New public beach access signs erected

A new public beach access sign installed by the Public Lands Commission points the way to the beach.

The first 40 newly designed public beach access signs have been erected across Grand Cayman on sites where access is open and clear, according to the Public Lands Commission.

The signs went up on Aug. 24 to ensure that the public can easily identify beach access locations in Grand Cayman and the Sister Islands, a government press release stated.

A 2017 Beach Access Report by the Lands and Survey Department that was released earlier this year highlighted that the vast majority of registered public beach access paths were blocked, neglected, overgrown with vegetation, or lacked proper signage.

The report found that of the 108 registered public rights of way in Grand Cayman, only 17 were listed as clear with signs. The other 91 were fully or partially blocked or missing signs.

Following the release of the report, the Public Lands Commission, which has been tasked with regulating the use of public land in the public interest, deemed it “a high priority to install brand-new signage to ensure every access point is easily located,” according to the press release.

In addition to the 108 registered public rights of way to the sea in Grand Cayman, there are three in Cayman Brac and 10 in Little Cayman.

“Generally speaking, proper signage that is highly visible immediately brings to the public’s eyes the physical location of any public beach access,” said Rupert Vasquez, chairman of the Public Lands Commission. “As such, it encourages maximum usage and the full benefits of these accesses dedicated for the general public’s enjoyment. It also sends a clear message to all that the public has full rights and can use these public beach accesses with absolute confidence and without fear.”

The National Roads Authority ordered and installed the signs, and worked with the Lands and Survey Department to mark the first 40 access points.

“This first set was selected because they were already free and clear of any obstructions,” the release stated.

Additional signage will be installed in Cayman Brac in the coming weeks.

According to the Public Lands Commission, it is working toward ensuring that access to other paths to the sea across the Cayman Islands will be addressed.

“As a country, we must work cooperatively with local residents and developers to ensure that the public’s right to beach access is upheld and all have access to one of our country’s greatest resources,” Minister of Lands Juliana O’Connor-Connolly is quoted as saying in the release.

“The Cayman Islands Government is committed to safeguarding public access to the beach for locals, residents, and visitors,” she said.

The Public Lands Commission’s mandate includes regulating and protecting the use, enjoyment and the right of access of public lands; responding to complaints regarding the use or misuse of public land; and advising the ministry on general policies in respect to enforcement and exercise of other functions delegated to it by the minister.

The 1,174-page Beach Access Report, which includes details of every access path on all three islands, can be viewed at www.education.gov.ky and www.caymanlandinfo.ky. Queries and complaints regarding the Public Lands Law may be sent to the Public Lands Commission at [email protected]