Most coral can’t be relocated, report reveals

| 23/09/2015 | 101 Comments
Cayman News Service

The Balboa Shipwreck and reef is located in 10 to 30 feet of water immediately in front of the cruise ship landing and will be completely removed by dredging operations if the cruise berth goes ahead as planned. Many consider the Balboa to be both the number one and number two of the top ten dive sites in Grand Cayman – night dive is #1, day dive is #2 (Photo by Courtney Platt)

(CNS): A seabed survey of the proposed cruise berthing facility footprint in George Town Harbour has revealed that less than one third of the live coral directly threatened by the project could be relocated. Around 69% of the live corals cannot be successfully moved, mostly because it is too young, but the marine experts fail to say where the coral that is suitable for relocation could be moved to, how long it would take to move it or how much it would cost. 

The Benthic Habitat Characterization Survey by consultants CSA said around 116,800 hard corals and over 17,000 soft corals from a total of almost 453,000 coral heads at risk in the 32.5-acre area could be moved.

The survey, which was released to the public Tuesday, gives a detailed picture of the seabed area and the massive amount of live coral there that is at risk. Despite an attempt by the tourism ministry in its release to be upbeat about “a significant amount of coral” being suitable for relocation, the reality, according to this latest report, is that most is not.

Government has still not made an announcement about its intentions regarding the current proposal for the cruise port. Officials have said that they are still waiting for the updated business case from consultants PricewaterhouseCoopers before the discussion will take place among the party caucus and ultimately Cabinet, where the final decisions will be made.

But there are increasing concerns that the PPM ruling administration is very keen to press on with the project, regardless of the environmental concerns and that the broader public opposition to the project, as a result of other political and merchant interests.

In a press statement announcing the public release of the seabed survey, Tourism Minister Moses Kirkconnell said his ministry was taking the environmental concerns associated seriously, which was why the Benthic Habitat Survey was commissioned. He said the survey looked closely at the area in question to eliminate any data or analysis gaps before the government deliberates over the next step.

“This survey is both necessary and timely, particularly in light of the differing views and opinions about precisely what exists within the area of impact and how it could potentially be affected if the project proceeded,” he said.

Kirkconnell described the survey as being supplemental to the Baird environmental impact assessment and looked at the area through a magnifying glass.

“This is the largest project ever being considered for our islands and government has a responsibility and duty of care to ensure that our collective decision is based on sound scientific evidence, not speculation or impassioned pleas, however well intended those might be,” the minister stated. “When Cabinet convenes to make its decision on the cruise piers, it must be able to do so with full confidence that all of the relevant facts and information have been sourced and objectively presented for consideration. Additionally, proposed mitigation solutions will also have to satisfactorily demonstrate the likelihood of successful outcome, again based on objective data and evidence.”

CSA, who conducted the survey, have been involved in relocation projects before in Florida, where considerable resources were invested by the US authorities and where the firm has claimed success. However, those projects were much smaller and nothing like the scale of the proposed relocation of the live coral in George Town. The marine experts who conducted the survey have been involved in some 60 programmes around the world moving coral, but coral relocation is still a much debated topic among scientists.

As leaders in the field of relocation, however, it was expected that CPA would offer an upbeat prediction about potential relocation of at least some of the coral in George Town Harbour, as CNS understands from local sources that it is interested in undertaking the work should it become part of the port project if government moves ahead.

The original terms of reference (ToR) for the survey did not focus on mitigation measures but on gathering data on what was actually on the sea bed in the area to be dredged. The findings of the report make it clear that the live coral in the area is substantial, and even though a portion was identified as suitable for relocation, the report gives no indication of where they could be moved to and what the costs would be. The ministry told CNS that the consultants did not address those questions as they were not part of the ToR.

But alongside the environmental threats, the economics of the entire project remains another area of controversy. One local economics expert close to the PPM administration told CNS that he believes the costs are mounting as a result of the need for mitigation as well as the basic construction, which has the business community jittery.

Government has not yet spoken about the financing model, and while the cruise lines may be the obvious candidates, it is unlikely that they would bear the brunt of the costs without access to retail space on the upland element, which the PPM have stated is not a policy objective.

“The question remains as to how the government would find what could be as much as $300 million for the project without cruise line support,” the local finance expert stated, raising fears of a new gaping hole in the newly restored public finances and questions over where the money will come from to plug it.

