Dragon Bay canals too deep

| 16/07/2010

(CNS): Following revelations that the developer of the Ritz-Carlton was given planning permission to remove a 300 foot mangrove buffer zone on the Dragon Bay development site recently, an FOI request by a member of the public has now revealed that he has also been given planning permission for dangerously deep canals. The documentation reveals that the Central Planning Authority (CPA) gave the Dragon Bay developer permission to excavate a canal system as deep as 20 feet while remaining connected to the North Sound. The depth is more than double the maximum recommended and is described by the Department of Environment as a “dangerous precedent” with far reaching environmental consequences. (Photo by Dennie Warren Jr)

In a letter to the CPA chair written in November last year in the wake of the authority’s decision, the DoE Director Gina Ebanks-Petrie points out that it was a serious step backward in environmental considerations with respect to canals. “We believe this decision to be short sighted and one which will set a dangerous precedent with far reaching repercussions for the natural environment of the Cayman Islands,” Ebanks-Petrie wrote.

The director pointed out the copious research which revealed that canals dug beyond 9 feet, as recommend by the Wickstead Report as far back as 1976, showed serious environmental problems, from negative impacts on water quality to the reduction of biodiversity. Local recommendations on canal depths are based on efforts to safeguard water quality and the marine life that they would be connected to. The director pointed out to the planning chair that they were based on sound and rigorous scientific research. In the US more recent research indicates that canal systems should be limited to six feet.

The letter also noted that with years of canal development in the North Sound area there was an even greater need to restrict depths than ever before rather than extending them the as the CPA had done with the Dragon Bay development. The director requested an opportunity to talk to the CPA about the decision and present them the full details of why the decision was dangerously detrimental, which the CPA accepted. Despite the case made by the DoE, however, the planning permission was not reversed and developer still has permission to dig the dangerously deep canals.

According to the FOI documents, which were released by the Water Authority, the Aggregate Advisory Committee also wrote to the CPA pointing out that research regarding excavation pits had indicated they should never be connected to the sea and it said the aggregate policy was never intended to promote any kind of canal excavation beyond 14 feet that would be connected to the sea.

Scott Slaybaugh, chair of the committee and the author of the letter, wrote that connecting anything deeper than that to the sea would have “devastating impacts on marine natural resources”. He pointed out that the AAC was also guided by the 9 foot limit in the Wickstead Report when it came to canals. Slaybaugh pointed out that research undertaken by the committee regarding inland excavation of 20 feet that would impact ponds revealed significant noxious odours and damage to the pond and surrounding areas, which might be an acceptable risk if the pond was not connected to the sea. “On the other hand, poor water quality in a pond connected to the sea has a much broader and unacceptable risk.”

The person who requested the information told CNS that he is still waiting for correspondence regarding this planning permission from the CPA.

Document released under FOI:

WA policy for excavations – final November 2002

CPA policy clarification on depth of excavation

DoE letter to CPA re Dragon Bay 18 Nov 2009

Register of Canal Works Permits – June 2010

Register of Quarry Permits – June 2010

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  1. Marek says:

    Ah goodness… nobody asking the right questions.

    Why would mega yachts come here? Why?

    We are 450 miles south of Miami and for the most part an isolated island.

    Look at a map of the Leeward and Windward Islands, you can drive up and down the chain from one island to the next.

    Mega Yachts burn 200 gallons an hour. We are 26 cruising hours from Miami…  That’s 5,000 gallons at $4 a gallon…

    What’s the attraction for the yachts… if there was one, they would already be here and we’d be building harbours to meet their needs.

    How often do you see anything over 80′ in Cayman waters?

    This is nothing more than an uneducated guess on the developers part… if you build it they will come…

    People buying $2-3-4-5 million condo’s will not bring their $40-50-60 million yachts here. They will buy something small locally that can be stored and cared for when they are off island.

    bad math…


  2. Say Aint So says:

    A 20ft Canal, so what?  The 6ft being recommended by DOE would be a first becuase most canals and cuts are deeper than what is being recommneded. For the purpose of personal education I took my entire Sunday to boat around some of these canals. here is what my depth finder showed me;

    North Sound Estates 4.5ft – 12.5ft

    Sunrise Landing  6.8ft – 13.2ft

    Patricks Island  3.8ft – 9.8ft.

    Prospect/Harbour House Marina 6.7ft – 14ft

    Red Bay Canal(s)  4.2ft – 15.6ft

    Grand Harbour Canal 7ft – 16.1ft

    Tropical Gardens canal 3.2ft – 12.2ft

    Scotts Marina 5.5ft – 17ft

    Jay Bodden/CUC cut 13ft  – 28ft

    Caymana Bay/Hyatt Canal 5.3ft – 9.3ft

    Canal Point 4.6ft – 7.8ft

    Safe Haven/Ritz 6.7ft – 14.5ft

    Governor Harbour/Yacht Club 6.8ft – 18ft

    Salt Creek canal 7.2ft – 15.1ft

    Morgans Harbour/Shores canal  5.3ft – 16.7ft


    Maybe my depth finder needs to be recalibrated.


    • Lachlan MacTavish says:

       14:37…..big difference between canal projects and cutting a 20 foot deep path from the main channel to the bottom of the sound. One thing that has not been mentioned is that this Mega Yacht channel isn’t 20 deep and 20 wide. Many of these yachts which won’t be coming here are extremely wide and 100-200-300 feet long. A channel will have to be wide enough to allow yachts to pass and turn around or navigate in the event of a squall bad weather etc. So that means the Main channel will be wider than you can imagine, the inside channel will be how wide ?????. This project is the end of the North Sound eco system and reef. If the investment could save Cayman from its dire financial state then you weigh the pros and cons. But "build it and they will come" is a folly so someone ends up getting a bunch of cheap fill, the sound dies, and the hurricanes flood and no yachties.

      • Anonymous says:

        Pay attention Lach.  We are talking about "canals" not "channels"…..canals are not dug into the Sound, they are dug through existing (or reclaimed) land….big difference. 

        • Lachlan MacTavish says:

           opps….you are right about the post content, canals vs channels…..but a 20 foot deep canal is the beginning of a 20 foot channel in Cayman.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Money talks!

  4. david Miller says:

    Did you all know the Quarries in and around meagre bay pond are allowed to go 50 ft deep? DOE Gina gave them all permission to go that deep. It’s based on them not harming any of the water lens or aquifers .

    • Stu says:

      Permission for 50ft quarry excavations is based on a joint study of deeper excavations between Water Authority, DOE and AAC that took place over the last 3 years. I know this because I did most of the field work…..

