On Friday, 8 January, the owner of the proposed restaurant and bar at Stingray City publicly responded to the movement to save Stingray City.
Those of you who know this man personally will attest to the fact that he is a hard working person with the best intentions. Mr. Bush, thank you for letting us hear more of your side of the story. But Mr. Bush, it’s not about you. The movement to save Stingray City is firmly in the context of protecting the environment. To this end, bobo, your words were short on details. Before anyone can start running up their mouths for or against – everyone needs a chance to hear the facts. This letter is not to sway one way or another – but simply to ask questions of the bar and restaurant operation, of the people, of the decision makers.
It seems no one really understands what this venture proposes to do and who exactly is to benefit. Where will the boat leave from, how often? Where will it stop and or anchor? If it is to be stabilized in 8 feet of water or deeper – how are people to get there swimming, jet skiing…? Where will customers eat: on the boat or by the boat? What is to stop the food, ashtrays, alcohol etc. from falling into the water? What will happen when it does – the marine life will get to the waste before any cleanup boat can even get revved, no?
How many people including staff will be on the boat at any point in time? When the customers leave the boat where will they go, how will they get there – if the boat is anchored in deeper water what is to stop the customers from trying to swim with containers of alcohol and plates of food? What if the customers are too drunk or too tired to be able to swim back from wherever they came from? What happens when the establishment is at carrying capacity and more people want to get on – what is to prevent someone from buying food and taking it back down to their friends in the water? Who is going to enforce regulations of the boat, how many staff members per customer will there be? How frequently is the waste from the dining area and kitchen taken back to shore, where will the waste be stored before removal? What are the hours of operation – will this boat be open at night?
The people of Cayman need to know these answers. When one of our own countrymen pockets big dollar signs from an environmentally sensitive location that is a central part of all of our heritages and futures this ‘private’ endeavour becomes a public issue; remembering that there are many private property locations in Cayman to open new bars and restaurants for private individuals’ businesses.
Caymanians need to decide whether our delicate and unique seas are governable by the same practices and laws that our lands are.
Caymanians need to decide how they really feel about mismanaged crowds overrunning our very backyards. Caymanians need to decide whether our whole country is simply a ‘piece of pie’ or ‘the land of soft fresh breezes and verdant trees so fair, with thy creator’s glory reflected everywhere’. Brita Gill