The driving force behind the cruise port is the assumed economic benefit to local merchants and tour operators when the project is complete, based on the hope that cruise passenger numbers will grow. The jobs and local trade created during construction are also another motivating factor, though question marks remain over how government can ensure that local workers and local businesses will be the beneficiaries.

But if the only way to finance the project is from a significant increase in cruise line passenger fees, it is very likely they will demand access to retail space at the facility, regardless of the government’s position or its negotiating skills. If that happens, the lion’s share of any increase in retail sales ends up in the coffers of the cruise lines. Cayman will then be faced with the destruction of its marine habitat and the loss of the existing economic benefits from the harbour as an attraction in exchange for a considerably diminished returns.

Benthic Habitat Characterization Survey

Benthic Habitat Survey TOR _2015

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Category: development, Local News

Comments (101)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    All these claims how the berthing facility will save our tourist products, thousands of jobs and revitalize town and stimulate the economy like you haven’t seen before, yet there has not yet been ONE post outlining a sensible, simple and brief explanation of these claims.


    • Anonymous says:

      If you need an economics lesson I suggest you take a class.

      • Anonymous says:

        How much energy did you just expend to be patronizing that you could have used to post the explanation that was asked for?

      • Anonymous says:

        sigh – as expected, more waffling rather than a meaningful comment. So you are one of those who thinks if it is expensive it must be worth it! You have an opinion and can’t even explain how you got it or defend it. I assume someone has told you what opinion you should have. Cleary you are not capable of forming your own.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Cayman’s attitude as always. Don’t bother to think it all through, don’t worry about the consequences or the actual process. We may have happy tourists who don’t get sea-sick on a boat tender but basically the rest of the experience for them will still suck. They are now bottle-necking in taxis on their way out of town or be stuck in a miserable concrete jungle in town itself with nothing to do.

    But let’s throw a pile of money at the problem, underestimate the cost and time of construction……….and then sit back and cross your fingers and toes and hope that it will somehow all pan out.

  3. Anonymous says:

    To all those who keep insisting that GT is a ghost town and the berthing facilities will change it, please get a grasp on reality.

    GT is a ghost town because it is completely unattractive to tourists. No local flair, no local food, no local bands playing in cute street side cafes/bars. There is no green space where tourists can sit in the shade and soak up the local atmosphere and enjoy a drink or ice cream cone. There isn’t even an attractive local market (the crafts market is a joke!).

    Instead we have a town square with a dilapidated courthouse and a few granite blocks listing hundreds of names as “national heroes” which is completely meaningless to our tourists! We have 40 jewelry stores and 30 perfume stores. What do you expect? Tourists go into a couple of stores and quickly realize you seen two or three, you basically seen them all.

    THAT’s why GT is a ghost town – putting a concrete berthing facility into the ocean will not change that!

  4. Anonymous says:

    This is an amazing piece of journalism, totally the opposite interpretation to everyone else. Always negative and never balanced. The CSA survey does not say the coral cannot be moved at all. It identifies and differentiates between what corals are worth moving and what corals both hard and soft that are very small and juvenile that are not worth moving. A big difference to the outlandish statement that ” most corals cannot be relocated.”

  5. Food For Thought says:

    I hear all this talk about how much stay-over tourists spend per person, but how much of that is actually just room fees to a hotel?

    Most hotels are not locally owned so what percentage of that just goes right back out the country?

    • Anonymous says:

      10% local service tax, 13% government tax and $70 per day resort fee – all of which are multiples of the average cruise shipper spend, plus landing and departure fees, which under the CBF scenario will have to go to the financier for decades. CIG will loose that revenue which will effect our ability to service pre-existing debt.

    • Anonymous says:

      Why does that matter? Isn’t the pro-berthing community claiming it is all about saving and creating jobs for Caymanians? If the hotels are full then by their logic Caymanians should have plenty jobs and no worries!

  6. 305 Crazies says:

    The Miami harbour is a horrible excuse to try to speak badly bout the proposed CBF in Cayman.

    The dredging alone in Miami took almost 2 years….2 years of continuous 24hr a day dredging.

    The dredging in Miami was dredged down to 52 ft not 36ft like in Cayman.

    The dredging in Miami was 2.5 miles through shallow water, not a couple hundred yards most of which is only a couple of feet deeper, like proposed in Cayman.

    Miami port was a cargo port dredging operation. If Cayman does not go ahead with the CBF we will have to dredge for cargo anyway and we won’t have cruise lines to help fund it.

