During his visit to the Central Caribbean Marine Institute on Little Cayman earlier this month, Prince Edward highlighted the importance of teaching young Caymanians about reef conservation and research.
The prince’s comments, made during a private trip to the marine institute’s Little Cayman Research Centre, were made public in a video released Monday.
“Being able to educate and try to teach every young Caymanian about what is around them and to value what’s below the ocean and the reef system they have here, I think that’s really important,” the prince said.
Prince Edward and his wife Sophie, the Countess of Wessex, visited Grand Cayman and Little Cayman on March 6 and 7. The prince has been patron of CCMI since its 2003 groundbreaking on Little Cayman.
In the video, Prince Edward observed how far the facility has developed, from a small gazebo into what is now “a very well-established research center.”
“It’s been a remarkable 10 years watching the research center here,” said Prince Edward. “What it’s doing regarding the education about the reef is fantastic. The work it’s doing under the water, which is more difficult to be able to show many people, but understanding how the reefs work and that the unique reef system around Little Cayman is second to none. But it’s the education program which I think is so very exciting.”
The prince acknowledged the importance of “raising the whole profile of reef research and how important [the reef systems] are as ecosystems, and how we must look after them in the future.”
CCMI, a nonprofit organization founded in 1998, focuses on protecting coral reefs through research, conservation and education.