Port EIA radically reduced

| 11/11/2009

(CNS): Although government says it is committed to undertaking an environmental impact assessment (EIA) for the proposed development of the cruise berthing facilities, the terms of reference have been dramatically curtailed. More than eleven major areas that would have been assessed under the previous project will not form part of the latest study. Crucial environmental issues such as the impact on fish and marine life (including turtles), water quality, as well as the underwater archaeological impact and future flooding problems for George Town are just a few of the issues that will not be considered.

The terms of reference for the EIA on the previous port project were developed based on conceptual plans and following considerable input from various stakeholder groups, including government agencies and the general public. The Department of the Environment (DoE) confirmed that it has not been involved in comprising the revised terms of reference (ToR), which appear to be a sub-set of the original.

When asked by CNS about the department’s involvement in the new project in George Town Harbour, DoE Director Gina Ebanks-Petrie said that she had not seen the plans for this current development and had only recently been given the new ToR document. She said the DoE had to assume that the newly proposed berthing facility is similar to that proposed in the previous project and noted considerable changes in the new ToR.

“The title of the revised terms of reference document refers to environmental and coastal engineering studies and not to a comprehensive EIA,” Ebanks-Petrie said, confirming fears by local activists that this new EIA will be extremely limited in its scope and leaving many question marks on the overall environmental impact of the new project.

In comparison to the EIA the DoE had put together based on wide consultation, many important elements have now been omitted.  Notably, there is no longer going to be any analysis of project alternatives or definitions of need for the project. During the previous consultation project there was considerable concern among a diverse range of stakeholders about the project’s impact on the natural, human, built and business environment of the island, but most now will not be considered.

The effects of grey water discharge, noise, solid waste, oil spills and the probable effects on maritime stakeholders, including shipping companies, tour operators and tendering operations, will not be examined, nor is there a requirement for a definition of need for island-based resources such as water, electricity, fuel and waste disposal facilities.

Ebanks-Petrie confirmed that an analysis of predicted traffic as a result of the project and recommendations for roadway improvements or traffic management strategies has not been included. She also said the impact of the development on storm water and the development of design or operational alternatives to minimize flooding and water quality impacts are not mentioned.

Human and natural environment assessments on the impact of construction and dredging activities on port and cruise operations, including tendering, watersports businesses, marine habitats and fisheries, due to dredging and blasting are not included in the latest ToR either.

Water and sediment quality will not be examined, so turbidity and sedimentation impacts during project construction and operation and other possible damage to water quality will not be measured. The previous ToR included biological assessment of fish and other marine organisms during construction and operation, an air quality assessment during dredging and pier construction, a noise level impact assessment and a socio-economic analysis, which would have included key sectors of the economy affected by the project and the consequences, none of which are now planned to be included. Nor will the overall impact on George Town itself or the harbour’s wrecks and other archaeological sites be examined.

“It appears that the coastal engineering studies have been scaled back to look primarily at the impact of constructing the project on sediment transport and potential effects on Seven Mile Beach,” Ebanks-Petrie stated.  

The previous ToR established the need of a local numerical model to handle wave diffraction and reflection associated with structures and wave energy focusing due to navigation channels, but Ebanks-Petrie confirmed that there is no reference to the development of this more detailed model in the revised ToR.

“The original ToR also proposed a physical modeling of wave energy impacts as state-of-the-art numerical models have limited accuracy in dealing with the complexity of wave transformation conditions at this site during extreme wave conditions,” she added. “All references to mitigation measures and aspects relating to hazard vulnerability, natural hazard impact assessment and climate change impacts also appear to have been omitted.”

Although Cline Glidden told CNS last week that the previous terms of reference had never been completed, Ebanks-Petrie confirmed that the Environmental Advisory Board had approved the ToR document in late May and it was were delivered to the Port Authority by CH2M Hill on 29 May.

Last week Glidden told CNS that the government was committed to protecting Seven Mile Beach but that there was no question that Cayman needed cruise berthing facilities. He did not say exactly what government was prepared to sacrifice in environmental terms but confirmed that no government that wished to be elected again would risk Seven Mile Beach.

The National Conservation Bill, which if it had been passed would have provided legal protection of the environment and forced a more comprehensive assessment before this projects gets underway, remains in draft form.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Could the DOE please tell me what they are currently doing to address the sewage/effluent seeping in to Hog Sty Bay? This is a know fact to many Caymanians! Talk about an environmental disaster!!! This is one Mrs. Petrie needs to solve, instead of misleading people into believing the proposed EIA is less than what is needed with this project. By the way, if you really want to establish the seeping sewer problem, simply put a dye in every septic tank or sespit in OPY GT. The trick is hower one at a time and dont forget to flush!

  2. Mr. Productivity says:

    Let me save most of you the time and effort of actually posting by giving you two options. From here on out, please simply choose option A or option B.

    Please note that these options are available not only for this story but also for all others;

    A: I blindly support this porject simply because it is being done by the UDP party and their backers (but would have rejected it had they not been the ones carrying it out).

    B: I blindly reject this project because it is not being done by the PPM party and their backers (but would have supported it had they been the ones carrying it out).

    Simple, now imagine how productive your work day will be today.

