Petition exceeds population

| 11/07/2011

(CNS): The on-line petition against the proposal to develop a commercial port in East End has surpassed the population of the Cayman Islands. As a result of support from people all over the world, at 7am on Monday morning close to 57,000 people had signed the web based petition, exceeding the country’s population of 54,397 as counted inthe 2010 census. The campaign to stop the proposed cargo port project has been gathering momentum since the developer met with the people of East End in June and, despite their opposition, said he still intended to submit his proposal to government.

Since then, a video was made illustrating the disastrous environmental impact and posted on YouTube, the Environmental Advisory Board issued a comprehensive and damning review of the Environmental Impact Assessment and a peaceful local demonstration at the proposed site attracted around 500 people. A local petition has also collected more than a thousand signatures of voters on the electoral register and billboards have been placed in the location.

Government has not yet said whether it has approved the plans submitted by Joe Imparato’s team last month but it did confirm receipt of the proposal and the environmental impact assessment. The premier has made it clear on numerous occasions that he is in support of the proposal, which was singled out in the Throne Speech as one of the development projects McKeeva Bush said he would like to see start during this financial year.

Aside from the very obvious environmental concerns, the local politicians whose constituencies are the most affected by the proposed development have also pointed out that the plans in the first instance are merely for excavation of the site and that the project is nothing more than a mega quarry disguised as a future commercial sea port, the bulk of which would be developed by other as yet unnamed partners. The cargo basin which would be given to government would also have to be completed either with public cash or with another private sector partner.

The “Mega Quarry” or the “Big Hole”, as it has been dubbed by those opposed to the project, seems to have garnered little support despite major publicity campaigns by the developer about potential employment and work for local equipment operators.

The opposition to the development, spearheaded by local MLAs Arden McLean and the independent member for North Side Ezzard Miller, has seen local residents, dive operators, along with other tourism representatives, environmentalist and even quarry operators rub shoulders in the campaign to stop the project. The concerns range from the marine and terrestrial destruction, the negative impacts on the East End community and its way of life, as well as on the tourism product. There are concerns too of the threat to all of the eastern districts during a hurricane. 

Above all, one of the greatest fears is that the East End water lens, the country’s primary source of fresh water, could be threatened by a development which is not considered to be necessary.

However, the decision still lies with Cabinet, and with Bush off island until the 18 July, the campaigners are still not yet sure if they have done enough to persuade the government not to approve the developer’s plans.

See the online petition here

Public protest at East End

Video footage of the reefs that will be lost or damaged by the development

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Category: Science and Nature

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  1. Anonymous says:

    The jury is in and the verdict is we do not want it, need it or desire it. Enough is enough!

    • Anonymous says:

      In terms of effect, the petition is as irrelevent as the comment ssection on here. No-one is listening to you Cayman islands 'residents'. You'd better up your game if you actually want to change anything. Look at Bush, he's like the embarrassing old uncle farting in the corner, doing what he wants, with no-one telling him different…

  2. Caymanians for logic says:

    Always find irrelevant polls such as this one funny….must be a slow news day for it to hit 'headlines'. Should be in cartoon section.


    The only poll that counts is our General Election. If we folks are hungry enough and homeless enough by then through lack of development, the government will change.


    And do you know what the new government WILL have to do? Create more development to give us jobs and houses. Simple.


    The only difference will be different faces in the LA.



  3. Anonymous says:

    More people signed the petition than are from Cayman?

    Well… Did you go to the UDP rally on seven mile beach a few weeks back?

    Because the ratio there was 10 Jamaicans to 1 Caymanian.

    And as Sinefield would say "Not that there is anything wrong with that".

  4. nauticalone says:

    Good job all involved!

    I am however dissapointed that more "voters" have not "bothered" themselves to sign against this project though.

    I seems somewhat indicative of the "apathy" that so many have….how so many will allow the "sell out" of our (and our chidrens) future by finding excuses to not bother themselves to get involved.

    All it takes is a few minutes to find and sign the petition.

    Again, thanks to all who have stepped up!

  5. mmcLaughlin says:

    57,000 sounds nice, but the number that really counts is the 3800 register voters or 25% of electrate that is needed to make the Governor and Cabinet take notice. The government knows very well without these 3800 signatures – they can continue to do what they have been doing.  

    McCarron Mclaughlin

    • Anonymous says:

      I don't think the UDP would in their right minds, go ahead with this project, knowing that the negatives outweighs the positives. To say that they would go ahead with the East End Sea Port, is to misrepresent them completely.