  5. N. Syder says:

    The real problem with all this is that the experts (Water Authority, DOE, AAC) have advised against deep canals and have been consistently ignored and over-ruled by the Central Planning Authority. These organisizations (WA, DOE, AAC) boast many years of experience, field research and data collection relating to quarries and canals and the effects on water quality. Their recommendations to CPA are based on solid facts and figures. Whatever environmental issues that may arise in the future from the increasing number of excavation projects can be directly attributed to the Central Planning Authority.

    In addition, the precedent for 20ft canals has been set and the door is wide open for all canal permit holders (present and future) to apply for modifications to their permits and dig deeper.


  6. Peter Davey says:

    Why is it that almost every contribution to these pages is anonymous? Why should I or anyone else  take these opinions seriously, while the authors hide behind some meaningless pseudonym? Well of course I know the answer, it’s fear, and I find this very sad. That anyone, especially a Caymanian, should feel worried about retribution when offering their considered opinion on a controversial subject in their own country, speaks volumes about the way this island is run. 

    We like to think we live in a democracy, but it’s one where short cuts and cronyism weaken and sideline the proper systems put in place by wise and informed lawmakers, people who have Cayman’s long term interests at heart. To see brushed aside the advice of Cayman’s past heroes such as Wickstead and Giglioli and in our present time, Gina Petrie-Ebanks, scientists who have a deep understanding of  environmental issues and a total commitment to our islands, is very worrying indeed. But then a country that is fifty years behind the times regarding recycling and tolerates a trash mountain 60 feet high, clearly cares little about the physical state of this special little patch we all share and like to call home.




    • Lachlan MacTavish says:

       It is very sad Peter. Great post, but as you have noted the political environment / system we have allows for far more power brokering than should be allowed with the leadership we have. The retaliation and retribution that Caymanians receive from their own can be vicious. Hence "anonymous". What is refreshing though, as a regular visitor here, I can see the numerous and multiple comments from many many difference contributors. Hundred’s of different people. Hopefully this is an indication that the majority of the voters would like to see some serious change and new directions for the islands come 2013.

    • Dennis Smith says:

      Fear only works as a tool of intimidation when we support it with silence. Cayman is not a police state, no one is going to put you in jail or shoot you because you voice an opinion or disagree with your neighbor or a politician.

      Keeping your mouth shut or voicing an opinion anonymously only gives more power to the people or system that you disagree with. It is our silence that gives power to the forces that we complain about. If everyone in Cayman, including all expatriates proudly stood up and gave their opinion in public the power of intimidation would disappear. Realistically that will not happen overnight, but will happen. In the mean time its up to Caymanians to start the process, all Caymanians even the new ones, it time to end discrimination based on country of birth.

      In the past people worried about getting licenses, permission and permits so they kept their mouths shut. That code of silence encouraged them to make friends with one politician or another in order to get fair and equal treatment and we saw the rise of political parties, cronyism and a culture of political favoritism. That bred aculture of protectionism for friends and supporters. Which in turn creates a culture of jumpup joiners who blindly defend, often without much thought. The only way to change an entrenched system of fear and intimidation is to think, speak up and stand out.

      You may support a political party or a group of like-minded people and that fine, but the real value to society is your personal thoughts and ideas on an issue. Speaking out is not about getting “Brownie Points” with one leader or group, it about protecting your individual rights by using them and its about encouraging others to do so as well.

      The Japanese saying: “The nail that sticks out is hammered down” encapsulates our fear of standing out. Instead of being more individual we’ve become a society of anonymous complainers. But what would happen if all the nails stood up? The power of intimidation would evaporate and Cayman would be a much better place because of it.

      We now have a lot of legal tools in place to protect us from retaliation including the Constitution and FOI, but none of those protections are as powerful as free speech and a population of people who think and speak out, on all sides of any issue.

      Everyone respects a person who is not afraid to speak his or her mind, they may not agree but they will defend the right to stand up and speak out. After all its their right as well. A democracy is only a democracy when the individual defends it by using it. Speaking out publicly also forces speakers to take credit for their public utterances and that usually requires more responsibility, thought and consideration on the issue at hand. That in turn increases our diversity of ideas and improves the quality of our public debates. It might also change your mind as your likes or dislikes evolve into a broader understanding of the different sides of an issue.

      All of that said, I have no problem with people posting anonymously; Expatiates, professionals and Civil Servants are in an awkward position at the moment and I really value their opinion and especially their defense of an issue. But for many an anonymous post is often the first step to overcoming their fear. I often give a Thumbs Up to post that I don’t completely agree with because I feel the author’s sincerity or recognize it as the first step of a new poster and I want to encourage them to continue. At other times I wish that I knew who it was that posted something that impressed or educated me, it would help me to connect their reasoning in future posts. Following an author from post to post is often more interesting than a continuous exposure of anonymous statements

      One last thought: Posting on CNS is not a popularity contest; some of my best efforts have been totally slammed by the readers. That makes me think about what I’ve said. Sometimes I’ve missed the point of the thread and at others times I feel that I didn’t make my point well enough or maybe I was having a stupid day. So what, it doesn’t matter. Often my next post seems to hit a nerve and most people agree. In either case no one is going to knock me over the head and even on political issues. I still expect fair and equal treatment at the hands of the powers that be. If not they will hear about it.

      Use it or lose it.

      Thanks Peter for starting me on this, you just wiped out my Sunday morning.

    • Dean Miller says:

      Well said!…i too have remained anonymous for too long. Change is needed of most of us in this regard. Only then will the fear be lessened.

    • Wake up says:

      Yow Mr Davey, you ever heard of retaliation?

      Ithink its a stupid question because you know perfectly well people are afraid in any dictatorship country, to speak out against the leader and with all the decisions and actions that our leader (no sorry, Caymans leader) is making, we have the right to disagree and voice our opinion without fear of being victimized.

      For those who are pure cronies, and I dont know where your affiliation lies, they feel safe to put their names as they know they are safe, and I hope that is not why you feel free to put your name, if that is your real name! 

      • Dennis Smith says:

        Here we go again. You are implying that everyone who signs their name to a post is “safe” because they are in bed with the government. How ironic. It’s that kind of thinking that supports a culture of fear and discourages free speech. Is that what you are attempting to do with your statement? If not take the first step towards eliminating your fear by signing a post and stand up for free speech in Cayman. The expression: “You are either part of the solution or you are part of the problem” applies here as well. Please think about it.

    • Don't Ask Don't Tell says:

      You don’t have to believe me either but I have seen data that shows the height of the dump being 95′ not so long ago. Usually then it is re-contoured, which is a fancy way of saying carve the top off and push it down the sides. If Cayman ever comes under threat of a Tsunami that’s where I’m headed.

      Regarding the research that was done to support permitting 50′ deep quarries, rather shallow in my opinion. Test areas were studied very superficially with the emphasis being on only gathering salinity and water level data. The majority of this data was gathered from the bank of the pits since the WA did not have access to a boat. Monitoring wells around these pits were either destroyed or badly damaged in subsequent blasting, so data may not have been representative. Yes there are experts in these regulatory authorities however the right tools and method needs to be employed for proper due diligence. Rushing the process does not help the effort to collect the necessary amount of required valid data either.

