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Chapter 7 - How Communities are Organizing to Contest Major Infrastructure Projects That Damage Coral Reefs: The Cayman Islands Case

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  28 February 2024

Kelly Dunning
Affiliation:
Auburn University, Alabama
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Summary

You’re about to embark on your long-awaited Caribbean cruise vacation, beginning at the Port of Miami, destined to stop by the elegant and exclusive Cayman Islands. After cruising for two days, you spot Grand Cayman Island, surrounded by turquoise blue waters, lush vegetation and colorful buildings. The ship stops just before the island and anchors its position. A smaller boat comes to greet you at the bottom of the cruise ship's stairs, where you are taken onboard the small vessel. With the wind whipping in your hair and the ocean at your fingertips, you travel less than ten minutes before the small boat docks at the George Town Cruise Port. You disembark and are excited to begin your visit to Grand Cayman and indulge in the so-called “CaymanKind” experience, or the well-known warmth of the Caymanian people, and all that it has to offer. You hop into a taxi and begin your adventures swimming with stingrays at Stingray City, exploring crystal caves and relaxing at Seven Mile Beach. You return to George Town Harbour earlier than expected and observe visitors and locals alike snorkeling close to the port. You rent a mask, snorkel and fins, and directly from the port, snorkel the reefs surrounding the harbor, which are teeming with fish and pristine coral reefs. This concludes your visit to the Cayman Islands and you get in line to board the small boat to return to the cruise ship. Just before you embark on the small vessel, you snap an idyllic picture of the towering cruise ship from afar, resting neatly atop the crystal blue waters.

The Cayman Islands and Its Harbor

This would be a general experience that many cruise passengers would have visiting the Cayman Islands. The Cayman Islands consist of three Caribbean islands: Grand Cayman, Little Cayman and Cayman Brac. They lie directly south of Florida, approximately 450 miles away. They are a self-governing United Kingdom overseas territory. As such, they must comply with some international commitments and regulations as well as their own. The Cayman Islands have a population of just over 67,000 people, most of whom reside on Grand Cayman. Finance and tourism are the two economic pillars of the Cayman Islands.

Type
Chapter
Information
Democratic Management of an Ecosystem Under Threat
The People's Reefs
, pp. 113 - 132
Publisher: Anthem Press
Print publication year: 2023

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