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Topic: Port Vote 2019

Calico’s owner: ‘We should have built piers years ago’

Handel Whittaker is one of the most recognisable faces on Seven Mile Beach. After nearly two decades as the proprietor of Calico Jack’s and...

Langevin: ‘Do we want quality or quantity?’

As the manager of the Cayman Islands’ most luxurious resort, Marc Langevin has a vested interest in the future of the island’s tourism product. Amid an ongoing debate about tourism growth, the general manager of The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman is keen to see the island retain its reputation as a safe, high-quality destination.
Tourists on Seven Mile Beach

How much tourism is too much for a small island?

Cayman's tourism industry is thriving. But amid the debate over if and how to develop the island's port facilities, some are wondering, if the growth in visitors is sustainable and what the impact of rising visitation might mean for the island over the coming decades.

Cruise ports around the region

Across the Caribbean the cruise industry is driving infrastructure projects to accommodate larger ships. Cayman Compass reporter Kayla Young looked at some of the...

Cousteau clarifies Cayman port position

In the early stages of this process, I was asked to voice my environmental concerns on video regarding a proposed cruise and cargo port enhancement project in the Cayman Islands.

Verdant Isle responds to referendum delay

Verdant Isle Port Partners, the consortium selected as the preferred bidder on the $200 million cruise and cargo berthing project, released a brief statement Wednesday in response to a court decision to delay the referendum on the port vote.

Updated: Court delays port vote

The referendum on the controversial cruise and cargo port development will be delayed at least until next year following a court order Tuesday. The decision...

Campaigners celebrate court decision

Campaigners were celebrating Tuesday following a court decision to delay the port referendum to allow a legal challenge to take place. Shirley Roulstone, a leading...

Government cancels public meetings amid referendum delay

Premier Alden McLaughlin said Tuesday that his concern that the referendum on the cruise and cargo project would be delayed had been realised. In a...
Nadia Hardie, executive director, National Trust

National Trust heads to court over cruise referendum

The National Trust will be in court Tuesday morning for the first phase of its legal challenge to the referendum on the port project, according to the organisation’s executive director, Nadia Hardie.

How a small campaign snowballed to force a referendum

The movement started in Katrina Jurn’s living room: six people gathered together after work because they didn’t like what they were hearing about a proposed cruise ship berth being built in George Town Harbour.

PR firm paid $70k for pro-port campaign

Public relations firm Kelly Holding won a $70,000 contract to support government’s marketing push in support of the cruise port development, according to documents released under the Freedom of Information Law.

Tour encourages voters to judge harbour for themselves

The National Trust for the Cayman Islands embraced the ‘show, don’t tell’ philosophy on Sunday morning, taking dozens of guests out on the Nautilus submarine to witness sites in George Town Harbour that many have only read about.

Brackers following port debate from afar

Cayman Brac may be removed physically from the impact of the cruise berthing and cargo project but residents there are paying attention to developments with the facility.

Environmental activists take port message to waterfront

Protesters lined the George Town waterfront on Friday, as part of a growing environmental movement driven by student activists.

Tourism Minister Moses Kirkconnell makes his case for cruise piers

Tourism Minister Moses Kirkconnell has been one of the leading figures in the push for a cruise berthing facility in Grand Cayman. In a featured interview, we asked him to answer some of the key questions around the development and explain why he believes it is in the island’s best interest.

Student activists turn the lens on Cayman’s growing pains

A new campaign by the student group focusses on the issue of greed by highlighting sites such as the landfill, the cleared KAABOO festival grounds and other locations that demonstrate the strains of development in Grand Cayman.

Documents reveal 2012 mega-ship tender plan

Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines were in advanced talks with the Port Authority in 2012 to tender an Oasis-class mega ship, according to documents seen by the Cayman Compass.

Port business case: Little certainty over economic impact

Over the last six years government has published a slew of reports analysing the potential pros and cons of a cruise berthing facility in George Town harbour. Cayman Compass business editor Michael Klein waded through the documents to provide a comprehensive analysis of the available data about the case for and against the piers.

‘We may never see a deal like this again’

As the owner of one of the companies which formed the consortium bidding to build a new cruise berthing facility in 2010, I feel there should be more public support for the current port project.

Financing model analysis: Who is paying for the cruise berthing facility?