    • UK Driftwood says:

      Please tell when any of the cruise lines have agreed to fund this white elephant in any way………………I am waiting

  7. Anonymous says:

    Anyone that tries to say that this dock will affect the beach or cause permanent milky water is out of their mind. There are dozens of examples of cruise dock built right in the middle of beach areas causing no coastal erosion and no water visibility problems. Projects with double or more dredging than Cayman’s proposed project. Quit the lies quit the scare tactics. You know you are false.

    • Anonymous says:

      Can you just name one or two of these CBF built in the middle of beaches with double or more dredging for me? I would like to Google them and educate myself.

      Thanks for your kind assistance.

    • Anonymous says:

      examples and proof please!

      • Anonymous says:

        Turks had 25% more dredging for one pier than Cayman will have for two. They are also planning a second that will mean more than double the dredging in Cayman in total.

  8. Anonymous says:

    The CIG cannot borrow a dime, let alone $250mln (which seems to have grown by $50mln to $300mln even before RFP round) and they need the landing fees to service pre-existing debt for next decade or more. Heck, this CIG can’t even find the $5mln to finish the John Gray School they started when they were last in power, nor the $10mln to correct the poisonous dump situation. #truth

  9. Anonymous says:

    The concern for the coral life in the immediate path of the proposed port is noble, but it’s a splash in the bucket in comparison to the colossal acreage of ceaseless hardpan dredging that will choke out corals and sponges for miles. The physics of suspended particulate transfer is not well understood by the pro-port lobby. Screens can only do so much in a wild blue water scenario, if they hold at all. Put milk in your tea and then try to separate the milk from the tea with a coffee filter. Doesn’t work. If this proceeds, the waters of Seven Mile Beach will become milky blue like in a nor’wester – only, not temporarily or with recovery. The water temperature will change as will the acoustic properties – permanently choking out marine habitat (see Coral bleaching science). The volume of particulate will extend from surface down through the recreational dive depths of the West Wall, to the first major thermocline at around 110 feet, on to the current convergence at North West point, and then extend westward towards 12 mile bank. We would voluntarily transform our west wall from one of the top-ranked diving locales in the world to milk. Fishing would be ruined on the west side of the island. Worse still, we would do this without the capital to build a port ourselves, forsaking CIG landing fees to an as yet unknown donor, and without any public assurance of any increase in passenger volumes. If this proceeds, Grand Cayman will have thrown out the crown jewel in our cruise and stay over product offering – and perhaps that is the ultimate Brac mafia plan.

    • SSM345 says:

      Look no further than Miami Harbor if you need concrete (pardon the pun) current evidence of what this silt will do to GT and our surrounding waters. Its all over the news and internet for all to see.

    • Anonymous says:

      This sounds like the babbling of a gun for hire “marine scientist” that only consulted for one project in the galapagos for a tiny cruise ship and has never consulted on any cruise berthing project.

    • Satirony says:

      Response to anonymous at 2.59 pm: I didn’t notice any milky, acoustically altered waters around Cayman Kai, or the dredged channel through reef at the North Side, the last time I was there.

      • Anonymous says:

        Those are not 820,000 cubic yard blue water dredge operations adding tens of feet of depth. You will be hard-pressed to find any commercial dredge history of that scale. San Diego harbour is probably closest, but not a top 5 dive destination.

  10. Anonymous says:

    This article is hilarious. The title alone tells you it is not worth reading. The report tells you that most of the coral isn’t worth the time effort or money to relocate not that it CAN’T be relocated.

    Just because the report does not uh old the large area of amazing coral that the anti porters said was there does not mean you have to attack it. I guess we are here on ground zero of the save cayman campaign though so can’t expect much more.

  11. Anonymous says:

    So Government is throwing $300 million at the berthing facilities and everyone claims this will magically revitalize GT.

    Dart is throwing how many millions at his hotels and gearing everyone towards Camana Bay?

    It will be interesting to see who has the deeper pockets, the bigger long term picture and who will win at the end of the day.

    BTW – GT is not a ghost town during the day when the cruise ships are in. Only at night and that won’t change!

    • Anonymous says:

      George town is a ghost town all summer. If this dock doesn’t get built soon it will be summer business all year long.

      • Anonymous says:

        If this gets built the traffic will be so bad that all businesses in town now (law firms etc) will relocate to Camana Bay and town will be nothing but a pathetic attempt to create Disney world in Cayman and all its authentic charm will be lost. WE NEED A REAL TOWN not a fake, cheap corny cruise destination.