      It is sad that the government hires top gun overseas engineering firms to conduct studies with little or no oversight such as CH2M Hill. They are paid top dollar and still we end up with more unanswered questions than valid recommendations and answers. If some of these studies were done in house with appropriate equipment and staff and not from behind a desk overseas we might just get on the road to sustainable development. But then again politics trumps all.

      • Stu says:

        I can assure you that data on nutrient loads, hydrogen sulfide, and dissolved oxygen was collected in collaboration with the DOE who do have a boat. Yes, monitoring wells at Tarpon Springs were damaged but the most recent study involved the installation of 22 new monitoring wells which were maintained and studied on a monthly basis over a number of years.

        The test pits were also sited in areas away from freshwater lenses and residential areas – in other words "low impact areas". This is a completely different issue to digging deeper canals that have the potential provide a conduit to the sea for poorly treated wastewater discharged by canalside development.

  7. durrrr says:

    If Mickey Mouse isn’t too busy, perhaps he could submit an FOI request to Lands& Survey to determine the depths of every other canal in Cayman, for comparison. I suspect that this is all a fuss about nothing, and that there are several existing canals of a similar depth (Salt Creek, parts of Rackleys), not to mention the already dredged areas out in the North Sound itself (which are at least 12-15 feet deep)

  8. Anonymous says:

    This Island is becoming a Bigger Joke each day that passes.


  9. Rivers says:

    I just get mad anytime i hear about mangroves.
    Its really depressing, due to the fact that when a hurricane comes mangrove do protect us but they can only do so much.
    My question why taken away something that is natural, beautiful, a shelter/home?
    People only seem to think about what they could build and make use of but never think about the disadvantages of taken away something that is natural and priceless but mean so much to something else.
    We have so many sense boxes in this island, planning should be ashame, the government should be ashame.
    Not everything is about money!



    mangroves protect us!

    Their is something called Global WARMING, think about the animals not money and man-made things that could make money, we barely have trees in town to make breeze!

    Money is a sin!

  10. Dennis Smith says:

    I was going to post something sarcastic about needing fill, but decided to check on yacht drafts before I opened my big mouth. 3 minutes later I had this off the Internet. Isn’t knowledge something? Kind off spoils my fun though.

    Port St. Charles Marina here in Barbados is 14 feet at Low Tide.


    I am not sure of the depth of the Yacht Haven Grande in St. Thomas, USVI but it has to be significantly deep since it accommodates Rising Sun regularly.


    Isle De Sol in Simpson Bay St. Maarten is another very good marina with maximum draught of about 20 feet.


    Falmouth Marina in Antigua also has draught of up to 20 feet and could accommodate yachts up to 330 feet long.


    Atlantis Marina, part of the Atlantis hotel in Paradise Island, Bahamas has excellent conditions with 12-foot draught at low tide.


    The small Clarkes Court Bay Marina in Grenada


    Also there is the bigger and more sophisticated Port Louis Marina still under construction in Grenada. It has accepted the Maltese Falcon and other large yachts. The marina has varying depths but up to 26 feet are attainable.


    Rodney Bay marina in St. Lucia has beautiful facilities with draught of about 14 feet.


    Ocean World Marina in Dominican Republic has draught of up to 12 feet.


    Errol Flynn Marina in Port Antonio, Jamaica has draught up to 30 feet.


    Village Cay Marina in Tortola BVI has up to 11 feet.


    In Antigua the channel going into Falmouth harbour is 30ft deep

    Falmouth Harbour Marina depth; 21ft it can accommodate yachts in excess of 380ft. (the 377ft. le grand bleu docked there on numerous occasions) the main dock is 380ft. long, while the secondary piers are 338, 335, and 244ft long.

    Antigua Yacht Club Marina depth; can accommodate yachts with draft in excess of 25ft. capacity it is capable of accommodating mega yachts. Notable yachts which docked there were (Maltese Falcon Nero, Ahena, Eos, Tatoosh, Limitless and Pelorus) the longest pier is 290ft in length

    • Anonymous says:

      Why don’t you spend a few more minutes to see which of those are natural harbour and which of them were dredged?

      • Dennis Smith says:

        In either case it gives us some idea of the competition. Cayman is going to be in business for 100s of years.

        • Anonymous says:

          If competition is the reason then why stop with 20′ canals? I’m sure the technology exists that would allow us to turn Mount Trashmore into a volcano as well. Unlike the volcano in Montserrat, we could have ours erupt schedule. Just think how many people would visit to see the fire and ash belched into the air.

    • Lachlan MacTavish says:

      Dennis……I have to respectfully disagree with your premise. I have fortunately sailed in my own boat to just about every harbor you have mentioned. The vast majority are "natural" harbors and they attracted the sailing vessels of the past because they were natural. When we mess with mother nature you set yourself up for failure just about every time. IMHO do not mess with The North Sound. If you do you will kill it off, the dredged channels will fill in and need to be re dredged over and over again, the mangroves will die and the big hurricane will flood every district bordering the North Sound. 

      • Dennis Smith says:

        Hello Lach, The original question that I had was: Why 20 feet deep? I don’t know enough about the conservation issues to have an educated opinion on the subject.

        After doing the brief search above it seems to me that the developers involved are hoping to attract the big boys of the yachting world. I don’t have a problem with that idea. Cayman is expensive and likely to become more expensive in the future. Better to attract the wealthy than the poor (we have the cruise business for that). Besides most of those mega yachts are flying the Cayman flag already so they are already domiciled here.

        With10 story buildings, gambling and new planning regulations in place I see the planning of a new luxury boom in Caymanian development. Maybe the only boom that we have available to us. I don’t know who is pulling the strings and I don’t care, it will spill over and everybody should begin thinking about the possibilities.

        I recall fishing North Sound last year and the canal was the best place to catch Snappers, someone posted on CNS that it is about 12 feet deep. It was dredged before Ivan and still seems to be clean and in good shape. So I’m not sure that the concerns about hurricanes filling the canal are valid. Maybe turtle grass is more important than canals? Also I don’t think Governor’s Habour was re-dredged after Ivan either. Since you use to live there you may know more about that I.

        I dove the south side of the island recently and was shocked by the total destruction of the reef alone the south coast. The result of Ivan and then Dean a few years later! Also I believe that Ivan deposited more junk in North Sound than anything that humans have done in the last 50 years. So at this point I think hurricanes are more damaging to the environment than people. Maybe we need a law against hurricanes (sic).

