Rotary Club nets 2009 CORAL Award

Going out of your way to protect and preserve the coral reefs around the Cayman Islands is its own reward.

But if you’re persistent and catch the eye of the Central Caribbean Marine Institute you just may get a reward of a more tangible nature.

Derek Haines and the Rotary Club of Grand Cayman have been honoured with the presentation of the CORAL Award from the institute.

Each year the marine institute presents a CORAL (Commitment, Outreach, Respect, and Leadership) Award to an individual or organisation in order to acknowledge outstanding contributions to the protection and preservation of coral reefs.

‘Thanks to the generosity of our gracious hosts, CCMI was able to honour both the Rotary Club of Grand Cayman and the Immediate Past President Derek Haines’, said CEO of CCMI, Jim O’Neill. ‘The solid support of the Rotary Club of Grand Cayman, under the 08/09 leadership of IPP Derek that allowed CCMI to fully launch our Eco-Weekend programme,’ he said.

Eco-Weekends bring high school students from Grand Cayman and Cayman Brac to the Little Cayman Research Centre for a weekend designed to teach critical thinking, conservation and fun education on Cayman’s marine environment.

“It is the mandate of the Rotary Club of Grand Cayman to develop community-minded and good citizens,’ said Mr. Haines. ‘By supporting the full launch of this programme, there will be approximately 100 youth with a raised level of respect with regard to our environment and its protection”.

During his acceptance speech, Mr. Haines said the Rotary Club received a letter from a 12-year-old participant of the programme who said, “I really enjoyed the experience and hope to attend the summer camp. All of us learned so much and I want to get to know more and maybe make it my work later.”

“It was very heart warming to receive the letter from someone so young and further convinces me that our investment in education will provide an extremely positive yield later,’ Mr. Haines said. ‘All of the youngsters were enthusiastic on their return from the weekends and I am pleased that our Rotary Club was able to support them.”

The ceremony was co-hosted by International Design Group and the developer of the upcoming WaterColours condominiums, on Seven Mile Beach. The gathering took place in its most recent development, Water’s Edge, in the Owner’s Waterfront Conservatory overlooking a stunning view of the marine environment.

Some of the other educational and outreach programmes spearheaded by the Central Caribbean Marine Institute include Caribbean SeaCamp and Ocean Literacy and the annually published Green Guide to the Cayman Islands.

Companies interested in sponsoring educational programmes aimed at Cayman’s youth can obtain details by emailing [email protected] .

‘All of the youngsters were enthusiastic on their return from the weekends and I am pleased that our Rotary Club was able to support them.”

Derek Haines, Immediate Past President of Rotary Club of Grand Cayman

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