        • SSM345 says:

          But our vendors love selling these items made in China with “Cayman Islands” written all over the them, which by the way are half the price in the next destination when they leave here, just with a different country labeled on them. Why would we want to do away with that? Its huge business, so huge in fact that we should risk destroying the very reason tourists come here to begin with. Why? So we can be like everyone else!

          • Anonymous says:

            I was there when the Kirkconnell family offered up (during the MacKeeva Gov period no doubt) waterfront land on boilers road at $1 a year rent for the building of a craft market since the old one was shutting down. It is up to our government to hold that craft market for our people and not foreign made products.

      • Anonymous says:

        Cause GT sucks! There is nothing attractive there for tourists and the berthing facilities will not change that!

      • Anonymous says:

        Why? If people are coming to Cayman the way it is now, why would they stop because it stays the same(or improves, if we fix downtown and the current facilities)? I keep seeing this being asserted, but never any research or evidence to back it up.

  12. Anonymous says:

    We all know that this project will go ahead because Governments always listen to businesses and businesses always just chase the quick dollar.

    Oh I can’t wait until some waterfront businesses have to close their doors due to the ongoing constructions which will take several years (because we all know in constructions nothing ever goes smoothly or as anticipated) and the cruise ships are foregoing Cayman during the construction period as the whole waterfront is going to be one big cluster fudge!

  13. Anonymous says:

    It’s hilarious to hear claims of vote stacking from the anti port group when their whole “majority” consists of people raked in from all around the globe through Dema advertising and online “Save the anything” campaigns.
    If anyone is trying to misrepresent support it is those non Caymanian backed divers.

    • Anonymous says:

      Do you have any evidence of your claims? It is the same as claiming that some businesses have their staff do nothing else but giving thumbs up or down on comments to make it look like so many more people are supportive of the port.

      • Anonymous says:

        Dema has been banner advertising and email blasting from months ago. You know what dema stands for right? Diving Equipment and Marketing Association. They only care about diving companies so no wonder they sided against cruise. They don’t care if they have to cripple GT if it means saving a couple hardly used sites. Also if you go to the petition pages they are littered with comments from people who do not live in Cayman and many who even comment that they haven’t stepped foot on Cayman soil. It is fact and available if you open your eyes.

        • SSM345 says:

          Hey Dimwit, do you know what those people are who have never set foot in Cayman or those living abroad commenting on this subject? Potential visitors! But they are probably no longer interested because they will not come here if this goes ahead. You and many others don’t seem to be considering the wider picture. In this day and age our environment is a huge topic and green business is massive, you should read the news, and playing around with it / destroying it to make a few bucks does not sit well with the majority of people on planet Earth.

          • Cruise Sense says:

            Did you know that most stay over tourists originally arrived on a cruise?

            • Iggy says:

              Most??? PROVE THAT. There is a small conversion, yes. And those that want to come to Cayman still will… I am doubtful most Carnival cruisers who have shelled out $500 for a week on a cruise will be up for $250 a night as a stayover – not withstanding the $500 airfare… The higher end smaller cruise ship passengers, yes. They realise you pay for quality. If you compare the actual cruises the converted stayover visitors come from, you will see there is not much point in using the argument as a pro for the port being able to accommodate massive vessels full of cheap cruisers… Next argument??

              • Anonymous says:

                Even if you take the 5% conversion rate that DOT published way back from their survey that is around 100K a year that will come back as stay over tourists.

    • Anonymous says:

      It’s hilarious how people like you make such claims but yet get offended when others claim that certain businesses direct their staff to frequently log on to CNS to vote thumbs and down as needs be to show support of the berthing facilities.

    • What a mess! says:

      Not so fast, 10:40.. A lot of those people you accuse of stacking the vote, from DEMA and other campaigns, come on stay over vacations and invest quite a bit of money down here… While the numbers seem to be skewed of tourist arrivals by sea, the stay over group contributes to over 80% of the money here on island.

      • Anonymous says:

        a tiny bit of a stretch there with the 80%. Right now cruise is half the total spend, but if we weren’t being held back by the tender boats we would have about 40% more spend in cruise so the stayover and cruise would not be much far apart. Plus don’t forget that a huge part of the stay over spend is in hotels fees per room so most of that goes to hotels that hire few Caymanians and send their money overseas.

