Trust buys 14.4 acres of Sesuvium marsh on LC

| 04/10/2023 | 12 Comments

(CNS): The Little Cayman District Committee of the National Trust for the Cayman Islands (NTCI) has purchased a 14.4-acre parcel of land in the Snipe Point area at the east end of the island. The parcel contains part of the Sesuvium marsh habitat, one of ten distinct habitats found on the island first listed by D.R. Stoddart after a joint Royal Society and government scientific expedition in 1975. The Trust said that the land is in pristine condition and untouched by humans.

Much of the Cayman Islands’ natural interior is covered in dense vegetation — low scrub, mangrove forest or dry woodland — and Sesuvium marsh is one of the few naturally occurring open environments, other than water features.

NTCI Executive Director Frank Roulstone recently surveyed the parcel of almost impenetrable cliff rock and thick bush filled with copious numbers of manchineel and poisonwood trees surrounding the area as part of the evaluation process.

“I have never seen a place like this on Little Cayman or even in the Cayman Islands, for that matter. I have heard about this area my whole life, but only after talking with Patricia Bradley, who visited the area back in 1984, did I risk life and limb to see it for myself. It is most definitely a national treasure,” he said.

The land was found to be in its pristine natural state, never disturbed by human activity. Very few people have ever ventured into the area, given the extreme difficulty of hiking the surrounding terrain. It is dotted with small freshwater ponds, which are important to resident and migratory birds and provide fresh water sources year-round for endemic Sister Islands rock iguanas.

The rare and endemic Cayman Brac cactus (Harrisia caymanensis) and infrequently found Prickly Pear Tree (Consolea macracantha) were found on the parcel.

Little Cayman District Committee Chair Gregory S. McTaggart said the Trust is hoping to create an observation platform so that more people can enjoy the site.

“While direct access to the area is frightfully difficult, it is located relatively close to several roads, and an elevated observation platform off of one of these roads could be considered in the future to provide National Trust members and the general public the opportunity to see this unique Little Cayman environment,” he added.

The purchase was made possible through a donation of US$200,000 by Brigitte Kassa, a member of the National Trust and a longtime resident of Little Cayman, and through the district committee’s annual Easter Auction. The auctions held in 2021 and 2023 were dedicated to raising money for the Little Cayman District Committee Land Fund.

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Category: Land Habitat, Science & Nature

Comments (12)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    not to be an ass or state the obvious but this land appears to be land that would likely never be built on. It’s a swamp in an undesirable location.

    Glad to hear they protected it but now that’s less money to use to buy something to protect that actually stands a chance of getting built on.

    Google: “opportunity cost”

  2. Anonymous says:

    To the Little Cayman District Chair,

    Why doesn’t the National Trust do something proactive about the extensive stench that comes from the Blossom Village swamp?

    When you go on to Spot Bay Road it always stinks. Go by Mr. Billys house and you cant stay outside.

    Am sure that the tourists on bicycles enjoy the scent.

    So Mr. McTaggart do something about the stench. The National Trust office and observation tower are at this stinking swamp.

  3. Anonymous says:

    $200,000 for a virtually inaccessible piece of land – really?

    Landowner certainly must be happy with that type of cash.

    The National Trust continues to buy land and ignore historical structures in all 3 of our islands.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Little Cayman has plenty of marsh/swamp land, especially in the Snipe Point area.
    While thanks go to Miss Brigitte, what is the reality of this area ever truly being developed?
    Perhaps it will be like over in the Brac, where 3 marinas were proposed but never acted upon.
    Wouldn’t the Snipe Point area be a good place for a marina —- just saying.
    With access to the area “frightfully difficult” why spend the money on an observation tower? Isn’t there already an observation tower in Blossom Village.
    Want to see similar marsh land – just go past the airport.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Great news!

  6. Anonymous says:

    nice one…keep it safe until we need to develop it sustainably

    • Anonymous says:

      Nice place for a solar farm to replace the power company that continuously has problems due to inept managament.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Congratulations are due to all involved to make this a reality.

  8. Anonymous says:

    thank you to all involved, especially Ms Kassa, the district committee for their fundraising, and the National Trust (all of the above) for preserving this fragment of Cayman’s natural heritage.

  9. Guido Marsupio says:

    Kudos to Brigitte Kassa for her extremely generous gift to Little Cayman and all of the Cayman Islands. A true visionary who loves the little island.

  10. They paved Paradise.... says:

    Congratulations are due to all involved to make this a reality.


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