Treasure trove of marine life

The husband and wife video and
photography team of William and Donna Goodwin are hoping to inspire Cayman’s young
people to explore the undersea world with a donation of video and photos to the
Education Ministry.

The award-winning photographers donated
five DVDs containing more than 800 images and video clips of marine life and
underwater scenery taken off Cayman Brac.

Mr. Goodwin’s photo of a peppermint
shrimp lurking inside a branching vase sponge won him the grand prize in the
nature category of National Geographic Magazine’s 2009 International
Photography Contest beating out 208,000 entries from 28 countries.

The Goodwins have a special
connection with the Cayman Islands, having been diving here since 1976. 

“Most kids may never have an
opportunity to dive and experience Cayman’s marine beauty for themselves,” said
Mrs. Goodwin.

“With all of the environmental
changes, we wanted to capture some of that beauty before it’s gone, but we also
hope to inspire the kids to take charge and become advocates for their

Education Minister Rolston Anglin
commended the Goodwins.

“I think that this is a good
indication of what can happen when private citizens, who are simply doing what
they love, use their talents to assist our school system,” he said. “For them
to have stepped up and done this, completely free of cost, is highly
commendable and we really just want to thank them.

“They have demonstrated that it’s
possible to assist our education system without spending a lot of money, and
that all of us can have a profound impact on our children’s education by simply
sharing our own work and interests with them. I encourage others to partner
with the education system in similar fashion.”

The images, now called the Cayman
Islands Underwater Image Bank for Students, have been loaded onto the Education
Department’s interactive Studywiz web portal, where both teachers and students
can access them for lessons and projects and help supplement resources in the
Central Caribbean Marine Institute’s ocean science programme.

They can also be used in the
biology component of GCSE science; GCSE leisure and tourism studies; and any
other areas deemed relevant by teachers.