        I’m not making a case for deep dredging but the question in my mind is what is the difference between a canal 20 ft deep and a 12 foot one? It seems to me that if the 12 foot one didn’t fill up in a hurricane why would a 20 ft one fill up just because it’s deeper? Depth doesn’t seem to be an issue. Surely even an 8 ft canal would fill if that was the case.

        If there is any logic in that line of thinking we shouldn’t have any canals at all. Lets fill them all in and make them into paved roads or return them to swamp. If we followed the logic of some we would undo all human damage to the environment and then everyone would more out of Cayman. To where? What country or city in the world exists without destruction to the environment? Maybe we should just give up our cars and homes and reduce the human population down to the nomadic Indians. Any volunteers?

        I guess I have a deep skepticism about a lot of environmental passions; I was a director at Mariculture just before it folded in 1976. The biggest problem at the time was the ban on Green Turtle products exported to the US. The Sierra Club had the Green Turtle declared an endangered species and even though the turtle farm had proven that its turtles had bred in captivity for 2 generations they were still band in the US. With no market the farm failed. Now 34 years later they still refuse to let Cayman farmed turtle into the US and those turtles were all born and breed on the farm from the original bred stock established 40 years ago. How much proof do those people need?
        Since it looks like the new canal will be dredged I’m definitely planning a fishing trip in the future, if I can find space between the Mega Yachts.

        • anonymous says:

          Dennis, Great Points. One slight correction and comment however. The standard canals in Cayman for years have been dug 15 feet deep. Most in the last 15 years are this depth. Given the way they are dug, it is almost impossible to dig just down to 15 feet. The machines when they hit a soft peat spot will end up scooping deeper, some of these spots silt up which is good proof that this silt stays in the deeper canals than going into the North Sound. The 15 foot canals, as approved by the CPA, must have received permits from the WA even though the WA’s 10 year old Board ‘policy’ has been no deeper than 14 feet. The 9 foot "recommendation’ quoted in the original story is only for effect by DOE and is to mislead that the Dragon Bay’s additional 5 feet was some dramatic departure from norms. Such news stories need to be more accurate and researched prior to printing. A quick call to Planning Department would have confirm the norms. Additionally, I am not sure what the "Aggregate Committee" has anything to do with dug canals- this has to be "scope growth." While we do need much more protection of the Environment it must be based on real local science, be specific to the Cayman Islands and not just what appears to be excitement XXXXX.

          CNS: To repeat, again, the article is based on documents released by the Water Authority following an FOI request by a member of the public.

        • Lachlan MacTavish says:

           Dennis….some good points and some good discussion. One thing I have mentioned before is that Cayman Flag is a convenience for mega yacht owners. Lying in Cayman is not necessary. The migration for the mega yachts are fixed sea routes. New England Coast/Annapolis where the big boat shows and boat yards are. From there it is Bermuda then USVI or Annapolis to Ft Lauderdale , Miami , South Beach ….lots of action and INEXPENSIVE relatively speaking boat yards and services. From Florida its the Bahamas and onto USVI. Then you have the Mediterean to the USVI. From the USVI it is BVI’s, St Martin, St Barts and down to Grenada and back. Easy motoring ….lots to see and do. Cayman is "out of the way" very expensive fuel compared to other areas. These yachts take on HUGE amounts of fuel and can travel across an ocean. They fuel where they get cheap fuel. Then they travel to the next cheap fuel. If for some reason a mega yacht in Grenada was called by an owner back to Florida its by pass Cayman and go directly to Fla. I believe the idea of a mega yacht facility is a folly at best and will do nothing but kill the N Sound and allow more flooding next storm.


          • Anonymous says:

            mega yachts would get the fuel duty free because they would be leaving CI the same day as they would fill up and then you get cheaper fuel then most places

            • Lachlan MacTavish says:

              19:29….if they fuel and leave same day as you are suggesting then they fuel at the commercial dock. No need for a mega channel mega north sound yacht basis. 

  11. dave miller/ historical common sense says:

                Some of the people who are mad at everything that the gov’t  offers to do forget that it was done before. South sound was dredged the only problem is that it should have been filled higher . 8ft. higher then sloped back to the sea. Remember in the past that the beaches were all higher. If you don’t believe me go to barkers you can see the proof there. People took sand off their beaches to make it lower. After hurricane Ivan I drove around everywhere in Cayman and noticed everywhere my father told me that flooded in 32′ storm flooded in Ivan. Mariners Cove should have never been built there. It flooded in every storm that past there. I have family that built their house 3 ft higher then the road in prospect park and had NO damage to their house.  Everyone around them that was street level got flooded. A LITTLE COMMON SENSE EH? Again another place that was dredged and filled from the north sound. Guess who?? Jim Bodden and Rex Crighton. Pioneers and visionaries and investors in our future .Red bay’s Selkirk watler, North Sound Estates Mr. Rackley, Cayman Kai’s Mr. Dise, Billy Reid’ Snug harbour, HYATT REGENCY, etc.                                                                                                                        Ladies and gentlemen what or where would we be if not for these and More PROJECTS like these. You can’t still tell me water quality in the north sound is a issue. Did you forget that mount trashmore is leaching into the sea. Lead cadium etc. The only thing you can do with this property called swamp is develop it. Get xxx real.                                                           People forget that the developers of yesteryears had no qualification accept for a few. Today is different  we have a huge barrier reef. Lots of laws and actual engineers that major in this field.                                    Its not a straight line its more like an arch You can cut the canal so that it doesn’t affect the shoreline with bigger waves UNLESS its a  hurricane coming over the reef. That is truly when nothing will help UNLESS the development is 8 feet higher and sloping back to the beach.                 Remember that 7 mile beach has no barrier reef and is open to the sea. If you go to pubic beach and dig in the sand a little YOU will find that there is swamp dirt under the sand in the water. When that beach is hit DIRECTLY by a northwester  sometimes some water goes as far as the street. Those northwesters can bring waves as high as 12 feet. Condos and hotels still there right?? A 20 ft canal is nothing!!                                    I hope that these historical facts have helped you all to reconsider your negativity .                                                                                                                     I trust and pray that Caymanians will finally use barkers beach which is public property for cocoplums and seagrapes that they have been looking for such along time . I see there is horseback riding and kite skiing already there. I believe Mr Dart was the previous owner of some of the property before. Thank God For Developers.           

  12. Anonymous says:

    Dart has contributed to Cayman, but Michael Ryan has not.  The only people benefitting from Michael Ryan/Ritz Carlton is McKeeva and some of his party faithfuls.  XXXX His desire to have the best golf course, boat houses, yatchs and hotels at the cost of our ego systems is amazing. When I look at the workers he has employed, I don’t see too many Caymanians in those jobs. At lease with Dart I can see some Caymanian faces. I need to ask McKeeva, what exactly has Michael Ryan/Ritz contributed to the Cayman Islands and its people? So then, why approve in principal all this destruction for? Perhaps the people of these Islands should request a contribution sheet and for the Ritz to reveal all deals benificial to cayman.  The only Caymanian Company that benefits from the Ritz is possibly the Cambridge Real Estate Company.

