Below is the text from a letter to the Honourable Mark Scotland, Minister of Health, Environment, Youth, Sports, and Culture
Dear Minister for the Environment, the Honorable Mark Scotland,
I have received a number of expressions of concern about the proposed development at Emerald Sound/South Sound. Since I have been coming to the Cayman Islands for over 30 years, I have developed a deep respect for the Caymanian people and the beautiful islands on which they live.
Based on my research into the proposed development at Emerald Sound, I do not believe this is in the best interest of the Cayman people.
As you know, living on a small island in the middle of the ocean, the natural environment is very important to the quality of people’s lives. In addition, as we know from Hurricane Ivan, the forces and process of nature can have powerful impacts on us. Reefs, sea grass beds and mangroves provide us with protection from storms and these ecosystems provide us with food, recreation, income and attractions to tourists who support the economy. Even more importantly, from my point of view, these natural wonders of nature are essential to our inner state of well being, we are deeply connected to nature as it enriches us physically, mentally and spiritually.
Imagine a coastline on which these natural resources have been replaced by concrete and asphalt.
I was pleased to see that the staff of the Department of the Environment concluded that the Emerald Sound development would not be good for Grand Cayman.
I have also become aware that there is quite a long, and growing, list of residents who oppose this development. I would like to lend my voice to those who look beyond short-term economic gain and instead are concerned about the quality of life for their children and grandchildren.
I have an even greater concern and that is the need for a national policy regarding coastal development. During my 30+ years of coming to the Caymans I have seen more and more human impact that has undermined some of the natural beauty that attracted people to these wonderful islands initially. I urge you and your team to fight for a rational policy, without loopholes, that will once and for all define what is and is not appropriate for Cayman’s future. Anything less will result in just what we are now seeing; a gradual and endless push to sacrifice the quality of life for future generations for short-term economic benefit for a few.
Please take action to protect Emerald Sound/South Sound in the interest of the public, present and future.
President, Ocean Futures Society