A government video released earlier this year that promotes the planned cruise berthing facility offers a simple answer to the question of who would pay for the project: “It is the cruise passengers who will be paying ..."

The promise of repairing our reefs

The Central Caribbean Marine Institute is responding to the letter sent to the Cayman Islands media on 22 Nov. by Polaris Applied Sciences, questioning the information in the presentation that was made by CCMI President Dr. Carrie Manfrino, at the Cayman Port Referendum launch on 21 Nov.

Polaris: ‘We expect strong survival of relocated corals’

As the marine biologist from Polaris Applied Sciences Inc who attached the corals at the Tatoosh anchor damage site in West Bay, Grand Cayman, and the container vessel Saga grounding at Eden Rock, Grand Cayman, I am responding to the statements made by Carrie Manfrino at the official launch of the Cruise Port Referendum campaign on Wednesday, 20 Nov. 2019.

Carnival CEO: ‘We’ll be very respectful’ of referendum decision

Carnival Corporation CEO and president Arnold Donald flew into Grand Cayman this month for a quick stopover. Before a meeting with the Chamber of Commerce and government officials, Donald sat down with the Cayman Compass to answer some common questions about the cruise port.

‘Young people would vote no’

"Long after the ballots on the Port Referendum have been counted, we shall be the ones who will face the consequences," student group Protect our Future writes in a guest column for the Cayman Compass.

Interactive map: How the port will impact life in the harbour

Much of the debate around the cruise berthing facility has centered on the potential impact on the wrecks and reefs in the harbour. Amid conflicting reports about the health of the marine life in the impacted area, we enlisted the help of underwater photographer Courtney Platt and produced an interactive graphic to demonstrate exactly what lies beneath the glassy surface.

Port opponents kick off campaign with rally

A crowd of more than 200 people filled much of Celebration Park in downtown George Town Wednesday night as the Cayman Port Referendum group held its first rally in the runup to the 19 Dec. vote.

Life thrives beneath harbour

The 20-foot high wall of rock that faces the jagged remnants of the Balboa -- a ship that was damaged beyond repair in 1932’s major hurricane and was later broken up with explosives -- runs for a good 100 yards and is infused with brightly coloured orange and purple sponges, green and gold corals, moray eels, lobsters, crabs and a host of vibrant fish.

Researcher aims to regrow coral in Cayman

A scientist whose methods have been heralded as a potential game-changer in the emerging field of growing corals has been recruited as part of the mitigation plan for the cruise port.

CCMI: No evidence scientists can recreate a reef

Research labs, including our own at the Central Caribbean Marine Institute, have made great progress in improving the ‘fitness’ of corals so they are more resilient. While there has been enormous progress, the scientific knowledge needed to regrow a coral reef is still is in its infancy.

Scientists urge caution over coral relocation

Coral relocation can help alleviate some impacts of dredging but moving an entire ecosystem is “impossible”, according to Cayman’s research centre, the Central Caribbean Marine Institute.

Jamaica environmentalists highlight Falmouth ‘failure’

A massive coral-relocation effort for Royal Caribbean’s new cruise port at Falmouth, Jamaica, was deemed a failure by an environmental group that monitored the project.

Consultants: New design will reduce impact

An update to the environmental impact assessment, expected to take place next year, will consider how the change in design has affected the likely impact of the port project.

The issue explained: Report outlines likely environmental impacts of port

Many of the anticipated environmental impacts of the cruise berthing project were laid out following an exhaustive investigation in 2014 and 2015. The environmental impact assessment, led by coastal engineering firm Baird and Associates, examined everything from the impact on coral reefs in George Town Harbour to the potential for erosion on Seven Mile Beach.

‘We will be out of the business’

When the first cruise ship started calling on Grand Cayman in the 1970s, it used its lifeboats to bring passengers ashore. It was around that time that two young Caymanians built the island’s first tender boats.

Tendering from ship to shore at George Town Harbour

At terminals that use tender boats, like Grand Cayman or Belize, cruise lines tend to prefer local vessels over their own, often smaller boats. In Cayman, the local boats are operated, in large part, by Caribbean Marine Services.

Briggs: I donated to save reefs, not the tender business

Though Adrien Briggs of Caribbean Marine Services acknowledges he has donated some money, both he and business partner Attlee Bodden deny ploughing substantial funds into the anti-dock movement.