    • Lachlan MacTavish says:

      Good to see Peter Milburn here. Someone who understands the sea through decades of hands on experience. Peter….I commend you for signing your name, unfortunately there are still Caymanians out there who don’t understand you are just as "Caymanian" as they are. 

      Press on my friend

      • Peter Milburn says:

        Hey Lachlan,

                   Thanks for your comments.Hope to see you down for a visit sometime next year.Keep writing as you have had much experience here in the industry and we need to stay involved.

    • kd says:

       This is exactly the reason why the elders of my family (whose families had been here for generations) were upset when party politics replaced the previous non-partisan format in our islands. 

      I remember after Ivan hit, one of the parties (I won’t name which because that isn’t the point) was attempting to only give bottled water to only those whom voted for them in the last election.  A family member of mine was refused water because of this. What a lovely sense of community, eh?

  3. dave miller says:

    15:40 I’m with you!! It seems most of the people writing don’t know much about Georgetown harbour . Have you people been here long? I’m a retired diving instructor , The reef has definitely changed in my 40 years. The colors are gone from the shallow reefs . Many portions of the reef like eden rock, Soto’s reef central have huge hits from cruise ships. Mostly due to no docking facilities. If we didn’t want this damage we should have built a berthing facilities 40 yrs. ago. 

              What has to be so funny is history repeating itself. When a past minister Mr. Berkley Bush was trying to build the cargo dock . Hell we had a actual protest march i believe there was about 1800 people . They thought they were right. They said all the same excuses we are hearing today. The reef is going to die the sand,was going to disappear basically that paradise would be lost!!! Can u imagine ? Gloom and doom!! I thought maybe they were right because there was so many people that was upset. They were also saying the island was going to go broke . How could Mr. Berkley do this?

        Well thank god he did!! Why? Because it still brings in the most money to Gov’t today. If there were no dock there wouldn’t be any hotels and condos or rest. or grocery stores or cars, trucks etc etc. I remember looking at some older pictures of how hard it was to just get cement off ships . It was taken off by hand smaller much smaller ships 1000 bags can u imagine any development happening to build  a condo project? They need 10 times that much what opportunities would be offered if we still had that mindset? What banking or acct. or stores? We need to build them right? So when we look at the past and look at the present which one benefits you ? your kids ? your grand kids?

              Today we have to think the way Mr. Berkley thought… the Future! What will our kids or grandkids need to live? to achieve the things to maintain their middle class status ?  Tourism!  Cruise ships have proven more reliable then stayover hotels and condos. Miami florida has cruise ships and hotels and condos and so do all the other caribbean islands. Hotels and condos are down! All over the world . But cruise lines continue to produce business here. Whether stores or boat trips or car rentals or taxis and busses , turtle farm or dolphin shows etc. Don’t listen to people who don’t have our interest  at heart. It became quite obvious to me that there is a hidden agenda going on . If we look at the harbour  we know that there has been a massive amount of damage from anchors over 40 years and the damage is stretched out from 60 feet to over the drop off. Why haven’t the so called experts showed concern through EIA for the last 40 years??

    • Anonymous says:

      Neither do you … it is George Town. Georgetown is in Guyana!!

    • MacMan says:

      You are so right. Prople are trying to stop The Hon. Premier Mr. Bush from the country making money and getting out of this mess. If he can do it he will make us all some money he has proved that in the past. He is a sucessful business man so he has to know how to make money. Let him be to make us rich, thats what I say.

      • Anonymous says:

        Excuse me MacMan, "He is a sucessful business man"? What world you living in Star? Not Cayman! Please tell me ONE business of his that was successful before he used Political powers to swing deals his way, NOT ONE!

      • Hmmm says:

        Many coups take place when the leader is out of the country.

        I didn’t say that!!!


  4. Anonymous says:

    we have gone from 1.9million cruise people to 1.5 and counting. all of us in tours and taxis  and downtown stores and restaurants are DYING a painful death.  All this began before the so-called economic crisis also, when in we had that first 30% or so drop in one year.  Less people coming on ships is disaster for local businesses even when the economy is ok, but to have a bad times and less and less people coming on ships is a perfect storm.  

    We have  people still coming on the ships but they are tighter with their money for tours and shopping, but at least they are still coming!!! People who have no money are not taking cruises, someone loosing their house in the USA is not taking a cruise. the point is that travelers of all kinds have some moneny to spend and we all can get some of it when they are here if we do a good job. if they never come, we dont get anything. dont people understand this???

    we have all invested in our businesses and so also  in this country to serve this part of our tourist business, but we have been left behind in the wake of the cruise ships that have been passing our country because we didnt  keep up with the times and have a proper port.  it is stupid and childish to think that the ships will always come here, it is stupid to think we should just tell them they have to come every day of the week so we dont get too many people on one day. who do you people think you are?  this is business for them. we are not entitled to the ships coming here, we have to be a place they want to go.  if they say they want a pier or they wont come, they we have two choices. no pier means less and less ships, anyone who thinks different is a fool. 

