Event to showcase work of 'Magic Reef' volunteers

Volunteers working to restore the coral reef off George Town that was damaged by a cruise ship anchor will be hosting an information session Friday night to let the public know how the restoration is coming along. 

The event, at Cayman Cabana on North Church Street, will also celebrate the volunteers who have been clearing debris from the reef and rebuilding it for a year. The reef in front of Don Foster’s Dive Cayman was badly damaged in August last year when the Carnival Magic cruise ship dropped its anchor. 

Volunteers have put in more than 1,000 hours of work on the reef since then. 

The reef restoration started slowly as volunteers had to first clear tons of rubble before the rebuilding process could began. 

“Now that the rubble is out of the way, we’re actually building a new reef,” event organizer Joe Avary said. 

The transformation has been documented in photos and videos, which will be shown at the information session. 

The public is invited to attend the event to learn about the reef recovery project, and how to get involved in the effort, which is still seeking volunteers, Mr. Avary said. 

“They’re the engine that drives the train,” Mr. Avary said. “If we can get a few good volunteers out of this, that would be great because everybody is needed.” 

However, support is needed from both divers and non-divers alike to protect Cayman’s reefs, Mr. Avary added. He hopes that the event might inspire younger people to learn about and care for Cayman’s reefs in whatever way they can. 

The happy hour info session is a free event, and attendees can take advantage of a number of food and drink specials. 

There will also be a raffle with prizes, including a Guy Harvey painting. 

The event is not a fundraiser, but is focused on raising awareness, Mr. Avary said. 

“This is all about getting people involved, getting people to know, getting people to care and help us out and cheer us on,” he said. 

The Magic Reef Recovery happy hour information session will be held from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Friday at Cayman Cabana. 

Magic Reef Recovery Project volunteers work to rebuild a section of reef destroyed by an anchor drop last year. - Photo: Lois Hatcher

Magic Reef Recovery Project volunteers work to rebuild a section of reef destroyed by an anchor drop last year. – Photo: Lois Hatcher
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