Live music, raffles, a lionfish fry and all sorts of fun are on offer Friday, Feb. 27.
The Cayman Magic Reef Recovery fundraiser for reef restoration materials is hosted by the Green Parrot at Royal Watler Pavilion from 6 p.m. All money raised will go straight into the pot to buy essential material to repair the section of reef damaged in August 2014 by a cruise ship’s errant anchor.
Lois Hatcher of Ocean Frontiers, the project coordinator for the underwater portion of the reef recovery, said, “We will be accepting donations for entry, have raffles for some great prizes, silent auction, lionfish fish fry, barbecue, a fantastic band playing [Red, White and Blues] and will be running a mixed media presentation showing what we had been doing underwater.
“We are trying to reach out to everyone as we feel it is as much about raising awareness as it is about raising money.”
She added that the initiative to recover the reef is important for Cayman.
“Coral reefs worldwide have degraded with estimates up to 80 percent dead in some areas,” Hatcher explained.
“Coral reefs are not only habitat to fish and other marine creatures, but are one of the first defenses against hurricanes. We are hoping that this recovery raises awareness about how important every piece of coral is and why we should be trying to save more.
“Some of the corals destroyed were hundreds of years old. If the area that was broken up was not at least stabilized, then nothing would have grown on it except possibly some soft corals (they don’t build reefs) and algae.”
As well as this event, the campaign will continue for some time as it’s such an important issue, Hatcher says. There are numerous ways to get involved, too.
“If people are in Cayman, they can volunteer to work on the site,” Hatcher explained. “All certified divers are welcome; they just need DAN insurance.
“We also have an online T-shirt campaign with all sales going to the cause. This was started by artist Simon Morris, who is the sculptor of ‘Guardian of the Reef’ and Sunset House’s ‘Mermaid.’”
To donate directly, visit nationaltrust.org.ky/index.php/donate.