    we need a pier, so how do we get one?  we are beyond broke.  if you want something and dont have any money, what do you do? you borrow money which we cant, you steal which we probably cant, you go without which would begin the slow painful death of all our hard-earned businesses or……you get someone to buy if for you. so if the darts can do that for us we should all rejoice that there is a good honest way out for this problem.  all of us that have to work with the cruise people know what a mess the Royal watler is from hearing from them about no shades or rain shelter, it is ugly, the taxis have no where to go, it is dirty, the lines are very long and that is what the goverment built. we would be lucky to have something nice like camana bay on the dock for the people to see first and last when they visit here

    nothing is free and we should know that, but if  darts have to get paid back and that is from the moeny the ships would pay to use the dock then that should be no problem.  anyone who says how much money the goverment is loosing from that is not understanding that this moeny wont come if there isnt a dock and if they could pay for the dock they could have that moeny but since they cant they have to have someone else pay for it and those people have to get paid back somehow.   same thing, no ships no people, no business in Cayman for all of us and no cruise line money tp pay for anything. more ships, more people, more business for all of us and more cruise line money to pay.   how do we get more ships and stop the loosing of more and more money? you get a dock for cayman and the ships stop leaving, more will start coming, more people will come into the island from each ships, more ships will come back to cayman and they will all pay the fees that will pay back the darts for building the dock we must have and we cant afford to build ourselves.  


  5. Anonymous says:

    Let’s get real here folks!  There is a happy medium but no one seems to be for a common sense compromise.  With their mindlessly bureaucratic outlook, the DOE seems hell-bent on making things as difficult, complex, time-consuming and expensive aspossible for developers. (Not at all a good thing!) Mac, on the other hand seems all for giving developers a blank cheque.  I personally am bending more on Mac’s orientation than Gina’s. I mean at least he is for less red-tape regarding projects he likes…but I digress. (Go Mac! Less red-tape is a GOOD thing!)

    I kinda like it that Gina and the DOE crew might get their wings clipped a bit. About freekkin’ time! Things were getting totally silly…

    I mean, c’mon…

    "air quality assessment during dredging"??: My "study" concludes that we gonna be sniffin’ the aroma of diesel exhaust fumes from the excavation equipment when the wind is blowin’ onshore. DUH! But it ain’t gonna kill anybody. Ok Gina? Nuff said! Considering the prevailing winds are mostly from the southeast and east, human life will be ok and the birds have wings to avoid the area. In case you aren’t aware, Gina, fish do not breath air.

    "a noise level impact assessment"??: My "study" concludes that it’s gonna be noisy during construction but after the new cruise port is finished things could end up being a lot quieter than tenders chugging in and out like they do now. Besides, you will not notice any noise above the chattering of the throngs of tourists eager to spend money on shiny trinkets. (Or is that chattering the noise Gina is concerned about?)

    "The original ToR also proposed a physical modeling of wave energy impacts as state-of-the-art numerical models have limited accuracy in dealing with the complexity of wave transformation conditions at this site during extreme wave conditions” Hmmm… Puleeeze! We bees ok with relyin’ on "state-of-the-art numerical models" telling us whey de nex hurricane be headed and we shut down de flights and suspen’ our tourist industry as a result of what a computer model at the NHC tells us. OMG! No, I can even go on this subject because this is so blasted stupid.

    It sounds like Big Mac is making sure that SMB is gonna be ok. Thats is about good enough for me even if Gina has an issue with it. Actually I would like to see a road study done but only because Grand Cayman has the absolute, with-out-a-doubt lousiest long-term road planning in the world. But let’s leave that to PWD and not Gina’s department, ok? (Left up to DOE we would have to do a "displaced ant impact study" to get an alley built.)

    If downtown G.T. is subject to more flooding in the future because of the new port, well…my study says that only businesses that derive benefit from the new port will be impacted as most other businesses will have longtime flown to Caymana Bay (the future "downtown" of GCM). So dey muss tek dey chances. (Hear dat Elmslie? Might be time to consider selling to Capt. Eldon so he can stock the building with Rolexes, crystal, and purfumes. It might be time to move to nice new digs in Dart’s CayBay.)

    I sey if de new cruise port nah gonna coss de gumment enny ting, den dis is good an’ let dem be! My Momma always toll me, "Nutin’ freeah den a giff!" 

    In closing…if The National Conservation Bill can possibly make development in dees yah islands any more complicated than tings bees now, for godsake let’s make damn sure that it remains in draft form until it finds its way into the waste basket for once and for all!  Please, please!

    (Speaking of saving money and budget cutting, isn’t the DOE’s budget a bit extravagant? If any department is overpaid and underworked it is one that would suggest an "air quality assessment during dredging"! Too much time on their hands. (Snip snip…money saved!)

    • anon says:

      To summarise a depressingly long and brainless comment: The science is too hard for you to understand so it must all be a waste of time. You don’t understand what scientists do so they must be doing nothing or what they are doing is "silly". You’re an idiot so naturally you know everything.

      I’m betting you’re a fundamentalist Christian.

      • Mozzie Fodder says:

        I just don’t think the poster has read either the Terms of Reference or the Conservation Bill so doesn’t understand the material. Probably didn’t read the new Constitution either.

        His / her post seems to be all garnish and no meat…..