      • Anonymous says:

        I agree with your first sentence, but not your second.

        • Anonymous says:

          For those giving thumbs down you need to focus on the words "in their right minds" in the first sentence.  

  6. Anonymous says:

    Portraying the entire group as anti-development, is a false representation. You can certain people you met or corresponded with are anti-development, but not everyone is that way.

  7. Anonymous says:

    This petition is signed by thousands of people who are pure conservationists and 100% anti-development. To them it does not matter what the cause – they just sign. Cayman can't afford to be in this anti-development boat.

    • Anonymous says:

      Maybe some of them are tourists and don't want to see this kind of destructive development in a destination? Development, not conservation, has brought us to where we are on the island. If you are not happy with where you are, don't blame conservationists.

    • Anonymous says:

      This petition is signed by thousands of people with actual brains in their heads who would love to see the destruction of our world in the name of the almighty dollar cease forever.

    • No says:

      It is signed by potential visitors and divers and previous visitors who do nto want us to destroy one of the most beautiful places in the world! Go dig a hole in West Bay if you are so intent on destroying natural beauty and eco systems.

      I hope you figure out a way to properly season, cook and eat  the money we are selling Cayman out for!


    • Anonymous says:

      You got that right 09:36

      If we are going with a  world wide petition as it is claimed, then we have to weigh the factor against the 5 billion people out there in the world..still not a drop in the bucket.

    • Anonymous says:

      The petition is also signed by people who have lived in the Cayman Islands and care very much about the protection of the Cayman Islands' environment!

    • Bai says:

      I really don't like it when people throw around words they do not understand.

      There is a difference between 'developed' and 'overdeveloped'. When the majority of our usable natural resources have been destroyed, that is where we will be. Now you tell me how much land is left that may be made arable if it is not already? How much of our green space is not marsh and pond? How many of our beaches can we still call pristine?

      You also tell me how come when time and time again Caymanians have called for development, for jobs, for more opportunities have Caymanians a- been given those jobs and b- have approached those jobs. To build will generate new CONSTRUCTION jobs- how many Caymanians would be willing to work for the wages that these companies would be able to find other non-Caymanian workers for, as they have done repeatedly before? Not only construction, but the type of jobs that will be generated, as have consistently been generated when pursuing this route, are jobs that Caymanians foolishly frowned upon, ignored, and believed themselves above it. Now that this has been established, and steps have been taken to allow companies to pursue work that will benefit them while employing cheap and productive labour is one Caymanians must live with now. You believe the investors care about the complaints of a people that sold themselves long ago? You believe that when an investor funnels money into a project that they're planning on providing well paid working opportunities for the masses? What, when any business minded individual will think, hm I can employ the foreigners that will bend over backwards to get even a bit, regardless of the work, the stress, the amount of TIME that I want put into this project- the foreigners that Caymanians for years have mocked and sneered at for what they are willing to do to get by. Save? Please. Guess what, now when the going gets tough, they have jobs, they're getting by if even a little while you all are scrambling for any little piece of opportunity. Ready to sell yourselves again when, now, the reward will not be so nice.

      This is the game you have entered, and it's a game you're going to have to find the very hard, long, and not usually taken way out to even have a chance at winning. I fear for this country, however, as my wise teacher kept saying: the wheels of karma grind slowly, but surely.

  8. Simple Life says:

    Well done Cayman!!! There is nothing wrong with growth and development, but in this situation, this has no long term benefit for the Cayman Islands.

    1 – XXXX

    2 – Where is the government going to get the extra cash to support this project?

    3 – Is thisgoing to be another "bright idea" project that they will admit 2 years down the line that they cannot afford to keep it after pouring millions dollars down the drain? i.e. Boatswain Beach

    4 – Insanity – doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result!

    • Anonymous says:

      – Personal Attack on the Premier –


      CNS: I disagree with your assessment. There was nothing to indicate that the deleted part of the comment was about anything but the Cayman Islands' finances. I have deleted it nevertheless.

  9. Anonymous says:

    yet again we get to hear the unfounded, uneducated opinion of Arden & Ezzard…………..any actual news to report?

    • Anonymous says:

      The news was how many signatories to the petition.

      I'll bet that Ezzard and Arden are much more educated on this issue than you are.  Their views re the environment are well supported by DOE.    

  10. da man 345 says:

    If I remember correctly it stated the preliminary Census count.

    In saying this I dont think the heading is suitable.