    • Dennis Smith says:

      Wow, where to start on this one? I built the first turtle farm at Salt Creek in 1968 and 3 of us chopped a cut line through the mangrove swamp all the way to 7 Mile Beach through the red mangroves. The mosquitoes were so thick that the white t-shirt of the man in front of me was Black, mine was likely the same. All of the North Sound shoreline was swamp right to the beach in those days. Virtually every piece of land east of the 7-mile beach was either black mangrove or red mangrove swamp. Cayman was mosquito infested until all the canals were dug to let the sea water in and provide drainage. That project was the biggest government expense for years. Even after that the mosquito problem didn’t become manageable until nearly all of the swamp was filled.

      Any one who wants Cayman as it was in the early years must want to go back to virgin swamp and mosquitoes so thick that you had to dive from the car to the screen door and even at that you needed to burn Black Flag almost every night. It was all the developments and dredging that made Cayman liveable or maybe breathable is a better word.

      The Ritz is a huge luxury brand asset for Cayman in terms of prestige, image and business. It brings in a large clientèle of wealth people who would not otherwise visit Cayman. Many of these people have purchased property and homes here. They and their friends not only stay in the hotel they drive around the island spending. They eat in restaurants, buy food in the market, shop in town and are a big part of our economic growth and survival. Those businesses employ people who spend money with even smaller businesses. Caymanians benefit enormously from this trickle down effect. It doesn’t matter what business or occupation that you are in, the spending of the wealthy either affects your income directly or indirectly.

      Since the next argument is likely to be that the foreign business owners or their Caymanian partners are getting rich and the little man is not. My question is why is that true? Every Caymanian had and has the same opportunities so if you are not doing it why not?

      Is it because you are not educated enough? No advantages? Don’t have the money? Had no idea about business? Well that your fault not theirs, get an education, study, work hard, and be smart. Learn how business works, how to attract investors, how to make money for them. Too old? You are never too old to learn or even to catch up, it only takes about 10 years of intense and deliberate study to get to the top of any field of interest.

      I’m 62 and I haven’t stopped learning and dreaming. How can I write all this stuff? I never even finished the 10th grade. I can’t spell as most of the readers of my posts have noticed, but I write and study every day for the last 40 years, now I’m better at it.

      I started as a gemcutter, falling asleep at the wheel when I was 13. I made the first Black Coral dive in Cayman in 1968. Started the Black Coral jewellery industry here. I read books and trained myself about business every night and my employees every day. Almost 200 of them over the years. I learned about diamonds and started a diamond store in 1976. Didn’t have any money but it become successful.

      I owned a successful diamond brokerage business, designed the first Spanish treasure jewellery from old Spanish Pieces of eight that nobody knew what to do with. Grew that business into a world famous jewellery business with some of the wealthiest people in the world as friends and loyal customers.

      I started a software company in 1986 and I had never seen a computer until the year before and I couldn’t type a word, learned 2 programming languages and wrote code until 1:00 am every night and then I was back in my store at 8:00 am every morning for years. I flew to the US and Europe on business trips about 30 times a year for 15 years. I became very, very good at what I did. No partners and no outside money just a huge amount of study and hard work. Not to bad for a kid who can’t spell and never finished high school. Caymans future is better now then it was 45 years ago. Start now and anything is possible. No matter how many business are in Cayman now or in the future there are always new ideas for a new business. Look at CNS who would have thought about this idea 5 years ago.
      So what’s holding you back?

  13. Ex Caymanian & Not by Choice says:


    The Cayman Islands, advancement into the modern Cayman that it istoday, has not been worth the price that we now have to pay, the majority of Caymanians reminisce about the ol’ Cayman era that we were raised in, when doing yard/house work were the responsibility of the parents while children helped them, we as children knew nothing about the “adult” problems, we were only allowed to play close to home and when night was approaching we knew to head home, (no cell phones for parents to call you to find out WHERE you were) we really could have done with a few advancements of comfort, e. g. Running water, electricity, and the lil things that were REALLY NEEDED without spoiling the natural beauty of Cayman.
    I ask UDP & PPM why anyone would pay enormous amounts of money to come here to see the Concrete Jungle that we now have here.   The seagrape, cocoplum, lion tongue, silver thatch palm trees all of these are disappearing before our eyes, when once upon a time ago driving along West Bay Rd this is all you could see and behind them the beautiful Caribbean Sea, that’s all now gone.
    And with all that we have gained through “modern advancement “ the one advancement we most definitely didn’t need is the Dictatorship of McKeeva Bush, the previous governments that have ruled this country, blindly led these Beautiful Islands into just another “Caribbean Island” the uniqueness that we had has been stripped away and we are just like the rest.
    The only exception is that our currency actually has more value than the $USD and we are the only Caribbean country who can boast that fact, however at the rate that UDP & PPM has torn our country apart we may soon be far worse, economically, than the other surrounding Third World Caribbean Caricom countries.  

    People of Cayman please take the time and realize what is happening here, Cuba was a free democratic country until Castro wanted total rule, this led to Communism, oppression, many lives lost at sea seeking FREEDOM of opportunity for everything in life.


    Where will we be in the next few months at the pace that Mckeeva is moving?

    It is amazing to see that anything that is a benefit to him & his croonies can be approved, funded, & established within the blink of an eye, yet other pressing issues that revolves around the people of Cayman can take forever to reach the discussion stage within the L.A not to mentioned any action on the issue!


    • Anonymous says:

      The reason the Cayman dollar is "worth" more than the US dollar is only because the Cayman government says it is.  The Cayman dollar is pegged the US dollar.  If the Cayman government allowed the Cayman dollar to fluctuate on the exchange rate with the US dollar, I think you would find a very different situation. 

  14. Anonymous says:

    You are so correct and the most affected people in Grand Cayman are us the West Bay people.

    Unfortunately our West Bay people know better but because are bought out we will do nothing to prevent the Premier from putting in the big dredgers to ruin our North Sound. 

  15. Anonymous says:

    According to the development plan the eastern half of the property is zoned Public Open Space! How can they be developing and then selling (re-leasing?) portions of it?

  16. Anonymous says:

    Looks like the North Sound channel dredging proposal has long been agreed. This 20 ft canal is just making preparations for the super yachts that WILL be coming through the channel! 

    • Anonymous says:

      Exactly my thoughts.

    • durrrr says:

      hope so! if we can get a share of the yachting market, that could give our economy just the kick-start it needs.

