Greenlight for ocean lesson

| 30/09/2008

(CNS): Aimed at increasing the awareness of the human connection to the ocean the Central Caribbean Marine Institute’s (CCMI) Ocean Literacy initiative received a welcome financial boost recently. Locally based Greenlight Reinsurance, Ltd. (Greenlight Re) confirmed its continued partnership supporting the education programmes.

These various programmes at the CCMI teach fundamental scientific principles through field-based activities and build critical thinking and problem solving skills.  CCMI’s Caribbean Sea Camp recently finished the ninth season and the Eco-Weekends will have a full programme launch for 2008/09, thanks to the help of the Rotary Club of Grand Cayman. The Greenlight Re commitment is allocated primarily towards “Ocean Literacy”, which carries the pledge to make every child in the Cayman Islands ocean literate by the time they are 12 years old.  

CCMI CEO Jim O’Neill explained that Greenlight Re was CCMI’s first corporate sponsor for education programmes and the firm’s contribution has allowed the institute to pilot programmes such as Eco Weekend and develop the Ocean Literacy concept. “Because of Greenlight Re, CCMI has been able to have a wide-ranging impact locally with youth and their literacy about the marine environment,” he added.

The ocean covers over 70 percent of the earth’s surface, moderates climate, and gives life to the earth and is critically threatened.  The Ocean Literacy programme has a detailed and ambitious three-year plan, which will impact all residents in the Cayman Islands. Its aim is to provide literature, training and support to teachers in both the public and private schools in the Cayman Islands and to implement a public awareness campaign for Ocean Literacy designed to make all members of the community more aware of the impact that they have on the ocean and the impact that the ocean has on them.

“We are proud to extend our partnership with CCMI to educate the youth of our community”, said Greenlight Re CFO Tim Courtis.  “The Ocean Literacy programme targets youth, as well as the entire public on the importance of the marine environment.  We believe this will have a great impact on Cayman’s community for years and even decades to come.”

The CCMI Education committee has developed and published an Ocean Literacy teacher’s guide, entitled Our Ocean Planet, which has been endorsed by the Education Ministry and has been incorporated into the science curriculum.  CCMI will be providing extensive teacher training and support to communicate the new information.  Step two will roll out in 2009 and will include local media and wide distribution of the essential principles.

The Central Caribbean Marine Institute was incorporated in 1998 as a non-profit 501c3 organization.  CCMI was established as an international charitable organization after becoming incorporated in the Cayman Islands (2002) and in the UK in 2004. Since its first years, CCMI has proven a valuable asset to the effort to understanding changing coral reef and tropical marine environments, and its research and education programs have established a solid foundation for future reef education and awareness in the Caribbean and for students and researchers from around the world. To participate in CCMI’s education programmes, please email


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