  14. Who I am. says:

    It is obviously a tactic by those of the pro CBF lobby to try to attempt to discredit CNS in their coverage of this issue and that in and of itself speaks to their disingenuous efforts which have been on full display throughout this issue in it’s entirety, and that includes the debacle of international proportions which the UDP unjustly subjected the Cayman Islands to. If one wants to see a media outlet whose modus operandi is to lobby for those who “butter their bread” then one only has to look at the Compass. Everyone knows about the supposedly “rumoured” financial backers of the Compass publication and it is they who have taken over a huge market share of the cruise tourism industry. It fits right in with their modus operandi that they are underhandedly lobbying without putting their actual name out there because they are well aware of how dirty their own hands are not only in propping up the previous administration but also displacing and dispossessing Caymanians of their own economy. It is not CNS who has abandoned journalistic neutrality (let alone journalistic integrity) and have come out publicly as being proponents of the CBF, it is the Compass. It was not hard to see this from the get go due to their skewed editorials and their history in general. It is ironic that the Compass publication engaged in the brouhaha with the now “world famous” editorial regarding corruption in the Cayman Islands when it is obvious that they forgot and/or were unwilling to look at their own reflection in the mirror when doing so. Today’s issue of the Compass is indicative of what is going on here by the title “Coral relocation possible, consultant says”. It is not until one goes much further into the article that they grudgingly say the truth of the matter, which is that it is less than one third of the coral which could possibly be successfully relocated. It is a misleading title to an article. If given these two media outlets in a side by side comparison regarding objectivity on this and/or any other issue, CNS wins hands down every time if oneself is being objective.

    There are those who could not care less about the overall health of the Cayman Islands, her people and/or a sustainable economy as long as they get what they want at the expense and/or long term debt of all. There are those who could not care less if the Cayman Islands are saddled with elected officials who are self serving, dictatorial, divisory, deceitful, dishonest, profiteering, racketeering and simply decrepit examples of humanity as long as said individual/s is/are in their back pocket and have been paid in one way or another to do their bidding regardless of the consequence to the country as a whole. Those who will pander to and subscribe to the belief that the “party in power” no matter their quality of character and/or lack thereof are there only as vehicles to do their bidding with absolutely no consideration of the overall consequences for the country as a whole are the same ones behind an overwhelming portion of the pro CBF lobby.

    There is an argument that it is only expatriates and those within the diving industry who are against the CBF. It is therefore incumbent upon the anti CBF lobby to show the list of who has signed the petition against the CBF to see if it is actually true what they say. I can say that I am a Caymanian and I am against the CBF because the damage to our natural resources is too high of a price to pay. I am against the CBF because the Cayman Islands are in a precarious position economically and saddling the country with the debt it would incur is unacceptable. I am against the CBF because it is Caymanians who will end up paying for it and the average Caymanian has been largely dispossessed of the benefits of cruise tourism and the tourism industry in general. While I am aware that there is some Caymanian representation within these industries it is no where near the level necessary that could justify the consequences. The CBF would benefit a select few at the expense of all and that is unacceptable. If the Cayman Islands had a more equitable economy and real world Caymanian representation/ownership within the cruise tourism industry then there is a possibility that an acceptable argument could be made by the pro CBF lobby but in the presence of an economy where monopolistic entities have very unwisely been allowed to suck up so much of the market share with absolutely no real protection of the Caymanian within what was once their own economy but are now left to pick up the crumbs it is and shall remain unacceptable when one looks at the issue objectively and the benefit that the Cayman Islands as a whole will reap from the CBF. This decision should go to a national referendum and it should be put before the electorate of the Cayman Islands to make the decision and let the chips fall where they may.

    • SJ says:

      I am a Caymanian who agrees with you 100% and I have signed against this particular port project.

    • Anonymous says:

      You don’t actually have to go THAT much further into the Compass article to see it is less than a third of the coral that can be relocated…. it is in the first sentence….

    • HOC says:

      I am a Caymanian who agrees with you 100% and I have signed against this particular port project. If the pro CBF lobby are so adamant that they have the overwhelming support of Caymanians, they should have no problem in calling for a referendum!

  15. Anonymous says:

    So the report really says that the relocation costs will be cheaper since there isn’t as much as what was claimed to be coral worth moving in the area.

  16. KMR says:

    In all honesty, the Government needs to stop wasting money on these reports as everyone knows that the dredging and the building the cruise berthing facility will destroy the coral reefs that took over 1000 years to grow. The Spotts dock is another alternative that the cruise berthing facility can be put or implement the cable car idea in Hog Sty Bay as illustrated by James Whittaker. Regardless of making a quick buck, we need to think ahead of the consequences. We need to preserve our marine life & coral reefs as this is what the Tourist flock to Cayman to see & not to mention that we have received numerous awards in regards to our reefs.

