Environment essay contest open

Ogier and the Central Caribbean Marine Institute are offering a handful of lucky students a chance to get up close and personal with Cayman’s marine environments through an essay competition being run during the month of March.

The competition, which is open to all students between the ages of 14 and 18, asks students to weigh in on in the importance of protecting Cayman’s aquatic environments and to suggest ways that threats to these environments might be addressed.

Submissions will be reviewed by the CCMI and the Department of Environment, with the top three essays affording their authors prizes as well as the publication of their essays in conjunction with planned Earth Day activities.

The winner of the competition will be guaranteed a place at the CCMI’s Caribbean Sea Camp, courtesy of the Southern Cross Club in Little Cayman. Sea Camp is a weeklong programme held at the Little Cayman Research Centre that allows students to learn about marine biology and conservation from scientists and graduate students through interactive research, field trips and discussions. The prize includes lodging, meals and airfare for the winning student for the August 2008 Sea Camp.

The first runner-up will be the recipient of a mangrove adventure tour compliments of Cayman Kayaks, a two-and-a-half hour guided tour of the Central Mangrove Wetlands in the North Sound. The tour is suitable for first-time kayakers; it highlights the function of mangroves in protecting marine life and provides a unique look at a diverse population of fish, sponges, invertebrates and other ocean life. Second runner-up will receive an underwater camera, allowing them to capture the beauty of Cayman’s sub-aquatic creatures.

Students will be provided with copies of the Ogier-sponsored CCMI Green Guide to the Marine Environment, a special publication launched in December to promote an understanding of the delicate balance in marine environments and the importance of environmental preservation.

The competition opened 3 March, with submissions due on 9 April. For more information on the essay competition, contact Ogier Deputy Business Development Manager Samantha Paul at 949-9876 or by emailing [email protected]. For more information about the CCMI, the Sea Camp, or the Green Guide, please contact Melissa Wolfe at [email protected] or visit www.reefresearch.org. For more information about the mangrove adventure, visit www.caymankayaks.com.