one is getting paid $5 a head x 2m people to fight for it.

  29. Anonymous says:

    Cruise berthing facilities will NOT guarantee that more cruise ships come, that they will continue to come, come more frequently or carry more people willing to spend $$$ in our Islands. Are we really willing to risk that much just based on assumptions?

    And IF more cruise ships come and carry more people? They hit a new cruise ship berthing facilities but once they set foot in town they will bottleneck because of a disastrous infrastructure and there with literally nothing to do except jewelry shopping or sitting at an overcrowded beach or standing shoulder-on-shoulder at the sandbar. How long do you think this will remain attractive to tourists.

  30. Anonymous says:

    Once again I am disturbed and disappointed by CNS’s reporting and the lack of any balance or context in the views expressed in the news article. It’s almost a pantomime with the environmental lobby seen as the good guys and the pro port side seen as the villains of big business. You only have to go down to the port on any cruise ship day to understand that the cruise sector contributes financially to many different businesses small and large and that it supports a wide cross section of people here in Cayman.
    There reality, as with most of life, is that this is a highly complex issue with many areas of grey that need to be considered in a rational, non emotional way. Yet the amount of mis-information that continues to be thrown about by CNS is worrying in the extreme. The EIA doesn’t say 15 acres of reef will be destroyed. It says 15 acres of reef and marine habitat will be affected, including hardpan areas. The difference between the two may only be a few words but is very significant in the reality of what will happen. No balance is given to the fact that a lot of the reef in GT has already been destroyed by many different cargo and cruise ships dropping anchor over the past 30 years. None of this helps in having a rational and balanced discussion on what is a very important topic.
    Lastly there is no reference to the risks to Cayman if a dock does not get built in the near future. The cruise industry is changing fast and yet there has been no serious analysis from CNS on the risk factors that Cayman will face in the next 10 years from Cuba opening up to Asia sucking capacity from the Caribbean. The approach seems to be that if we have had the business over the last 5 or 10 years it will be there for the next 10, irrelevant of how we manage it or approach it. This is an arrogant and dangerous approach.
    If the stay over segment of the tourism industry in Cayman, stopped advertising anywhere, stopped interacting with international airlines, hotel groups and tour operators and stopped pushing for better local infrastructure including an improved airport, news outlets like CNS would be very vocal in their displeasure and concern. However this is exactly what CNS is proposing for cruise tourism in the Cayman Islands!

    • Wa-Ya-Say says:

      If the PPM executes it’s infrastructure wish list, we WILL end up like Greece. This project will be the genesis of our demise. It is a fact of economics that a country, any country, will go bankrupt once the Government grows faster than the economy. Government does not need to drive development but needs to create an environment to facilitate growth. This project will cost the people of the Cayman Islands at a minimum CI$ 300 million in construction costs alone. The numbers to do not add up. The formula being contemplated does not work the justification is relying on the existing head tax.

      The PPM has shown in the recent past that they are prone to building massive debt. They are reckless with public funds just like the UDP. Debt can be management properly I agree it does not hurt as much when interest rates are at an all time low. However, when interest rates start to go up, they will easily outstrip our growth in GDP and we are doomed because this government was short sighted, focused on political dreams of grandeur and committed to multiple projects as a country could not afford.

      You can only raise taxes so high to service debt before the economy collapses ….. you may not be around then but my children and grandchildren will……….just like the Greeks grandchildren today!

      • Wa-Ha-Pen says:

        So nice of you to show up my old friend. You normally have a better sense of how economics work though. I’m a little disappointed in your above post. Let’s wait for the revised PWC biz case to Se the full picture and fi d out how much the cruise lines are willing to out I’m before you go claiming it will cost the people of cayman anything. The only Cayman people that this will cost anything to are the tender guys who will see their per head tender fee turn into a berthing fee.