  17. SJ says:

    Downtown can be revitalised without taking on 300million $ in debt and destroying our natural environment. Open George Town up to residential, create green spaces, create economic incentives for shops to open there (perhaps this will broaden the availability of products past just tourist junk and perfume).

    CREATE A REAL TOWN where people live, work, dine! Camana Bay is what it is because of successful town planning- we can do the same downtown. Having more cruise passengers does not prevent having a “ghost town” – every night it will still be a ghost town but if people live there and real shops open and restaurants do well then it will come back to life. How nice would it be to go for a proper walk “downtown” and window shop and enjoy the fabulous food rather than having to go to Camana Bay to do that. We could enjoy a true Caymanian town at its best and the tourists would love the authentic experience! Incentives such as reduced stamp duty for Caymanian property buyers and revision of zoning and strata laws is what we need! Think outside of the box!

    MAKE GEORGE TOWN A REAL TOWN with true character and life instead of spending 300million to make it a fake cruise ship passenger town. What happens if the cruise ships stop coming? Think sustainable (not just in terms of the environment but what will truly benefit Cayman in the long-term)

    • Anonymous says:

      You can save even more money if you kill the dock. There won’t be a town to revitalize. That will then tumble over I to wiping out stay over when cayman turns into mini Jamaica with crime.

      • Anonymous says:

        Excuse me? I do not understand what your comment is trying to say- could you kindly rephrase?

      • Anonymous says:

        Cayman is turning into mini Jamaica because we keep brining in more cheap labour to work at cheap shops for ridiculous wages. Creating more “tourist shops” will only add to that exact problem. We need people to come to live here with money who can invest. If we bring in the scum of other countries to work in cheap shops for minimum wage guess what we get here… the scum.

      • Anonymous says:

        Please explain in detail how the dock with revitalize town and how the increase of cruise ship passengers will be moved through our existing infrastructure!

  18. Anonymous says:

    Could not get past the cover – Prepared for West Indian Marine Group. From their own web site – “The West Indian Marine Group is a privately owned Cayman Islands based Maritime Group of Compainies …The founder and principal shareholder of the Group is John MacKenzie who is the Managing Director of each company in the Group.”

    Oh, and the photo.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Everyone knows the consultant reports will continue until the PPM and local businessmen get the results that they want .
    The scare tactics and lure of jobs will push this project through regardless of what is best for the country overall.

    A major problem with the government and leaders is that they have lost their soul.

    People talk about the Cayman identity and what that means. No one bothers to make Cayman or keep Cayman its unique self. Ice bars, turtle skating rinks all sorts of foolishness that come from other places. Now we must have a cruise ship pier…or else.

    To that I say, “NUTS.”

    Cayman should be Cayman and not worry what the other places are doing. People want the small town quaintness and safety here. They are not looking for Miami Beach, they want the crystal clear waters and beautiful beaches with friendly people.

    That is the strength that built this tourist product.

    PPM want Disneyland and local businessmen want more.

    This project will go through and more of the soul of Cayman will be lost. And future generations will have no identity and not know if this is Roatan or Nassau.

    You will recognize the point in time when Cayman is truly lost when the first gated community appears on the island.

    And most likely the politicians will blame foreigners when this is a Caymanian decision.

    • Anonymous says:

      I couldn’t agree more! Rather than taking this as an opportunity to go in a different direction and to differentiate themselves from other mass tourist destinations who are willing to bulldoze down every inch of natural habitat in favor of development, Cayman is desperately trying to catch up with others in a game where Cayman is already years behind!

      Why don’t we focus on getting the airport done properly and work improving our on the overnight tourist concept as having someone stay for one or two weeks would certainly be more beneficial than having someone on Island for a couple hours.

      I also have yet to read one sensible explanation how the berthing facilities will GUARANTEE increased volumes of tourists and how this will magically cause GT to be revitalized.

      One of the avid supporters is the same one whose restaurant/bar concept failed miserably a few years ago. Why, because the entire concept sucked and that won’t change no matter how many tourists are going to come in. They want to see and experience the beauty of the Island and is surrounding waters, not be locked up in a bar/restaurant with no view of the waters and palm trees!