      • BORN FREE says:

        The comment by Anon 21:20 is typical of the greedy mentality that is taking over Cayman, starting at the very top. They are so greedy they think of "short term gain for long term pain." Why destroy our North Sound, which is home to 2 world famous attractions, to fix a problem for today but will cause irreparable destruction, not only to our beautiful North Sound, but also to our tourism product? This makes no sense, & is just plain greedy & thoughtless. Why do these greedy people only think of themselves? Isn’t it fair for our children & grandchildren to enjoy what was left to us by our forefathers? What a set of GREEDY people.

      • Anonymous says:

        Get a share of the Yatch market ?


            I don’t think so ! Cayman registers a large percentage of the worlds Mega Yatchs Now ! what does Cayman get for that ? Wht does Government collect ? Pennys ! don’t fool yourself and do some research

        • Asbo Zaprudder says:

          Tell us more about the voluminous research you have conducted into yatchs and mega-yatchs. 

          Oddly, I never take seriously opinions from people who can’t even spell the subject matter of the opinion. 

          Ain’t that a bi-yatch (which probably conjures up a picture of a yatch with two hulls in your mind).


          • Storm Serge says:

            Ass-bo! you de Men !

            You seem to be astute ? Apprise us to how much the CI Government collects when these Mega yachts are registered in Grand Cayman ?

            • Marl Rhodes says:

              You miss the point about the fees.  The fees have to be very low in this market because it is the entry point for other business, especially asset financing transactions.  These transactions bring in business to Cayman and benefit the economy.  This sort of logic completely eluded Ezzard when he first raised the issue of these fees.  Saying that no-one every got rich in Cayman on ship financing. 


  17. Anonymous says:

    They took all the trees, and put em in a tree museum
    And they charged the people a dollar and a half to see them
    No, no, no, don’t it always seem to go
    That you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone
    They paved paradise, and put up a parkin’ lot

  18. Anonymous says:

    10 story building along West Bay Road, Dredged Deep Water Canals, all this senseless development for what? People don’t want to vacation anymore because:

    1. The airfare costs are too high, the times and routes are inconvenient

    2. The overall customer service on Island is crap

    3. The overall prices on Island are ridiculous

    4. It is not a crime fee destination it used to be

    5. Diving has been shot to shits by environmental hazards and issues

    6. The Island tranquility is gone for good

    7. The stink of the dump and the sight of it is a disaster

    8. No gambling, shops close by 7 and bars close by 12 on Saturdays

    Develop all you want, but  if you can’t provide either high quality service and products for the inflated prices you want to charge, or make it more reasonable for tourists to come back, or provide them with some sort of experience they are not likely to get anywhere else, why would they want to come, just to be ripped off, stuck in traffic or potentially be held up by some thug on their way home from a restaurant????

    Even the rich don’t like to be ripped off!

    • Really says:

      GC is also a scrubby island with nothing to do and no culture or history worth speaking about.

      • Anonymous says:

        But for some of us it is the only place that we can call HOME.

      • Anon says:

        Suits me just fine!

        By the way, your sister is ugly…

      • Lorna E. Bush says:

        "Really (not verified) on Fri, 07/16/2010 – 15:46. "

        "GC is also a scrubby island with nothing to do and no culture or history worth speaking about."

        Would you please oblige me and expound on that statement? You speak with a certain authority and I would like to hear more from you. Thanks

    • Anonymous says:

       Go East.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Whilst this XXXXX sounds very scandalous, perhaps we need to approach this thing objectively and stop getting caught up in the drama that seems to surround the major developments in Cayman. Maybe we need to ask ourselves, what would happen if they weren’t here? What if Mike Ryan decided tomorrow that he can’t take the bashing anymore, whilst trying to keep his project alive, because the reality is that there is no huge profit margin in major developments with Hotels and Golf Courses. If you think that’s a misrepresentation, then do a little research. There are scores of similar projects all over the region that have ground to a screeching halt because of the dismal economic climate primarily because the financiers are running away from regions with a "high country risk", which by the way, is the label they attach to areas where projects don’t get full support from the Government.

    What, I ask, do you think that would do to the local economy?

    We need to stop the bloody mindedness towards development and start being thankful that a lot of us have jobs (some more than one, to boot) as a result of those very same developments. And, while we’re at it, stop blaming Gov’t because of the state of the economy. Not matter what Gov’t says, they can’t do anything about the current economic situation, since it’s a global problem isn’t it? What we need to do is encourage and incentivise development that has or will have a positive impact on the economy of the islands, whilst ensuring that any damage to the environment is mitigated. That is, in fact, the essence of sustainable development, not the brand that the DOE is selling. We simply cannot sacrifice the welfare of the people of this country because the egrets need their nesting grounds protected at all costs.


    My concerns with the National Conservation Bill are manifold, but my position is primarily that I cannot support a Law that effectively converts the Cayman Islands into a National Park. What of a person’s natural right to develop his land, in accordance with accepted planning principles? Do we toss that out the window too?

    Now maybe we should consider whether there is any real ecological value to some of these mangrove areas that the DOE holds so sacrosant. Have you ever taken an excursion into the mangroves on the West side of the Sound? I have, ever since I was a little boy, and, due to the prevailing easterly winds, it has always been a treasure trove of flotsam and jetsam – more garbage than even the Dump perhaps. Sure there was little fish too, mangrove snappers and such. But I could always catch more fish in that deep dredged burrow pit that we call the Governors Harbour. So let’s not automatically assume that a 20 ft. canal is a doomsday scenario, any more so that a 9 ft. or15 ft. one is. And let’s not worship the Mangrove Buffer (or what’s left of it after Ivan) as being the wonderful ecological paragon that the DOE purports. Anybody that has been out there in a boat in recent years can see that it is a badly damaged, polluted mess of broken Red Mangroves, which we probably have more of than any other plant in Cayman, by the way.

    At the end of the day we need to stop drawing conclusions about things that we are not fully informed about. Ask questions before we take a position on any matter. I can only assume that the CPA fully considered this matter and that there was, as usual, extensive consultation with all of the relevant government agencies and that they had the benefit of professional input before they made a decision. In fact, I happen to know that they did. Pity the FOI request didn’t reveal all of that information, or maybe it did, and we’ re just being spoon fed …?

    CNS note: All the documents that were released as a result of this FOI request (made by a member of the public, not by the DoE) are attached. If you believe that there are other documents that are relevant to the CPA’s decision then you can make your own request and we will be happy to publish them.

    • Anonymous says:

      Several FOI requests on this subject have been submitted to the CPA months ago but they have still not release the information.