  31. Anonymous says:

    Why don’t they just build up? Instead of out? it seems they want to reclaim land to facilitate a lot of taxi/bus/etc traffic…..but if you ever walk the current port/cargo area, it’s jaw-droppingly huge! Maybe it’s worth looking at building up, you know with multi-storey holding areas for taxi/bus/tour operators, could have entire ground floor as a welcome area (indoors), etc…there is so much space on that very poorly laid out port right now….you could even build OVER the current harbour drive (like Dart is planning now in the Camana Bay area)…..at least look at it as an option, rather than reclaim so much more land……if you build up, and then compromise on one pier for the larger ships…..everybody wins……that’s the best deal, when everyone is happy…..i am sure many ships will have no problem continuing to tender, i am sure many ships will still want to call at the old north/south terminals as they elect to do so now…..we don’t need more cargo space anyhow, that can all be done at night….just a thought, as it does seem an awful destruction of our harbour that may not be absolutely necessary.

    • Anonymous says:

      when i first read that comment, i laughed…but then i read it again…there may be merit in looking at that idea….i’m going to take a walk on the port myself to see how big it is, or poorly designed as you say….building up? i didn’t even consider that as an option

  32. Anonymous says:

    I’ve been diving the harbor a lot recently just because I want to enjoy it a little before it’s all gone forever. I think the Kirks and the Government officials pushing for this should do the same. I am almost certain they will change their minds after just one dive. Putting these reefs at risk is not an option.

    • Charles Everbaum says:

      If it were only that easy. We are dealing with a bunch of very greedy narrow minded people that cannot see the forest though the trees. Very few will benefit from the Port and once the damage is done it cannot be undone. The people posting saying that the anti port people are full of s5i% really need to take their heads out of their a%$##@ and educate themselves as to why coral reefs are so important.

  33. Anonymous says:

    Big business has always controlled governments the world over, Cayman is no exception. Matter of fact it is more evident today than before. How could you possible say yes when the experts you hired to give their opinion, has said what the irreversible damages will be.
    I am waiting patiently to see what the “caught between a rock and a hard place” Govt decides.
    Gina, thank you for all that you have done to protect the Cayman as we “knew” it.

  34. Anonymous says:

    The computer generated images employed in Baird’s EIA to convey the magnitude of the projected silt plumes, were based on false assumptions about cruise ships’ behavior that overstated ongoing damage by more than an order of magnitude.

    Their capitalization of the reef was based on junk figures.For example, they calculated that over 5% of the 1.35 million cruise visitors take $125, two-tank dives, when everyone knows the GT Harbour dives are reserved for weekends when there are no ships in port. Furthermore, even were these fantastical figures true, Baird failed even to deduct the proportion taken by the cruise lines, which Cayman would never have seen.

    When the appropriately updated EIA is available, then truly informed decisions can be made. For CNS to continue to promote a climate of fear regarding the long-term damage to the reefs, based on some information that has now been accepted as grossly erroneous, is irresponsible, in my opinion.

    The Government has done everything right with this project so far, unlike the past Administration’s fiasco, which excluded an EIA. Allow the Government make the right decision for Cayman, which must involve some very long-term social and economic judgements. To suggest that it’s just the Kirkconnells who want the piers, is palpable nonsense. Such remarks display a lack of awareness of the number of people who ultimately depend on the ships’ revenues. And don’t forget, these dependents include the DOE, because Cayman’s Environmental Fund receives a dollar per cruise passenger, 1.7 million dollars this year, according to your article above.

    And while you are about it, why not get upset about the the more-than-a square mile of devastation that will be caused by the ‘Ironwood’ bypass and golf course? Does the terrestrial environment matter less, somehow? Yet the damage will be on an altogether vaster scale, and will include, no doubt, millions of cubic yards of fill as the road barges through the Central Mangrove. And where will this fill come from?

    I’m an avid environmentalist, but your close-to-hysterical articles are helping no one, in my opinion.