  20. What a Mess says:

    Well, it looks like conflicted experts West Indian Marine, Kirkconnell’s and the Cayman Port group just woke up their staff members…. AGAIN. Likes and Dislikes are taking off like crazy pro port… I wonder if they figured out this not scientific polling? Bloody Hell

    • You're Not That Cool says:

      Again buddy, just because most people don’t agree with you, doesn’t mean it’s a conspiracy.

    • Anonymous says:

      I am not associated with any of the groups you mentioned. Please stop trying to discredit others who you may not agree with.

    • Anonymous says:

      Maybe because the island is actually for economic prosperity and people are able to see past the tree huggers spewing false information?

      • Anonymous says:

        Please explain in detail the economic benefit. Have you received a written statement from the cruise ship industry that they will continue to use Cayman as a port of call, that they will increase their visits, that they will bring more cash loaded passenger willing to spent? Please do share your source of assurance, rather than making claims that you can not support.

      • SSM345 says:

        Do you call 1.5% return over 30yrs an “economic benefit or prosperity”? Have you been successful in business by any chance?

    • Anonymous says:

      To What a Mess;
      You are so right. I’ve been noticing that a lot lately. Pretty funny actually. They are even ticking ‘troll’ and ‘dislike’ whether it is a valid comment or now.
      So obvious

  21. Anonymous says:

    The anti-port brigade are so delusional. And CNS are one of their followers! They claim every other party are twisting facts, when they obviously cannot see past their own nose if they don’t realize they are the biggest offenders. They are blindly passionate about the environment and somehow seem to believe some of the hogwash escaping their mouths. They are getting dirty and mean on Facebook and attacking anyone they can. If I was their parent I would tell them to wash their mouths/mustaches out with soap.

    I don’t think they realize they are hurting their own reputation by getting so nasty with people. Attacks are not warranted, not the kind they are resorting to on Facebook. It reaks of desperation and it is not pretty. They refuse to look at the whole picture and the good for Cayman that will come from it. They came here from abroad and feel they can bully Caymanians around because they have friends in PADI and Scuba hall of fame? Who gives a rats buttocks about random foreign scuba places that do not care about Caymanians. Caymanians need a prosperous economic environment to live it, to put food on their family’s tables and to pay bills. The 15 acre footprint where only 10 feet maximum will be dug at its deepest, is so small in the big picture of things and only encompasses 3 of the 365 dive sites, and they are barely even snorkeled or dived. Will they really continue to fight against jobs and an improved cargo dock to lower the cost of living for all? Just to preserve 3 dive sites that are mostly destroyed?

    • What a mess! says:

      8:26 There is an uneducated comment if there ever was one…

    • Wa-Ya-Say says:

      If the PPM executes its infrastructure wish list starting with the proposed CBF 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. Why have they failed to show us the revised business plan prepared by PWC? The proposed budget is already blown apart. The numbers to do not add up. The formula being contemplated does not work. They will tell us the existing head tax is enough. It is not!

      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 managed properly I agree but no government has done this to date, 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 and the most expense project the CBF that as a country cannot afford.

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

      • WaHaPen says:

        And you say I can’t come up with original material. This looks like a cut and paste from another day.

        You are so far of in your evaluation it becomes comical.

        Anyway, whatever you’ve been smoking I need to find out your supplier. Must be some good stuff.

    • Anonymous says:

      This is the best, most complete picture of what is going on here that I have seen yet.
      100% spot on, no 150% spot on.

  22. Anonymous says:

    The great thing about this report is that since it shows how much of the coral is actually viable to be relocated the costs should be much less than the original estimate by Baird.

    In the answer to public comments and consultation Baird clearly stated “Coral relocation is considered to be a feasible mitigation measure; however, it will not fully replace lost habitat (i.e. it does not provide 1:1 compensation/replacement)” So these results are expected.

    Baird also says: “The marine ecology assessment undertaken for the EIA was not designed to define the objectives/scope/cost of a coral relocation program, nor the location of a suitable recipient site. Additional investigations are required to do so”

    This study was needed and now we have c clear picture of what can be relocated.

    It will be great to see this new study reflected in the new updated PWC case.

    • Anonymous says:

      Man I almost fell off my seat when i read the BEH report. Basically it’s a sales pitch for Continental Shelving Associates to be the contractor to relocate the coral. And PPM paid extra for it.

  23. Mo' Money, Mo' Problems says:

    Every idiot knew that. your invoice is in the mail.

  24. Anonymous says:

    My understanding was that the young (small) scattered corals aren’t worth moving not that they can’t be moved. They are focusing on the mature developed live corals.