      • Anonymous says:

         Constructive criticism at last. Oh wait, no, just more hate mongering & emotional outbursts.

    • Cuban says:

      Just hope you are not caimanian, but if you are, shame on you who want to sell your priviliged nature for a couple of dollars. Think, is not that hard, my nephew does it,and he is only 6.

    • Gina Ebanks-Petrie says:

      Perhaps you should re-read the article. The DoE did not develop the original Terms of Reference in isolation. Together with the consultants engaged by the Port Authority, we facilitated a public consultation process to identify issues of concern across the community. For absolute clarity, the original Terms of Reference were developed as a result of public input, as well as input from other government agencies and various stakeholder groups. An Environmental Advisory Board (EAB) – chaired by the DoE but comprised of the Director of Planning, the Managing Director of the National Roads Authority and a representative from the Maritime Authority -was set up to manage the EIA process and they signed off on the final draft which was presented to the Port Authority.

      The DoE did not introduce the air quality concern or many of the other issues – those emerged as a result of consultation with the public and stakeholder groups and were judged to be legitimate issues of concern by the EAB and the consultants. The DoE did, however, introduce the climate change consideration – not because we think the pier will change or influence the climate (as suggested in another post) but because we thought it prudent to factor in the predicted impacts of climate change (stronger storms and hurricanes, sea level rise etc) on such a signifcant national investment as the port facility. It must also be pointed out that all of the issues contained in the original Terms of Reference would normally be considered in an EIA on major infrastruture projects in most other countries, including those not so very far away from Cayman.

  6. Common Sense 101 says:

    Cruise berthing facilities were being discussed for decades and now we are being asked to accept that these facilities have to be rushed through with a watered down EIA so that work can proceed?

    Why was a comprehensive EIA not done when we had time and didn’t havea gun held to our head by the Cruise industry?

    The last four administrations are SEVERALLY AND JOINTLY responsible for the situation that we are in today.

    It seems like we either have a government that procrastinates and are scared to tackle the tough issues or we have a government that tackles tough issues recklessly.  There is no in-between level head approach.

    Anyone out their thinking about the issue of our soon to be filled cemeteries?  A quick look at the West Bay and George Town cemeteries tells me that they probably have less than a year’s capacity to go before they are full.

    Instead of tackling this issue now, government will wait until the last vault if occupied and then take action.  Perhaps it will be vault sharing because the situation will be so desperate. I know this is straying from the topic but my point is – MANAGEMENT BY CRISIS RATHER THAN NO LONG TERM PLANNING.


  7. Anonymous says:

    If the DOE was concerned about the loss of sand to seven mile beach they should have protected the Parrot Fish and Gilla Boa. I did not need a EIA to tell me that.



    • Anonymouse says:

      How would you suggest they protect them? Marine Parks along Seven Mile Beach?

  8. Peter Milburn says:

    I wonder if the folks in West Bay,who rely on the North Sound for a living will just sit back and allow channels to be dug all over.Do you know what a channel(s) could do to the currents,waves and sand in certain areas?One does not have to be a rocket scientist or have fancy degrees to know that any drastic change(s)could have irreversable consequences to such a delicate area.The deeper the water the bigger the seas.Currents will shift the sand and do you think that constant work keeping these channels free of fill-in will not cost us more and more with each passing day?.A  major storm like Ivan(God forbid)will cut the island in two as seas build up through those newly cut channels.If those channels were supposed to be there they would have been provided by good old Mother Nature,Check out the damages around these fair islands due to new cuts in surrounding reefs.Again I remind everyone if you mess with nature it will in time bite you in the BUTT.Mark my words if a channel is dug up near fishermans rock that will more than likely signal the end of the sand bar.It will take time my friends but happen it could.Can we afford to take that chance??

          Next time you all fly out of here sit on the left side of the plane and look at what destruction so many developers have done and tell me it does not look like a patch work quilt.Lack of vegetation all over the west bay penninsula which in turn causes more run off into the north sound.and with it more and more damge to our fragile environment.(I am not against development far from it)but hey for once can we not get a sensible plan back off the shelf and put it to good use?Read the vision 2008 and see what the PEOPLE of these islands wanted to see for the future.Give me a break and lets all wake up before its too late.I know what I want my g/kids to remember me for.Do yours not deserve the same and more?Remember once to have done the damage one does not repair it by filling it back in with concrete.

             Speak up Caymanians and let them know that enough is enough when it comes to our delicate environment.

    • Anonymous says:

      Thank you Peter. The problem with Caymanians is just as Gilbert McLean suggested on the radio this week,  proud of being docile. That I am afraid is the sad reality but as Mr. McLean also pointed out, we need to look at history and understand what happened to the Arawaks who were also a docile people … remember … they were eaten, literally, by the Caribs.

      Sadly though my dear friend Peter it is likely that most Caymanians will continued to stupidly sit back with their tongues in their mouths saying nothing, until the modern day Caribs finish eating them up. At the end of the feast the few that will be left might suddenly see that in fact some of their own turned Carib and helped to eat the kind!  But, who knows, perhaps the call from people like yourself will suddenly awaken the so docile and peaceful modern day Arawaks from their slumber … we can always hope!

