The Central Caribbean Marine Institute’s annual Festival of Seas, a celebration of the extensive research and education work the organization undertakes, is set for Dec. 3 at the Kimpton Seafire Resort + Spa, boosted by the support of a local law firm and with the theme “Mermaids and Sailors.”

Conyers Dill & Pearman has selected CCMI as the local nonprofit to support this year, with the firm’s staff strongly advocating for the funding of environmental protection initiatives.

Ben Hobden, associate at Conyers, said, “It is clear that as a coastal community, Cayman relies heavily upon a healthy sea. The reefs are beautiful to look at, but they also protect our coastline from storm surge, supply our local fishermen and are the key to attracting millions of dollars in tourism each year – a major pillar of Cayman’s economy.”

CCMI president Dr. Carrie Manfrino explained the concept behind the festival, which is the institute’s major fundraiser.

“This festival is meant to be a celebration of the work that we have accomplished over the year – the research that we have done on coral reef resilience and the number of students that we have educated about the importance of a healthy ocean to Cayman, its people and its economy,” she said.

“It is also a thank you to our many donors and sponsors, whose contributions enable us to be the premier marine institute in the Caribbean.”

Nautical costumes encouraged

The theme of this year’s fancy dress event was set with fun in mind. “We wanted to lighten up a little and let people be creative,” Manfrino said. “We were also thinking about the gentlemen and decided to let them give their heavy dinner jackets a rest this year.”

The festival will include a raucous comedy show, silent auction and raffle prizes, as well as a live auction featuring exotic getaways such as a Necker Island, British Virgin Islands, vacation, polar bear Norway adventure and a Four Seasons Nevis weekend, along with various artworks and outstanding jewelry pieces.

All money raised will support CCMI’s research into coral reef resilience, helping scientists around the world to protect coral reefs.

Proceeds will also fund CCMI’s Ocean Literacy Programme – a mission to ensure that every child in Cayman is ocean literate by age 12.

The Festival of Seas will take place in the Kimpton’s Aurea Ballroom. Tickets are available on or via email at [email protected] Tickets are $250 per person and are also available by the table.

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