At the Central Caribbean Marine Institute (CCMI) we are creating a hopeful future for coral reefs, vibrant ecosystems that have been the heart of healthy oceans for more than 200 million years. CCMI is a not-for-profit organization founded in 1998 to protect the future of coral reefs through research, conservation, and education. 

In 2005 we opened our field station, the Little Cayman Research Centre (LCRC). At the LCRC, we are surrounded by crystal clear water, marvelous marine wildlife, and several marine protected areas including Bloody Bay Marine Park. Scientists and students at the LCRC have beachfront access to this spectacular marine learning environment.

The LCRC serves as the heart and home-base of our research and education programs, providing the laboratories, classroom, accommodations, vehicles, boats, and oceanographic instrumentation for scientists to conduct vital research. CCMI resident scientists focus on three core areas of research: Ocean Health and Resilience, Biodiversity, and Science & Society.

The reefs around Little Cayman offer insight for coral reefs globally. They are among the most biologically diverse reef systems in the Caribbean, located in one of very few locations in the world showing coral reef regeneration on a positive trajectory. Our location offers rich prospects for research to address global issues such as climate change and ocean acidification, marine protection, threatened and endangered species, and coral reef resilience.

CCMI is proud to maintain one of four CREWS (Coral Reef Early Warning System) monitoring stations in the Caribbean in partnership with US National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA). Part of a global effort to monitor and study reefs worldwide, our CREWS system and monitoring buoy transmits near real-time data about weather and marine conditions to scientists and the public around the world, creating a record of local climate patterns over time that will help us predict threats to our reefs and understand conditions that support coral reef resilience.

At the heart of our mission is a commitment to ensure that 100% of Caymanian children are ocean literate, and we also welcome students from around the world. Our education programs offer an active learning environment for K-12 students engaged in making a real difference as young citizen scientists and our new generation of ocean stewards.

We know the secret to a healthy planet is a healthy ocean, and the value of coral reefs to humanity is incalculable. We also know that reefs are now the most threatened ecosystems on earth and the window of time to reverse their decline is rapidly closing.

At CCMI, we are committed to expanding research and education programs over the next ten years. If we unlock the secrets of reef resilience and inspire our children to love and protect the ocean, there is a hopeful future for corals and the great web of life that depends on them.

Please join us!