  9. Anonymous says:

    Could somone please tell me what the DOE roll is? What does an impact study of humans have to do with the DOE? The best one yet is the portion of the EIA study that was ommitted for obvious reasons that covers flooding. This is the best one I have heard in a long time ! I dont need a fancy degree to tell me that if the dock is under water or any portion of harbour drive, thats probably not due to flooding by rain but rather a CAT5 hurricane. DOE just do your job, tell us about the possible effect this project may have on 7mile beach and the dive sites.


  10. Mozzie Fodder says:

    So where is the statement from the Minister of the Environment? You know, thingy from Bodden Town………sorry you’ll have to remind me of his name again…..

  11. Anonymous says:

    EIA will be reviewed by the DOE and I’m assuming will be approved if they see fit. So why the fuss? All I want to know is that we will be protecting seven mile beach and the dive sites in the area. Unfortunately decades ago past governments had the opportunity to put morings in place that would have protected the coral and marine life off of GT harbour however they nor the DOE did anything about it. Lets just make sure seven mile beach and the dive sites to the north are protected. As far as a "natural hazard impact assessment", why do we need a fancy expensive report to tell us that what ever is going to be built will have to face up to Northwester’s and possible hurricanes. Thats a discussion better left for the Developer and Loyds of London.

  12. Roy Tatum says:

     Paradise paved

    Per Wikipedia:   An environmental impact assessment (EIA) is an assessment of the possible impact—positive or negative—that a proposed project may have on the environment, together consisting of the natural, social and economic aspects.

    The purpose of the assessment is to ensure that decision makers consider the ensuing environmental impacts to decide whether to proceed with the project. The International Association for Impact Assessment (IAIA) defines an environmental impact assessment as "the process of identifying, predicting, evaluating and mitigating the biophysical, social, and other relevant effects of development proposals prior to major decisions being taken and commitments made.

    Note the mitigating aspect of the study.  I often hear folks mention that the EIA should ideally inform the build method – this seems to be part of what is being missed here.   I also believe that we need berthing but we need to do it right – not take shortcuts. 

    Regrettably given where Mac seems bent on taking us – the words to Big Yellow Taxi, a song Joni Mitchell wrote 40 years ago, comes to mind:


  13. Anonymous says:

    The Dictator’s way

    Caymanians, you voted for the Dictator, you now have to deal and live with the distruction that the Dictator will be solely responsible for over the next four years. We have gone from the most tranparent Govt in our history to now the most non-tranparent and secretive Govt of our history.

    Secrecy and non tranparency means there is something to hide.

    Welcome to the corruption of the new and future banana republic that you voted for.

    • Anonymous says:

      Please, I would like to ask that if there will be no destruction of anything that has to do with our Tourism product, (1 of Caymans 3 major Industries) why not do the EIA and show the Cayman people you truly care for Cayman and are making sure that all is above board and there will be no destruction. BUT all is not above board and there WILL be destruction and the EIA will show this and all the under table deals will be lost and some people will not have their pockets lined "SO THERE WILL BE NOTHING TO STOP US!" Isn’t that what was said on "his" Big Day?

  14. Anonymous says:

    Well former Minister Clifford said he would not undertake such a major infrastructural project without first having the benefit of a detailed EIA.

    He held public meetings, explained the concept, displayed drawings of the berthing and allowed the public to have input into the Terms of Reference for the EIA. And he completed the Terms of Reference for the project’s EIA. What did he get at his public meetings…..personal attacks and major opposition from the environmentalists and a from bunch of retired Caymanian Captains who all had different opinions on where and how the berthing should be built.

    Some Captains wanted it in the GT Harbour where Minister Clifford had decided to put it and others wanted to dredge out South Sound….while others said the North Sound was the natural choice. Yet we hear that the government should listen to our seamen. That would be fine if only the seamen themselves could agree.

    So who can blame Mac for doing it undercover and without transparency….there seems to be no other way……where are all the environmentalists now I ask ?????????

  15. GR says:

    I know people at DoE and trust me, they are trying their hardest to look after the environment.  The problem is that the elected officials do not support them and there is very little legislation to give the Department teeth.  I take my hatoff to them that they are able to remain so passionate even though they are ignored time and time again. 

  16. Animosity says:

    OMG! I cant take anymore. I am gonna jump.

  17. Peter Milburn says:

    Here we go again.Who is telling this man what to do?I dive quite frequently on the reefs in GT harbour and they arenot,I repeat DEAD.Sure they are not as pristine as they once were but who do we blame for that.You guessed it THE CRUISE SHIPS.They have been destroying piece by piece the very thing that their guests travel by ship to see.Some of these folks dont know what a reef is much less what condition it should be in.

          Now when and if the docks are put in place and more reefs are dug up to make way for same where do we put the cruisers who come here to see the very same thing that we are digging up?Cutting off your nose to spite your face is not the answer.Will we only allow 4 ships in GT at any one time?NO No,NO NO Greed will continue to dominate our Government and they will then allow more ships to destroy even more reefs further along 7 mile beach.I wonder how many condo owners would really enjoy having a ship parked in their front yard.

            Why dont we just go ahead and cut completely through the west bay pennisular joined in with the Ritz’s new canal complex and create a seperate Island for the rich and famous.Guess who heads that list?