    • Anonymous says:

      What else did the Baird group get wrong?? If they have made such mistakes, how can we believe that Seven Mile Beach will not be washed away and fill in the “hole” created in George Town? Mr. Jackson explained it quite well… Where there is a hole, it will fill up!

    • Keith Sahm says:

      I will answer in regards to the Ironwood project for the SaveCayman group… Our focus (right now) is based upon our mission statement… Protecting the underwater environment while promoting a sustainable tourism product for future generations of the Cayman Islands.

    • Anonymous says:

      Total troll. Look away folks.

    • Anonymous says:

      Ironwood? Hahahahahah.

    • Sunrise says:

      @Anonymous 1:50. We tried to protest against the Ironwood project, that didn’t get us far. The project is still going ahead because of greed and not necessarily for the economy. More government revenue lost due to customs duties not being paid for these projects!!! Also, how can you say that only parts of the Baird report are incorrect, the parts that are concerning the ecosystem are false. If one part of that report are false, then trash it and start over. You cannot look at a report and pick or choose which is better for the developer, versus no damage will be caused to the ecosystem. The report clearly states the damages and the economic advantages. The damage to the harbor is far outweighing the economic advantage!!!! The only how it seems that these projects will be stopped will be a more aggressive approach, hopefully this won’t need to happen. For the love of our Islands, let us try to be more conservative!!! Enhance and promote what we now have, and give our visitors a first class experience!!! Let us work on redesigning the capital first, making it more efficient and effective!!! Then, we can look at the possibility of having piers, but not in our beautiful harbor!! Has any studies ever been done on the Spotts dock? There is no swimming, diving, water activities allowed there because of the currents. Or, is this too far from the merchants downtown?

  35. Anonymous says:

    Vote out every MLA that agrees to this in 2017

  36. Prince of Walkers Rd says:

    This will be another expensive mistake by the PPM just like the disaster with the schools. Based on the EIA this project destroys the same things (our marine environment) DOT attempts to market to our tourists in order to placate retailers like the Kirk Freeport and others who have no concern for the environmental impacts or long term financial consequences to the Cayman Islands in the name of greed and the almighty dollar.

    • Anonymous says:

      The schools were expensive yes, a mistake..NO..they will serve our growing community for generations.

      • Anonymous says:

        Do realize John Gray high school is now a derelict construction site since 2008 come on that is indefensible

  37. Who I am. says:

    I am a Caymanian. I voted for the PPM. I did not vote for the PPM because I want or wanted them to build the cruise ship berthing facility. We all know that it was not a resounding endorsement of the PPM so much as it was an effort to remove from power the worst of the worst within the political arena. It gives me no pleasure to say that, far from it. I do not make one red cent from the tendering business. The process has been far more transparent than the fiasco, to say the very least, that the UDP with William McKeeva Bush at the helm foisted upon the Cayman Islands which ultimately created a diplomatic pin cushion between the British and Chinese interests due to William McKeeva Bush trying to make it look like the British were standing in his way simply because they did not like the Chinese. Although compared to William McKeeva Bush and his “crew” the PPM look like everything is above board due only to what we have to compare the PPM to. That in itself is a huge detriment to the Cayman Islands as a whole. The same forces and their correlative lobbies as before are at play within the private sector and they could not care less about anything except their own interests at the expense of the country as a whole. It is interesting that Dart has been auspiciously quiet on the subject as of late, but make no mistake they are in the background and pulling strings as usual. Cayman has very unwisely allowed Dart to take up an overwhelming amount of the market share when it comes to cruise tourism along with everything else. This has been at the expense of Caymanian owner/operators accompanied by the sociological fallout as a result. There is an extremely poor representation of Caymanians within the tourism industry as a whole and it is not good for the country as a whole. This is because of the sociological cannibalism which many wealthy Caymanian businessmen partake in at the expense of the health of the country in order to retain control of the market share all the while exponentially exacerbating the dispossession of one the main pillars of our economy from the Caymanian middle class. The watersports operators who hail from West Bay could not care less about what happens to the George Town Harbour for their interests are centered on Stingray City/the sandbar. I do not want to see the CBF go forward, the price is far too high from all perspectives when looked at objectively and not from the narrow perspective of special interest groups who lobby for what they want at the expense of all and sundry. Congratulations are due to the PPM for doing a far better job than the UDP on this subject and this process, unfortunately the standard has been set so ridiculously low by the previous administration that the populace is looking at this in the absence of an acceptable benchmark in the first place. I say no to the CBF.