    • Scrooge McDuck says:

      You expound on the need for "development" and then add the little catch phrase about keeping the ecology in mind and "mitigating" any damage caused whilst doing so.  And go on to "what of person’s natural right to develop their property?"  We are not speaking of anyone wanting to put in a garden or building a fence to keep chickens in my friend.  Put this into perspective for a moment.  The Dragon Bay development is huge and is being undertaken by corporation that cares not a whit for what the place will eventually look like.  Much money is involved XXXXX.  Do you honestly believe with the sums at stake any of the investors gives a XXX about the impact to the biodiversity and ecological future of the island?? Give your head a shake.  The island, the egrets, it’s people and it’s "messy mangroves" survived quite nicely long before Mike Ryan and his ilk arrived to XXXX for the almighty dollar.  XXXXX. It is more than offensive to me seeing rampant development and ignorance of it’s impact "mitigated" with references to the environment as if it is a nice afterthought.  Thank you for your comment, but move back to Miami.

  20. Anonymous says:

    UDP or PPM whoever APPROVED this both of your PARTIES are full of UNEDUCATED SO CALLED POLITICIANS remember the late ANNIE HUDULA BODDEN, BERKLY BUSH,JIM BODDEN,CAPT CHARLES KIRKCONNELL they were the ONLY POLITICIANS that HAD cayman at HEART.the rest of you guys are in for the MONEY.

    • Dennis Smith says:

      Truth and memory, amazing how things get turned around: to paraphrase David Miller’s post above: Omega Bay, Prospect, Red Bay, North Sound Estates, Cayman Kai, Snug Harbour, Rupert Moxan’s Canal (Hyatt), Jean Doucet’s Goveners Harbour and perhaps The Yacht Club. (I may have missed a few)

      These were huge projects in their day. I don’t know what Mr. Berkly, Miss Annie, and Capt. Charles thought about the projects but everyone in Cayman was glad that they were happening and that Cayman was finally developing.

      Mr. Jim obviously was involved but I never heard anyone complain about any of these projects so please be careful how rewrite history and slander these Caymanians by implying that they were against this type of development. I’m sure that they would be the first to correct you. I do agree with you that they had the best interests of Cayman at heart. We are still living off of their development foresight today.

  21. James Ebanks says:

    Why do you think Bush is so interested in dredging the North Sound?

    He already gave Ryan the Planning Approval for the deep canals now he has to fulfill the rest of the deal by dredging and destroying the North Sound to suite Ryan. All the piecies are starting to fall in place. Bush delays the Conservation Law by claiming it has to go out for public discussions, however the Planning Law which in my opinion is more far reaching is presented and approved in a few days with no public cunsultation.

    • Anonymous says:

      He’s already promised Ryan Casinos as well.

      Which is worse a casino or the canal?

      Be wary, this is the precedent that the developer is looking for to dig the canal  through South Sound Rd. and the other to dig out the land for the "Lakes".

      • Anonymous says:

        And look at the composition of the National Investment Council : Mike Ryan and Burns Connolly. Ritz Mega Yatch Club/North Sound Dredging and Emerald Sounds.

        Both projects to fill a few wealthy people’s pockets at the expense of the Caymanian people and its natural environment and its viability in the future.


  22. anonymous says:

    McKeeva and XXXX planning has sold the birthright of the people again!

    What happens in a hurricane another "Ketrina" , not in New Orleans, Louisians but  this time in the Cayman Islands?!

    Its time to force this man to step down. Alden and Kurt and Chuckie, get your rallying together,k get the signatures necessary and force this man out of office, he is ruining this country.l Our children will have nothinng  left to enjoy.

    Caymanians stop selling your property to these unscrupulous foreign investors. Two days after selling it to them you CAN’T PUT YOUR CAYMANFOOT ON IT’ NOT HOLD A JOB THERE !! 


  23. here we go says:

    Go right ahead and damage our water quality by allowing the development of canals like this, and just watch what will happen to our tourism product. People come to these islands for beautiful, crystal clear water, which is arguably some of the most pristine any where on the planet. If this is damaged, our tourism product will be too. How typical….everything that Cayman is known and loved for is under threat. Everything we love these islands for, will soon be lost if we the people, don’t take action.

    • Anonymous says:

      Do all of the UDP people relly agree with the way government is destroying the Cayman Islands for the friends of politicianss?

      Let us hear from them.

      • Ex Caymanian & Not by Choice says:

        I and many "former" UDP & PPM supporters DO NOT AGREE with anything that UDP or PPM has done to thisCountry, we were praying for a "Better way Forward" &r "Peoples Progressive Movement" but what we have recieved is a "Death Sentence" to our Freedom of everything Life, Liberty & the prosute of Happiness  & to many others to name), so again NO we do not support anything at all !!! 

        former UDP & PPM supporter, no MORE Party Politricks for ME!,

        ONE MAN! ONE VOTE! henceforth

  24. Anonymous says:

    Is there any question now that our “Leader” (read Dictator) is going to push through the dredging of deep canals in North Sound? If not, why would they need 20’ canals if there is not equal depth access through North Sound.

    I am confident that he will consult the people and the opposition in the same manner he did on the planning law. i.e. Not at all!!!

    The UK needs to step in and stop this destruction of our democracy. Either that or the other elected “yes” men of the UDP need to start representing their constituents.

    Mac has a long term plan, but it does not include the well being of these Islands, Just his rich “friends”.

  25. peter milburn says:

    Why am I not surprised that Dragon Bay will exceed any other canal depth.Problem I have with all this is the fact that all these canals will further "weaken"the west bay road area in relation to even more flooding and storm surge.There is even the possibilty that the road could be cut in two in or around this general  area.I bet Dragon Bay is counting on the fact (or the hope)that we will not see another Ivan.When all the mangrove buffer(what little there is left)is completely taken out then this could very well happen.Time will tell and in the meantime the destruction will continue til the NCL is finally put in place hopefully not before its too late for future generations.I hope that ALL you developers will sleep well.

    • Pending says:

      That would suit me just fine if the WB road was cut in 2, then McKeeva, Dart  and Mike Ryan would all be cut off from the rest of the island in the Republic of West Bay where they could form their own country and do as they pleased.

  26. Lachlan MacTavish says:

     Hopefully with the FOI tool the voters will slowly start to understand that Cayman needs to move away from the "using the peoples country" for personal profit to a more modern, sophisticated and mature approach to the running of the country.

  27. Anonymous says:

    Perhaps this might explain the bags of fill that are palletted and sitting ready for transport (and sale?) next to Turnberry.  It’s quite a bit of material.

  28. dave miller says:

    I agree with," this story makes no sense ". I am a caymanian diving instructor and have thousands of hours underneath water down to 250 ft. I have also operated equipment with my father and his cousins dredge boat,  dragline, bulldozers and dump trucks in prospect park and omega bay properties. We heard the same thing then .We dug it deeper but it keeps filling in.                                                                                               One day i went behind to see a friend at hyatt regency i saw peter just counting his golf balls that he just retrieved from the waterways from the jack nicklaus golf course. I stopped by to say hello and he recounted a story that was amazing .He saw a large 50 lb. dogtooth snapper in the waterway and other large fish.                                                                          I can only conclude that there are passages through the mangrove UNDER the golf course where fish can swim in and out . So you see ladies and gentlemen the development didn’t cause a negative impact. Baby fish can still find 138 acres to breed in .

