Conservation is always front and center to those who live and work on Little Cayman, but during the full winter moon, with researchers gathered there for the Grouper Moon Project, a study of the annual spawning of Nassau Grouper, the conservation effort expanded to include land as well as sea, with an island-wide beach cleanup over the weekend.
Little Cayman resorts and businesses joined forces with researchers of the Reef Environmental Education Foundation (REEF) for the cleanup. The REEF team, led by Christy Semmens, Project Coordinator and lead scientist, took time out of their usual work and research schedule for the Grouper Moon Project to help coordinate the beach cleanup. This is the 15th consecutive year the REEF team has been on Little Cayman for the research project.
Teams from the Southern Cross Club, the Little Cayman Beach Resort, the Grouper Moon Project, the Central Caribbean Marine Institute (CCMI) and some resort guests and island residents gathered at the Southern Cross Club for specific beach assignments.
In total, more than 30 people assisted, cleaning up some of the more remote beaches around Little Cayman’s pristine shore line. The group collected over 100 bags of debris, mostly plastic, that had washed on shore.
Debris ends up in the ocean from several sources, including accidental loss and deliberate dumping, as well as storms. Island residents Rob and Faye Harrington are studying and collecting plastic bottle tops to use in a pilot recycling program on Little Cayman.
We all should be aware of our use of Earth’s resources. Please do your part and reduce your use of single-use plastics.