Time to salvage Cayman

Our family first came to Grand Cayman in the late 1960s and most years after that for over a decade.

We children loved it and it lives among our fondest memories. I’ve just been back after 25 years and was first astonished and saddened, then curious, and finally outraged at the vast overdevelopment visible in every quarter, and its consequences.

You don’t need spelled out the loss and the cost of whatever gain. And yet all official and commercial publication seems concerned only with building more and more and with securing a share of the tourist money pie. Would it be heresy to say, loud and strong (and pleadingly), enough is enough?

It cannot be too late – anyway better now, at once – to stop the building, the speculation, the trashing of the fragile environment, all to accommodate the kind of tourist that doesn’t care where they are as long as they have all the comforts and entertainments of home.

You can’t compete forever with all the world’s luxury resorts – why should you lose yourselves trying?

There’s plenty to do, and loads of fascinating and unique places to take kids, if for any reason the beauty of the sea and beach were not enough, if for any visitor it weren’t enough to slow down and just be there.

At the same time opportunities to make the economy more sustainable seem to have been missed completely – is it true, that in all the rebuilding after the two bouts of hurricane destruction in the last few years, solar power has not been developed or solar-powered buildings built?

The only solar panel I saw powered an electric fence.

You have sun to spare, and the money to plan carefully.

At a time when the world is either desperately seeking sustainability or the money to develop essential life-supporting systems, how can it be that things there have gone so far, so wrong?

Please, consider cultivating the many, many visitors who appreciate the way Cayman used to be and who do not want more faceless suburbia.

Consider your own citizens.

Service what you have, and stop development so that in future there’s still a Cayman worth visiting.

Deborah Kohn

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