Royal Caribbean: Oasis class will not tender

Speaking at a public meeting in Red Bay, Tuesday, Royal Caribbean chief Michael Bayley said the larger ships, which carry more than 6,000 passengers, would not stop in Cayman unless a port is built.

Port group refutes tourism concerns

Senior government and Verdant Isle officials laid out their case for the cruise and cargo project in the first of a series of public...

Lots of jobs but low wages in cruise sector, study shows

The cruise industry generates employment for more than 4,000 people in the Cayman Islands, according to a research report compiled for the Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association.

Port will protect Caymanian jobs, claim businesses

Amid vocal and organised opposition to the cruise berthing project, a group of likeminded businessmen formed their own lobby group to spread a different message about the port.

Guy Harvey: ‘Don’t risk what makes Cayman unique’

Everyone in the Cayman Islands supports tourism. Everyone encourages cruise ship tourism, let’s get that straight. There are many of us, however, who consider that our current complement of cruise tourists (approximately 1.9 million last year) is too many.

Port rivals battle for hearts, minds and votes

On social media, in the cinema, on the pages of internet blogs and newspapers, the battle for votes on the port project referendum is heating up. Citizen campaigners claim they are locked in a David vs. Goliath public relations fight. Government insists it is trying to educate and inform the people in the face of a tide of misinformation.

No rules for campaign finance in port poll

While general elections typically have guidelines around how much each candidate can spend on advertising and PR in the run up to a poll, there were no such rules written into the Referendum Law for the port.

Referendums around the world

Referendums may be relatively new for the Cayman Islands, but around the world they have been used to varying degrees for some time as part of the democratic process.

Port poll highlights lack of proper referendum law

The absence of a proper referendum law in the Cayman Islands has been flagged as a major concern by all sides on the road to the port poll.

National Trust: Historic wrecks can’t simply be moved

The National Trust for the Cayman Islands is following closely ongoing discussions regarding the proposed cruise ship berthing facility. The National Trust issued statements in October 2015 and October 2018 expressing its concerns with the project’s impacts on sites of environmental and historical significance.

CPR happy with government’s acceptance of legal opinion

Cruise Port Referendum – the group behind the petition that triggered Cayman’s first people-initiated referendum – said it is pleased government has agreed in...

McLean criticises premier over 2012 referendum letters

Opposition Leader Arden McLean tables letters penned by Premier Alden McLaughlin in 2012 raising concerns about the one man, one vote referendum process and the conduct of the then government during the port debate this week.

Bernie Bush makes ‘port exit’

West Bay North MLA Bernie Bush occupied his new seat on the Opposition benches on Wednesday morning on the final day of the debate of the Referendum Bill.

Cruise port debate: What your representative said

What each Member of the Legislative Assembly said in the house during the port referendum debate.

Date and question to be dropped from Referendum Bill

Government will drop the date and question from the Referendum Bill in an effort to head off potential legal action, Attorney General Samuel Bulgin...

Breakdown: Which electoral districts showed biggest support for the referendum?

Campaign group Cruise Port Referendum Cayman has released a statistical breakdown showing how many voters signed the petition calling for a vote on the piers in each constituency.

First batch of postal ballots heads out next week

Cayman is roughly one and a half months away from its first people’s-initiated referendum with staff at the Elections Office expecting to send out the first batch of postal ballots from 5-8 Nov.

Q&A with Elections Supervisor Wesley Howell

Elections Supervisor Wesley Howell and his team have been hard at work getting ready for the historic Referendum Day. The Cayman Compass sat down with the Elections boss to find out what it takes to run a referendum.

Stage set for national debate

  Cayman's legislators go to the House today to thrash out the details of a law that will officially set the clock ticking towards the...

A historic opportunity for Cayman voters

Cayman is heading for a landmark moment in its history. More than 5,000 citizens have exercised their constitutional right to demand a say at the...

Campaigners consider legal action on eve of port debate

Lawyers acting for the Cruise Port Referendum Cayman campaign group are considering legal action if government pushes ahead with its current plans for a December poll.

Elections Office moving

The Elections Office moved over the weekend and is set to open at its new location at Baytown Office Suites on Monday.

This week