Beaches, coastlines, and our beautiful seas are all interconnected via one global ocean. The ocean covers over 70% of the earth, and coral reefs are an important component of ocean health as they support 25% of all marine life and provide homes and protection for up to 1 million species1. Coral reefs can be found in the tropics, as well as colder and deeper locations, around the globe. You are closer to and perhaps more reliant upon a coral reef than you think…
The ocean is warming, presenting many issues for the ocean and especially coral reefs. Species are being pushed to their thermal limits, corals are bleaching, and more frequent and increasingly powerful storms are eroding coastlines and natural reef habitats. The ocean’s chemical make-up is changing due to increased levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide, so it’s become more acidic and weakening the calcium carbonate reef structures. In addition to warming oceans, many marine species are being fished quicker than they can naturally be replenished and marine animals are choking on the myriad of plastic that is swishing around our beautiful ocean. Certain species can recover, whilst others are struggling, as we continue to put pressure on their habitats. Some marine species are disappearing before we have even properly identified them. Coral reefs need our help. Support the UN’s Decade of Ocean Stewardship and stand up for coral reefs. Make small changes every day; it all counts. We are all dependent on a healthy ocean – one world, one ocean, no blue, no green.
Join CCMI for these special World Ocean Day 2022 events and activity:
REEFS GO LIVE BROADCAST
CCMI celebrates World Ocean Day every year as part of our Healthy Reefs outreach efforts, and in 2022, we will be returning to our special World Ocean Day Reefs Go Live event at the Camana Bay Cinema (virtual participation available, too)!
DATE: Wednesday, 8th June 2022 TIME: 10:00 am – 10:40 am Cayman time (UTC -5h) LOCATION: Camana Bay Cinema
Join CCMI as one of our virtual dive buddies for our special World Ocean Day 2022 Reefs Go Live broadcast: Restoring Healthy Reefs for the Future. Our team in Little Cayman will take us underwater to explore the coral reefs, discuss what it means when a reef is healthy, and share with us what CCMI is doing to help keep our reefs healthy in the Cayman Islands. We’ll also learn how we can all do our part to ensure there are many healthy reefs for the future.
This virtual underwater experience also allows the audience the opportunity to send questions to our Little Cayman dive team, with selected questions being answered live during the broadcast! Come prepared to ask your coral reef questions.
** This event is FREE and open to local schools, tourists, and members of the public. Classes, especially years 4 and 5, are encouraged to participate. REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED for both in-person and virtual attendance. Donations are appreciated and support the conservation, education, outreach and restoration projects of CCMI.
This broadcast is made possible by the Edmund F. and Virginia B. Ball Foundation and Stuarts Walker Hersant Humphries.
CCMI State of the Reefs & Healthy Reef Report Card Release
DATE: Thursday, 9th June 2022 TIME: 6:00pm-7:00pm This is a virtual event; advance registration is required to access the live stream. The in person event will be held in Little Cayman.
This event is FREE thanks to the support of our Healthy Reefs sponsors.
Participate in this Reef Lecture with CCMI’s Research Technician, Matt Doherty, as we continue our World Ocean Day celebrations with the release of our 2021 Reef Report Card!
CCMI has been monitoring the reefs in the Cayman Islands for more than 23 years during our annual summer Atlantic and Gulf Rapid Results Assessment (AGRRA) monitoring efforts. In this session, Matt will provide the first look at the results from last year’s surveys of Little Cayman’s reefs, sharing the current health status and long term trends we are seeing through the data analysis.
** This event is free and open to the public. REGISTER HERE. Donations are appreciated and support the conservation, education, outreach and restoration projects of CCMI.
HEALTHY REEFS VIRTUAL ART GALLERY
For the third year, Ms. McDougall’s art class at the Cayman Islands Further Education Centre (CIFEC) were tasked with designing a poster in support of CCMI’s Healthy Reefs awareness campaign. This project was an assignment to students as a way to develop artistic techniques while also working with a client, allowing students to develop transferrable life skills in support of their career path in art. As an added bonus, students have taken renewed interest in their science classes, earning higher marks on tests as they connect their passion for art to the information about the natural world.
Over the course of several months in the fall of 2021, students practiced their techniques, spoke with CCMI staff, researched coral reefs, incorporated feedback from the client, and worked toward a final Healthy Reefs poster that was submitted as part of their portfolio for the course.
Visit this virtual art gallery of the posters designed by the 2021-22 students of Ms. McDougall’s class. We hope you enjoy seeing their talent and skills at work in support of healthy coral reefs!
Since 1999, CCMI has conducted annual monitoring of coral reefs in Little Cayman to build a database of information about the state of coral reefs and the changes seen over time. Our 2021 surveys reveal that Little Cayman’s coral reefs show positive traits of resiliency, with continued high coral and fish abundances. However, shifts in species contributions and colony size indicate that while coral cover remains high, Little Cayman is not immune to human impacts and global climate change.
Share your Stand up for Reefs pledge, connect people to the global ocean and the fact that we can all help make a difference in their future. There is one world ocean; we are all responsible for it.
Share your love of the ocean and coral reefs, get involved with local organisations that support marine protection, take part in beach clean ups, support local animal sanctuaries and make sure your local politician knows how important the ocean is to you. Your strength as a voter is your superpower. Small actions you take today can benefit coral reef ecosystems and ocean health all around the world.
Commercial fishing is one of the biggest pressures on the ocean and coral reef ecosystems. As a consumer, you have the power to make change. Buy sustainably, reduce your reliance upon key fish stocks like tuna and where you can, and support local sustainable fisheries. If you are travelling, check out fish that should be avoided; each nation has different stresses on their local fish populations.
Everyone can make a difference with climate change, but it still feels like a huge and overwhelming issue. You can make simple, impactful changes by: using green energy, reducing reliance on oil-based products, buying less stuff, supporting local, eating more fruit and veg and less animal protein, using less energy by investing in eco-friendly products in your home and for your transport choices, and if you have to fly, offsetting your carbon use.
Plastics remain a huge issue for the oceans, and over 80% of marine pollution comes from land. Reduce your reliance on plastic, recycle responsibly at every opportunity, consider using environmentally friendly cleaning and home products. Remember that all waterways are connected to the ocean; pollution from land often enters the ocean via run-off and coastal ecosystems are heavily impacted by human pollution.
We need a biodiverse ocean, with many species, to maintain the balance of the marine biosphere. It is easier than you think to help protect biodiversity by respecting protected areas, especially marine parks. Support no take and no fishing zones. Choose ocean and reef friendly products, such as pet food (which are heavily reliant upon fish). Choose sustainable travel companies and tour operators; many regions have standards that can help you identify sustainable options.
Coastal ecosystems are under pressure from the sheer volume of humans they are supporting. Support innovation and green energy, challenge development where a comprehensive environmental impact assessment has not been done. Challenge local councils and local government when you think your local ecosystem (marine or terrestrial, they are all linked) is being degraded.
Learn more about how you can stand up for a healthier ocean environment today – and every day – through these organisations: