Sea Camp lures 15 youths

The Central Caribbean Marine Institute will run its seventh annual Caribbean Sea Camp programme for high school youths from 3-10 August.

Students for the 2006 Sea Camp with Sponsors

Students for the 2006 Sea Camp with Sponsors.
Photo: Submitted

This year the programme is fully enrolled and will include 11 local and four international youths.

Merit-based scholarships are provided for the local youths.

For many years, Mr. Richard Hew of CUC has been an executive council member of CCMI and CUC has provided scholarship funds and has donated a CUC truck to the Little Cayman Research Centre.

Cayman Airways has is also a long time sponsor and this year Cayman Airways will help sponsor the installation of the new CCMI – NOAA Integrated Coral Observing Network.

The CCMI-NOAA instruments that will be installed in the Cayman Islands will establish the Little Cayman Research Centre as one of the foremost study areas for coral reefs. The project is part of an international network coral reef studies that include Heron Island, Australia and sites in the US.

The research aims to understand why coral reefs and especially the corals on the reefs are dying at a dramatic rate.

The marine biological Caribbean Sea Camp programme is a way for youths to have fun exploring Cayman’s tropical habitats while interacting with scientists and upper level and post-graduate marine biological college students who help run the program. CCMI, a non profit organization, is based in the Cayman Islands and has a special commitment to encouraging highly motivated high school students to participate in the program.

This year, the activities are based on a new education program developed by the National Oceanographic Atmospheric Administration called Coral Reef Conservation. Coral reefs are under enormous stress around the globe and the NOAA program was developed to emphasize the importance of healthy coral reefs.

Healthy coral reefs provide income, medicines, habitats, food and protection is the essence of the academic portion of the Caribbean Sea Camp this year.

Students are involved in a variety of activities every day, which include daily field trips to the reefs around the island. Academics include learning some of the basic methods scientists use to gather information on the health status of fish and coral populations and about the conservation efforts being made in the Cayman Islands to keep our reefs healthy.

Sport activities include a Reef Relay, which includes a fun team mini-triathlon challenge that includes swimming, kayaking and biking.

Teams are to find sponsors who will support scholarships for next year’s program.

The basis of the program is to invest in our local youth and environment by improving their knowledge and understanding of the importance of keeping the sea healthy because it underpins our economy and to provide an international experience for kids from around the world.

The Central Caribbean Marine Institute is a Cayman Islands non-profit educational organization established in 1998 to sustain the biodiversity of coral reefs through research, education, and conservation efforts.