(CNS): Staff at the Department of Environment have been unfairly criticized this week over missing channel markers in the George Town Harbour because it is the Port Authority of the Cayman Islands and not that department which is responsible for them. However, the DoE has confirmed that after conversations with the PACI, the frequently damaged markers have been replaced. The DoE team has been blamed for a lack of response to public requests for the replacement of the markers at the channel entrance to George Town Harbour but it is the port that installs and maintains navigational, swim area and reef entrance channel markers.
But given the experience and resources that the environment team has for installing and maintaining over 375 public moorings for use by dive, recreational and visiting boats, when asked it has helped the Port Authority to install its markers.
Speaking about the missing navigational markers in George Town Harbour, the DoE said it had received a call from the owner of Paradise Bar and Grill, who was referred to the Port Authority so that the necessary action could be taken, and the port confirmed that the navigation markers were reinstalled but noted that these markers “are subject to frequent damage”.
The issue was raised following the extensive damage caused to the reef in the capital’s harbour after the 300 ft Saga cargo vessel ran aground on Friday.
The DoE also said that there is a public misconception being circulated that the missing buoys in this area are part of the Marine Park Boundary markers and that Eden Rock and Paradise Reef are a separate marine protected area.
“Eden Rock is currently included in the West Side Marine Park that extends from North West Point to South West Point — Sand Cay Apartments — and to the 80ft. contour or ‘Drop Off’. The boundaries of this West Side Marine Park are marked by onshore range markers and spar buoys which are installed and maintained by the DoE,” officials said in a statement.
“As is normal practice, when an incident resulting in damage to natural resources occurs, the DoE will review, with relevant stakeholders, the circumstances and contributing factors to determine what improvements could be implemented to prevent reoccurrence,” the DoE said, adding that it remains “entirely committed to safeguarding the Cayman Islands’ natural resources”.
Category: Local News