Pristine and unspoiled are two words often used to describe the smallest of the Cayman Islands.
However, Little Cayman’s beaches are nevertheless victims of marine debris, a scourge that plagues many of the islands throughout the Caribbean.
So a group of local residents and visitors have decided to help make a difference.
More than 50 people turned out early on a recent Saturday morning to clean Jacksons, South Hole Sound, Charles Bight and Point-of-Sand beaches. Even resort guests gave up a day of diving to assist.
The Miller Lite, Widecast initiative, which cleaned beaches in Grand Cayman and Cayman Brac in January, moved in with full force to Little Cayman and oversaw the event – organised by residents and supported by Miller Lite and Southern Cross Club.
Joining in the effort was a keen university student, Laura Camp, who is continuing an on-going study of marine debris through the Central Caribbean Marine Institute. Ms Camp returned from New Jersey to examine the various types of garbage collected in the 127 bags, meticulously weighing the debris and examining the contents.
“Marine debris is a major environmental concern affecting all levels of marine life,” Ms Camp said. “People don’t understand how bad the problem actually is until they see it. Through our research we hope to bring awareness around the world to help us reduce this global issue of marine litter.”
There was some additional good news.
A clutch of hatched turtle eggs was found near Point-of-Sand before volunteers were treated to a beach barbecue with food provided by Southern Cross and the community, as well as beverages supplied by Miller.
Sales manager of Cayman Distributors, Brian Moxam, flew over to assist for the day.
“Approximately one quarter of the population of Little Cayman came out to help, a truly remarkable statistic. Can you imagine if we had 13,000 people turn out to clean up Grand Cayman’s beaches?,” he said.
Residents have decided to do another cleanup in August and hope to make it a scheduled event three times each year.