    • B. Hurlstone says:

      That’s telling it like it is, Who I Am. Great comment!

      • Anonymous says:

        I would like to see Who I Am in charge , in control at the helm of Government. An excellent comment based on observed facts…most of which would be difficult to deny.

  38. Anonymous says:

    I become infuriated when I read about the idea that government may go ahead with this dock- it is absolutely disgusting to think that this government would even dare to consider a project which is CANNOT AFFORD both from an economic and an environmental perspective. Our country cannot handle taking on this debt and we cannot lose our only natural resources!! My heart breaks knowing that there is a real chance that this government is actually that corrupt. It truly breaks my heart.

    • Anonymous says:

      Just because a decision is made that you don’t agree with doesn’t make the decision makers corrupt.

      • B. Hurlstone says:

        @ Anonymous 4:03. But in this case I wouldn’t rule it out!

        How about greedy?

        • Anonymous says:

          7:09
          How about great foresight when it comes to improving our infrastructures so our future generations will be able to stay here. If this country stands still because of poor infrastructures, People who have gotten rich off the past depletion of our environment can easily pack up their families and move into their homes in whatever countries they bought homes.

      • Anonymous says:

        There are no conflicts at all with this project in ppmville. SMH

      • Fred says:

        Just because the Minister of Tourism’s family members will benefit doesn’t make it corrupt either – but it certainly doesn’t help deal with the perception when he refuses to recuse himself.

        • Anonymous says:

          Gotta admire the Minister, it would’ve been a lot easier to recuse himself and pretend there was some conflict of interest like the tender boat operators and Eco-expats are trying to fabricate. If there was really a conflict he would have recused himself.

          But you gotta admire him for taking the heat in the kitchen. He is not willing to shirk his responsibility to the people he was elected to serve. He’s committed to creating jobs and preserving a standard of living for us.

      • Anonymous says:

        Corrupt is not an accusation at THIS govt. for the port project…nuff said.

      • Anonymous says:

        If it smells like a rat, looks like a rat, sounds like a rat… it’s a rat! That simple.

  39. Local Buoy says:

    Question for the bauble and cake sellers. If the dock goes ahead and the harbour is a full scale construction zone for a two or more years, do you think any ships will want to visit during this period? Have you saved up for a serious dry spell while you wait.

    • Anonymous says:

      Spot on. I’ve posted similar comments on here before. What will happen is that for basic passenger safety and public liability reasons the cruise lines will be forced to suspend visits to GC during the build. The quoted timescale is about two years but when did anything on these islands run to schedule? If they break ground in May 2016 I’ll bet this is still going to be unfinished in 2021. If you depend on cruise arrivals for a living I’d suggest you consider a future career in dock construction and pray there’s enough money around to pay your wages because you ain’t going to make jack otherwise.

      • Anonymous says:

        To 3:54
        Sounds like you got a good hold on this project already, I’m sure the experts and I say experts the engineers who will be managing the construction will know how to get passengers on and off our shores without incidents. This is not for novices or layman people!

    • Anonymous says:

      somehow you are forgetting that there are three docks in town. South and North hardly get used so if construction starts on the royal watler side these can be used. If the project starts at the north terminal end then royal will continue to see 90% of the traffic as they do now. The only risk you have is that the tender company has threatened to stop operations if CIG say they will go ahead. This doesn’t sound like a real business man’s thought out plan if they can still pull in the money exclusively over the next three years.

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