    • Anonymous says:

      Well said Peter, we are right behind you, & this is one issue where we must stand united & not allow to go forth, unless a full & complete environmental impact study is done!

    • Anonymous says:

      If there is a Caymanian that will know the bad effects this Port Development will have on the Reefs of Cayman, it is Peter Milburn, so when I hear Peter not agreeing with what is happening I ask the Cayman people to UNITE together to stop any development until a Full EIA is done and only if it proves their will be no destruction to our reefs or Tourism. This for the future of our children and Cayman so people dont be fooled by a few posts by UDP cronies trying to make us think all is OK. Why are they afraid of a Full EIA? Must be that the truth will not allow for this to go through and alot of people will without some "extra" money in their pocket!

    • Animosity says:

      I guess you will claim that all the coral the cruise lines paid you to glue together is alive and well. Come on Peter, you are not fooling anyone here.

      • Peter Milburn says:

        What a dumb comment from someone who obviuosly knows NOTHING about reefs.I am not a born Caymanian but at least I love this place and did my part to try to make things better and thats more than it sounds like you are doing.Go take a look at that area.Not perfect but better than it was after a CRUISE SHIP wiped out 8000 sq.ft.

    • Anonymous says:

      Mr Milburn,

      Are your divers that you take out on a daily basis not off of the cruise ships?

      A dock would prevent ships from dropping their anchor and get on your dive boat faster.  Isnt this a "win win" for you?

      Not destroying the coral and having more time to spend on your dive boat.

      I figured you’d be in favour….

      • Peter Milburn says:

        Thanks for your concern but NO I do not take divers from the ships.All my divers are stayover folks who come here year after year and spend more $’s than all the cruisers will ever do.I am not against cruise ships but if we go "overboard"with too many ships at any one time we will lose a lot of the long term visitors who rent condos,cars eat out at our many restaurants.We CANNOT handle more than 3-4 ships at a time.Our infrastructure is way too small to handle anymore.We need to encourage our "shippers"to return as "stayovers"but overcrowding will not get them to return.

  18. Elvis Presley says:

    Cmon una bunch of fools we need to get in the real life we are so far behind its a good dam thing we had DART you know it is he who payed the civil servants for months DUHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!

    • Anonymous says:

      So Elvis Presley what are you really trying to say? What has paying Civil Servants got to do with not getting a FULL EIA done? You know you truly sound like how the real Elvis sounds like NOW – A Dead Brain!

      • Anonymous says:

        Elvis is not just dead but he is lying from the grave. Dart has NOT been paying the civil servants !!!

        I see the UDP propaganda machine is in action again…Lol….Idiots !

      • Elvis Presley says:

        Sorry i thought that it was saying that dart was gonna turn Cayman Brac into a cruise ship!

  19. Blunt Billy says:

    Ok, so we’re going to (quite possibly) destroy our environmental future – for some quick short term gain?

    Wow, what a great, well though out plan!

    If stepping on all of the blue iguanas would increase cruise visitors – will we consider that too?


    Oh well, It’s not like turtles are an important part of Caymanian heritage or anything.

    Oh wait…

  20. A REALIST says:


    I am going back to sleep. Wake me when something surprising happens.

  21. Anonymous says:

    Let’s kill the marine life and do away with the beaches. Plug up the road with more taxis and busses as being stuck in traffic is a great way to spend your vacation! What the hell, throw in a few more US fast food chains or restaurants while at it.

    Once everything has been destroyed by ruthless development, Cuba will probably have opened their doors and tourism will move that way. Perhaps we can sell then the berthing facilities to Castro as I am sure nobody is going to want to come to Cayman anymore.

    Sounds like a great plan to me!


  22. Anonymous says:

       The thing that needs to be examined the most are these people’s minds.  Where are we again?  What is going on here?? The bad part is I’m not shocked…  Throw more fuel on the fire cause it hasn’t burnt out yet…

    • Anonymous says:

      I do not know what is wrong with us Cayman people! Are we really going to sit idly by & allow these corrupt politicans to destroy our beautiful islands? How can they even consider doing such a project with hardly any study being done? Why take the chance to lose everything, including our world famous 7 mile beach? Have we all read this report? It is damning!

      Come on people, please Cayman people, we must stand up for what is ours, & it is our duty to leave as much as we have for future generations, THAT IS OUR DUTY! This is one time that we must stand up, defend our islands & not let these corrupt persons get away with this. They get richer while we get poorer! THE POLITICANS DO NOT HAVE THE RIGHT TO DESTROY OUR ISLANDS, & we have to stop this now! ARE WE READY?


    • Anonymous says:

      This is only the beginning! Next is going to be the dredging in the North Sound for a channel to go to that massive town in the sound (Camana Bay).

      Once the port is done without a proper EIA being done, we could lose our second biggest tourist attraction (seven mile beach). Once the dredging is done in the North Sound we will most likely lose our most famous tourists attractions (Sand bar & sting ray city). Then what? It will be too late to try & get them back! We are losing everything, & in such a short period of time. Why? Anyway, we deserve what we get! If we can’t learn we must feel! I say: udp, give it all away, that is why we elected you, we didn’t learn the first time around, so now we must be made to suffer! GIVE IT WALL AWAY! SERVE US RIGHT! That what we get!

