Conservationists to kayak from Brac to GC to raise cash

| 09/01/2024 | 12 Comments
Surfski kayak off Cayman Brac (photo courtesy of CBRAC)

(CNS): Twelve surfski paddlers will be kayaking from Cayman Brac to Grand Cayman next month to raise funds and awareness for Coast to Bluff Recreational Access and Conservation (CBRAC), a local non-profit organisation that aims to preserve the natural beauty of the Brac. Participants in Shore To Shore ‘24 will make the journey in surfski kayaks, which are designed for speed and riding the open-ocean swells. 

They will cover around 96 miles (155km) from Spot Bay to East End during a three-day weather window between 2 and 4 February to raise money to buy land for a nature park on the Brac.

“Our paddlers have all been training extremely hard to master the art of controlling these incredible open ocean kayaks and to build the strength and endurance needed to complete this remarkable challenge,” said event coordinator Tyron Maher, who will be one of the participants. “Shore To Shore ‘24 is about sharing our love for outdoor adventure while helping to protect Cayman’s beautiful natural environment so our community can continue to enjoy it for many years to come.”

CBRAC has already established two nature parks on the island, and this fundraiser will raise more cash to buy another plot lot of land that can be protected, Maher explained. Since it was founded in 2021, CBRAC has built a crowd-sourcing model that has raised over $120,000, which has been used to protect two parcels of coastal forest that is home to over 120 observed species of indigenous fauna and flora.

“For all of us on our committee, from hikers and rock climbers to artists and bird watchers, we saw a need to protect the beautiful natural environment found in the Cayman Islands so that it can continue to inspire and offer respite to multiple generations to come,” CBRAC Director Tristan Relly said.

“In addition to protecting the land so that our community can continue to have access to wild spaces, we have also sought to document and highlight the natural biodiversity found in both the Inaugural Park and Eastern Park that users can view through CBRAC’s own proprietary app, Biota,” he added.

The Biota app, which can be downloaded here, gives donors access to their own dashboard with pictures and information about the species in the area that they have helped protect, some found nowhere else in the world, allowing them to connect to the land from afar.

“We’ve found so much joy in discovering and learning about the small wonders and natural
treasures found in the parks,” Relly said. “The entire CBRAC committee is extremely grateful to the twelve amazing paddlers, early sponsors and volunteers for supporting this cause that builds alongside work done by the National Trust, the CI Government and others.”

Maher said the paddlers were grateful for the initial sponsors’ support, which paved the way for the ocean adventure. “There are still sponsorship opportunities available, and we welcome all businesses or individuals interested in getting involved and supporting the cause to reach out to learn more by visiting or by emailing”

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change recommends that effective and equitable conservation of approximately 30-50% of the Earth’s land, freshwater and ocean will help ensure a healthy planet. It is an immense task that calls for collective community involvement and contributions.

See CBRAC’s video about the natural environment on Cayman Brac below:

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Category: Fundraiser, Local News

Comments (12)

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  1. CBRAC says:

    Hi Everyone,

    Thanks for all the questions and entertaining comments too!

    CBRAC’s mission is to protect the bluff and coastal forests of the Cayman Islands and secure permanent public access rights to recreational areas. We are doing this by creating nature parks that protect the beautiful and unique natural habitats of the Cayman Islands, starting on Cayman Brac. We envision an island of nature and humanity living in harmony with a deep connection to our natural heritage.

    CBRAC has been entirely built by volunteer time over the last three years and our philosophy is that land sponsorship funds go directly to land acquisition and protection for the future of our islands. We hope to build a model that is sustainable and rewards contributors for their efforts. To date it is all volunteer time and CBRAC holds no work permits. No-one has received any stipends or similar. Most NPO’s employ staff to run operations, this is the normal way NPO’s run. The difference from a regular business is that there is no profit element and no dividends paid out. CBRAC has been very blessed to be supported fully by volunteer time and has achieved a great deal in this manner.  When we can build a way to support major contributors at CBRAC, we hope to do that in order to underpin the long term success of the project. 

    Almost everyone contributing to the project is a ‘local’, both Caymanian and long term resident. The one exception being a US project that has a particular connection with the islands and is supporting CBRAC in publishing books showcasing local art, both visual and written. Two of the three directors live on the Brac. Although the project was inspired by the Brac and started there, we hope to expand to all three islands as resources allow. 

    There have been no donations as yet from the CI government. 

    For information on the flora and fauna identified on the land, please download the App “Biota” from the App store or Google play store. It’s remarkable the diversity that makes up the ‘bush’. All the fauna and flora details are connected with the habitats sponsored by each party. These observations are all validated using the global platform, iNaturalist. The app also includes a reference guide to wild trees of the Cayman Islands, and a quiz to test your knowledge of plants found on the land. We hope this helps inspire you to become a sponsor too!

    No mahogany trees were harmed in the making of the surfskis (kayaks) which are made out of fibreglass and/or carbon fibre. 

    We are super excited for the upcoming paddle and couldn’t be more grateful for the efforts of all those involved – paddlers, supporters and sponsors alike. 

    For more details on the project and the land, please visit our website or email us on

  2. Anonymous says:

    What an ambitious adventure!

  3. Anonymous says:

    Does CBrac Director Tristan Relly get any sort of stipend, honorarium or salary as part of this non-profit?

    How many people affiliated with CBrac ar getting a stipend, honorarium or salary. How many people associated with CBrac are actually people who are “locals”.

    Have CBrac in the past or now accepted any form of donation from the Cayman Islands Government, Statutory Authorities or Government Company’s?

    Does CBrac have any person here on work permit?

    Please provide a complete list of the 120 observed species of indigenous flora and fauna (since you publicly mention it – I am interested to know their names) – also please provide the block and parcel numbers of the two parcels of coastal forest land you claim to have already protected.

    • Anonymous says:

      The two parcels they bought, with duty waivers, are just bush.

    • Anonymous says:

      Your comment makes me think you may already know the answers to these questions or at least think that you do…

      Alos there are people who I would consider pretty damn local who don’t count under many people’s definition of “generational Caymanian” and all that other BS. But it is often these terrible Expats and non-Locals or Driftwood or whatever label you apply that do an awful lot to make life better here for many people.

    • Anonymous says:

      Why do you care? Before asking questions in a condemning tone, please tell us what you’ve done to sustain the Brac instead of turning it over to developers? And fyi, it’s going to take more than a walk, a church service or a speech to get the job done. I wish them all the best.

  4. brackattacka says:

    I genuinely respect the effort and wish you all the best with safe passage..

    but some dude just swam around the entire GCM and shxt all got done about his environmental cause.

    Good luck. Sincerely. Maybe say that the plastics are making the kids gay, and then the premier would do something.

  5. Sil. E. Boi says:

    always a donkey comment. perhaps it would be better to cut down an old mahogany tree to make a dug out canoe, ya’think.

  6. Anonymous says:

    What are those kayaks made out of?


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