  25. Anonymous says:

    What is the percentage of coral being damaged in “Cayman” as a whole result of this? .0001? maybe? and .01 of the dive sites maybe?

    Once would swear reading this continual eco hysteria that coral reefs and the dive industries are coming to an end in the Cayman islands…

  26. Anonymous says:

    Delusional reporting when you read that the Balboa is the #1 night dive and the #2 dive in the Cayman islands. It must be the hallucinatory drugs in their coffee. So few divers dive the Balboa and the proof is try diving on the Balboa and find out for yourselves that it is not accessible most days including weekend days due to commercial shipping activities in the harbour and at our cargo port. How can it possibly be stated as the #2 dive. Another exaggeration with a totally false statement. A totally unreliable source for this information.

    • Your conscience says:

      To the Present and future Cabinet Ministers of Cabinet in the Cayman Islands:

      Be warned that this proposed development will be on your heads and will tarnish your legacy for generations to come. Do not get carried away by the objectives of the Merchants, but, be guided by your conscience and love for Cayman and not your motivation to get reelected. You do not have the mandate of the majority of people of the Cayman Islamds for this project, you were elected to govern for the overall benefit of this country not just for 4 years but for generations to come. The future of our environment for generations to come is in your hands.

      • Anonymous says:

        What will be on their conscience if they do not build the dock is the ghost town that used to be the capital and thousands of Caymanian jobs being lost. Boom in unemployment and massive spike in crime while we wait for 20 years for Dart to build their half dozen hotels along the beach. SMH

        • Anonymous says:

          ha, ha oh how dramatic – thousands of Caymanian jobs! Have you been jewelry shopping lately or bought any make-up along the water front? Have you been to any restaurants and bars along the water front? How many Caymanian employees have you encountered?

          • Anonymous says:

            More than you employ I bet.

            • Anonymous says:

              That is not the point- the point is that the pro port group is trying to shove a port down Caymanians throats that has no guarantee (or even close) to brining us any benefit while their pockets get lined and the rest of our kids get to pay for it for all of their lives.

    • Anonymous says:

      7:49A You must live in an alternate universe to this one. You should find out how popular it is on a cruise ship day when it’s full of snorkelers AND divers. How can you say it is not accessible most days including weekends?? Are you hoping people will take your word for it without looking for themselves?
      You are the one that is exaggerating with totally false statements. You might even be an MLA that hasn’t been in the ocean past his ankles since childhood.
      We are getting tired of delusional non-divers and non-snorkelers saying things they know NOTHING about.
      So many of us, both locals and expats, live here and enjoy everything the sea that surrounds us has to offer. I will admit that it is mostly expats that take the most advantage of it… sadly. But that’s because Caymanians have been surrounded by it all their lives and take it for granted. Maybe have even lost sight of the real riches that it brings to this spit of sand…

      • Anonymous says:

        Try diving in the harbour on cruise ship days and try diving the Balboa and you will find out the truth of the matter and who is really delusional. You need permission from port security and harbour patrol so just try it first before talking this nonsense.

  27. Anonymous says:

    When will the government share the updated Outline Business Case and the financing model with the public?

  28. Anonymous says:

    The Progressives paid for a supplemental report to the EIA and still did not get the full result they desired. The desperation is obvious. SMH

  29. Ambassador of Absurdistan says:

    You can’t make this stuff up I swear.

    Just another day in Absurdistan

  30. Bobble Heads says:

    But the saintly CBF lobby (hallowed be their names) have assured us that moving bits of busted rock and chipped coral around Hog Sty Bay will result in a much more beautiful harbour and create thousands of well paying, long term careers for locals.

    Please CNS I am begging you.

    STOP skewing THE GOSPEL with these facts and figures.

  31. Anonymous says:

    Moses and PPM have made a proper mess of this thing. The risks are too great to the environment based on two reports and the costs are appear to be spiraling out of control before any construction has commenced.

    • Anonymous says:

      Typical PPM!

      • Anonymous says:

        If by proper mess, you mean they did not cancel a signed deal, causing the Government at the time to pay millions in restitutionfrom public coffers, they did not sign a deal with a Chinese mega firm that was flagged by the World Bank as corrupt, which then caused England to step in to ensure no more corruption took place and they did not withhold any info from the public, instead they gave the EIA and now this study to the public for review and they have followed all the guidelines set out by the book. Then if all that is a proper mess, then by golly it’s a proper mess.

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