      • Jab-Jab says:

        Don’t Worry: When McKeeva hires Dart to dredge the North Sound he can just use the fill from that for the port project. We can probably cover them both with one EIA to make sure it doesn’t harm SMB and save money.

  23. Lachlan MacTavish says:

     It almost feels like The Cabinet have given up on stayover tourism. That the long term focus has been ordained to be cruise business.   ***Has there ever been a study comparing the benefits/trickle down between cruise and stayover and who benefits the most? ***Whether it is cruise or stayover the most important natural features for any visitor are water clarity/the sea, fish life and the beach. I’m just asking, do some believe that catering to the masses for duty free trumps the natural environment?*** Isn’t the cruise business a moving target. Tenders are ok….then we need more tenders….then we need more attractions….then we need more transportation. Northsound trips were ok ….true Cayman heritage…then we need huge boats to handle the masses. Can’t get enough people through the dock…more people bigger stores ……more sales people. Cruise ships…. several sizes….then different classes of trips ….now mega ships. The target keeps moving. *** Is there a "tourism plan" that looks at all tourism products anywhere.

    There are a lot of people that feel taking a big deep breath and spending some time on an objective non political impact study is the smart thing to do. What a folly if we wake up in 5 years to find the West side of Cayman’s water world dying off completely and the beach getting smaller.

    • anonymous says:

      Lachlan, We have studies on Tourism..too many studies. Another one will only say what the last 6 have said and cost another $300,000.

      We need to expand our “product”, whatever that is. We need to put more Caymanians back in the industry. We need to bring more overnight tourism. We need berthing. We need more attractions. We need better facilities. We need to be less like Florida and we need to lower our alcohol costs.

      We need action and finally some has come. Now everyone is worried that we are acting! This Government will not sit back and do nothing although I agree sometimes they act to quickly. Right now however we need action.

      • Lachlan MacTavish says:


        Your first two points……"put Caymanians back to work"……."bring more stayover tourists".

        Big time…..I am behind this 150%…………..



      • Lachlan MacTavish says:

         PPS….Then I believe the dust should be blown off the studies and someone should read them again. Why is it the 5 studies say "green" and one politician says "red" ??????

      • Anonymous says:

        a) With gambling forbidden in these islands, name one cruise line that will stay in port past 6pm, let alone stay overnight.  You are dreaming unless the gambling policy of these islands is radically amended. 

        b) With fewer and fewer Caymanians interested in the Tourism sector, where are these "new jobs for Caymanians" going to come from after the brief construction concrete construction phase is done?

        c) What would be the comparative benefit of spending the same port dollars on a longer runway, and lowering the landing fees for new airlines bringing busloads of stayover traffic? 



        • Peter Milburn says:

          Good points and I agree 100%I have long said that we need to cut our rates on airlines especially at this time of year.So drop all the fees and have a set price of say US$200-US$250 and lets fill the half empty/half full flights that are arriving daily.I know that in times past we doubled our rates for flights and hotels/condos etc.as winter drives folks south.I was told that it was "traditional"to do this.Those times are  long gone and we need to "try"something different to get folks here.We subsidise(spell?) CAL now so why not just fully subsidise(spell?)and get these people here.Once here they WILL spend the money.I understand that flights from NY are around US$1200 over the Xmas holidays!!!!

  24. Paradise lost says:

    Wow!! Big surprise here.  Who would have thunk it?  The green always trumps the blue on Grand Cayman. 

    And while they are at it, we need more Caribbean based restaurants like Hooters, TGIFridays, Dennys, etc.  The nearly dead, newly wed, over fed crowd of the cruise ships need to be fulfilled. 

    Can concrete sink an island?  Just asking.



  25. K-man to da bone says:

    Someone has really lost the plot and gone off! Can this be true? Why can’t someone put a stop to this man before Cayman is Destroyed. Peoples, put aside Party Politics and stand up to this man!

  26. K-man to da bone says:

    Today is the 11th of Nov. NOT April 1st. PLEASE tell me this is a joke! If I took my car to have it inspected and passed but I told the inspectors to only assess the two back doors and they are deemed fit and the car is passed and licenced but a month later the front wheel drops off causing the car to crash into another car with dire consequences, EXCUSE ME, is this right and what the hell are we doing in Cayman and with such incompitent people making such decisions. There is NO WAY that an EIA can be done properly and have the correct bearing on the results UNLESS everything is taken into account – People please read what studies will be left out of this Assessment and ALL (even die-hard UDP supporters) have to put a stop immediately to all this B—S–T that is going on. OMG, I really can’t believe I just read this and I dont care WHO is on the "take" all and sundry has to rise up against this now! Just do the EIA without restrictions for the best of Cayman if that is TRULY what you care about!

    • Anonymous says:

      Please do not get excited.

      The proper ‘environmental’ studies will be done. The nebulous additional things will be left off of course. The majority of countries in the Caribbean have berthing…we are the only ones without. The “need” is therefore already satisfied. Why study something that you know the answer to?? think about it. Do you think you will ever come up with an answer to “cruise pier or no cruise pier” through an environmental study. The EIA is merely a decision making tool…no more no less.

      Relax, Macs trying to save your job, no matter where you work, even if you do not care. And I am sure Mr. Dart does not plan to damage the Seven Mile beach…after all He lives there!

      • Anonymous says:

        …….but you may learn something from the study that can show you how to build it in a manner that has the least detrimental impact on the environment.

        If the beach and coral reefs are killed off, nobody is going to want to come to Cayman and we won’t need the berthing facility after all.

        Think about that!

      • Lachlan MacTavish says:


        I trust you are correct. Unfortunately history shows that big projects one after another have been pushed thorugh without the proper due diligence. I question why things will change for this project..thats all.

    • Anonymous says:

      Cayman News Service, I now have to question your objectivity, first of all to do a comparison of the two projects as far as Environmental Impacts is adsurd an unfair. Even the most ardent opponent would agree that the the previous Government’s (PPM) proposal which was proposed to include a "virgin" area namely by Mr. Arthur’s shop including cheesburger reef which has had no dredging or evironmental impact so far would require a lot more study than where the current government (UDP) is proposing to build berthing.

      To say it is radically changed makes it appear that you are comparing apples to apples and we know that is not the case. The current location has already had dredging and ships anchoring there for the last 40 years obviously it has already been exposed to significant impact and there has already been many studies of that particular area.

      Once again what we see is sensationalism by the press, but very little concern for what’s in the best interest of Cayman. My understanding from the press statements so far is the final terms of the EIA has not yet been decided speak to your MLA’s to ensure that reasonable environmental concerns are included and let’s move forward.

  27. Anonymous says:

    Should we be suprised? Just another day in a dictators life…..

  28. what a mess says:

    No surprise here!

    Another example of "short term gain (if any is even realized) for long term pain". Another "sellout".

    Mac is obviously set on just doing as he pleases…regardless of the long term negative impact. Who in their right mind would undertake such a massive project wihout studying all the possible consequences? Only a politician with egotistical, self-serving motives.

    Any right minded person/people would do a comprehensive EIA to weigh the benifits versus the cost (economic and societal). Simply bringing in more money (for Govt. and tour operators/shops)for the near future without takng into account the wider socio-economic impact is just plain wrong!

    Come on Mac (and others)…"do the right thing" too much is riding on doing this project properly!

    Writer unafiliated with either PPM or UDP!


  29. True says:

    Frankly if the coral and fish don’t like the new port, why don’t they just get on a plane and leave.

    • Anonymous says:

      Real Intelligent "True, Wed, 11/11/2009 – 12.23", you have to be a UDP!

  30. Caymanians for Good says:

    If DOE wants to remain effective it must stick to what it should be concerned about…the environment!

    Talking about studying “need for facility”, “impact on human resources” and “business environment” etc is something for the Cabinet to deal with. “grey water discharge, noise, solid waste, oil spills” etc are a waste of time to study…there are currently operational laws and guidelines for all vessels operating in the Cayman waters now dealing with those plus the location of piers on the west coast trends that stuff offshore anyway! Even “climate change” is a huge stretch ( are these piers going to change our climate??) and clearly only a red herring to slow down the project. These issues are only a stall technique by DOE and the ‘naysayers”. I am glad that the Government has seen through that bull.

    DOE should stick to environmental issues only. Is there going to be damage to seven mile beach? Is there going to be catastrophic damage to the diving on the west side? etc. That is all that needs to be studied.

    DOE keeps negating their potential of being a true partner with development, ensuring proper mitigation where necessary, by taking these ridiculous, unbending positions. They then are totally ignored by Cabinet and developers instead of being able to properly inform them.

    DOE your expertise is needed but you are obviously being led astray by the extreme environmentalist who are making your department ineffective and irrelevant.

    As for the ridiculous “National Conservation Bill” written by DOE…not even the PPM would pass that crazy piece of legislation (speak to the ex-PPM Ministers). If you think the world recession has impacted Cayman, I can only imagine what that law would have done. Let us get together and draft proper legislation that covers this environmental area, protects the needed environment, but one that is suitable for the Cayman Islands.

    • Bogged down says:

      Why bother with a study? Many Government projects have been done without planning permission. Where were the DOE when the seawall went up on Boggy Sand road, contrary to the law? The DOE has no teeth, no impact and is totally useless. There are numerous situations when brought to their attention they choose to ignore. Head in the sand.  Must be in Boggy Sand Road.

      • M. Isicks says:

        Well my friend the reason is that the DoE have very little power to do anything. They can only offer recommendations to Cabinet and largely if the price is right those recommendations are ignored.

        No Government would give the DoE any regulatory responsibility because unlike Planning (who don’t give a hoot about enforcement) Gina and the DoE would stop most developers in their tracks.

        Until the Conservation Law is passed DoE can’t do anything unless you are caught with 50 conch in your underpants…..

  31. Anonymous says:

    It seems that the "John Gray Recylers" would have more envrionmental common sense than the madmen currently at the helm of this bus.  It’s their future, why doesn’t Mac just put them in charge of the EIA.  It is no more absurd than the current course.