    • Green Mango says:

      Wow, I’m going to have to start fishing in the golf course since a 50lb dog-tooth would be, oh, double the IGFA record. Methinks when stories are too good to be true (like dredge mud producing record fish), it is. But if anyone thinks its a good idea go dive in the Hyatt canal; trail your hand through the muck on the bottom, see if your common sense tells you its a good thing or not.

  29. Anonymous says:

    Until the people in this country wake up and realize that it is the people in Planning who are giving approval for the destruction of this country. Caymanians in Planning should be ashamed of themselves.

    Hold the Planning people accountable and responsible for approving destructive plans. Interview the head of Planning and confront him for selling out the country.

    Gina Ebanks-Petrie has not been given the power with a Conservation law that will allow for the protection of the country’s environment.

    It is so frustrating to see time and time again the ongoing destruction of the country. Planning will trump the Environment every time in Cayman.

    Fire the entire Planning bunch.

    CNS note: Just to be clear, the planning department does not give approval either. Approval comes from the CPA in Grand Cayman and the DCB in the Sister Islands. Board members are not paid.

  30. Anonymous says:

    oh dear, how shocking! I can’t believe that a company with such an outstanding respect for ecological matters and god’s green earth  could ever allow this to happen.  Are you sure this is correct? absolutely certain??? … on my….

    • Anonymous says:

      Where to you live dear, Governors Harbour or Prospect Park, dredged from the North Sound or perhaps South Sound Road which, guess what, was filled from dredging South Sound.

  31. MacRyan Monster says:

    Someone should launch a legal challenge – it worked in BVI when the development there was wiped out because of its failure to address environmental impact.  It could certainly stop development starting until the case reached the Privy Council after which we might not have a government that it lead by someone who eats with Mike Ryan every week.

  32. Anonymous says:

    Shocking! Is it possible to print the names of the board members that voted for this, or those present at the meeting – or just list the names of the members.

  33. Anonymous says:

    Who is ready for a public protest and marching down to LA with banners and poster stating how we feel as a country. Who is ready to stand in front of the mangroves while bulldozer are waiting to tear them down.

    When PPM was about to gather the people to protest against Mckeeva, Mac took the hint.

    It is time for people to protest. We have lost our rights to our country and there is no longer any one to stand for us and our future.

    Screw PPM and the UDP.

    I am not a leader but if some one steps up against this madness I will give my support.

  34. Twyla Vargas says:

    Deep Water.     So now, are we going to fill it back up, or can we be allowed to fish for Ocean  Turbit.?

    • Anonymous says:

      Twyla, this is like trying to get the toothpaste back in the tube. This is the problem when policies disregard the environment – the damage is often irreversible. Voting the politicians out in 3 years will not undothe damage they are doing now.      

  35. Ken P says:

    I say charge them CI$1 million for destroying the mangroves and digging the canals too deep. DOE needs to get tougher especially if in regards to natural vegetation and our environment and make developers aware of fines they might get for violations. We have to pass the National Conservation bill before the next 6 months as Mac will continue to give Dart, Micahel Ryan and Joe Imporato the rights to remove every mangrove, buttonwood and birch tree in Cayman. If we get another hurricane like Ivan or bigger we’re going to have flooding, tidal waves and earthquakes. The magroves serve a vital role in keeping our waters clean, breed marine life and protect our shores. 

    Mangroves and all native trees and plants must be protected before it’s too late. If a mangrove is removedthen 1 must be planted in a suitable location to ensure that we don’t continue to lose them. When will Mac wake up  and see that this overkill of development will ruin Cayman. Oh I forgot he spends most of his time in luxury destinations or living it up at The Ritz as M. Ryan’s little puppet.

    • Gladstone says:

      Read the article again, the CPD gave them permission to do both.

      Dart owns the Arbitorium and appears to be the only one planting indiginous trees to even moving and saving some of the older trees other developers wanted to just cut down.

      M Ryan appears content planting Oleander everywhee one of the most poisonous plants known to man, look it up. and it’s everywhere on the golf courses.

    • Anonymous says:

      " If we get another hurricane like Ivan or bigger we’re going to have flooding, tidal waves and earthquakes"

      I didn’t realize hurricanes caused earthquakes.  Perhaps you are on to something. Maybe we should let the seismologists know?

      • Ken P says:

        Strong Hurricanes are known to effect the ocean bed and can help increase the chances of tidal waves and earthquakes. Scientist pointed this out after tsumani in Asia in 2005 and even after Ivan in Cayman we experienced 2-3 earthquakes.

        • Anonymous says:

          Which scientists? What studies? Where were the findings published? I think the earthquakes in Cayman were caused by tectonic pressure in the nearby fault line similar to that found in the "ring of fire".

    • Caymanian Overseas says:

      Please voice your support for the National Conservation Law if you want the DOE to be able to anything..


    • Just Sayin' says:

      Not sure how the removing of mangroves etc will add to the threat of tidal waves and earthquakes.  Flooding in the case of a hurricane I can understand but not stuff like that. 

  36. Businessasusual says:

    No surprise here. Remind me who has the real estate contract for Ryan?

  37. Anonymous says:

    This story makes no sense to me. The CPA and the Water Authority have given permission for every canal in Cayman for the last 20 years to be 15 feet deep. If they were following the 50 year old Wickstead report something is missing here. In fact, not sure how relevant Wickstead is anymore given the improvement in science and the decades since it was done.

    Additionally, I am also not sure why this is “dangerous” and have “devastating impacts to marine resources”. This actually seems like a good idea to me. Everyone knows that these canals actually get shallower with time because they silt up. If the canals are deeper they will reduce the possibility that the silt and other pollution at the bottom of the canals will get into the North Sound. I cannot see how that is a bad idea. The argument that the deeper canals will not let sunlight to the bottom is also crazy. I have good natural light when diving much deeper than 20 feet. I assume that DOE has done photometric studies in our canals and should release them to support their statements but this idea that a 20 foot canal in Cayman is “too deep” is clearly misguided.

    I think whatever “research” has been done should be released and examples of the problems in the Cayman canals that are deeper than 9 feet ( most of them) should be identified as proof to these wild statements. My belief is that because of the natural springs in these canals in Cayman that they have a natural circulation and the ‘science’ behind this story is totally misguided.

    Just saying, this story makes no sense to me.

    • Richard Wadd says:

       Obviously you are a ‘Water Quality Engineer’ with the tools, knowledge and years of experience to come to this Scientific conclusion.

       "…..too little Education can be far more dangerous than none at all". 

    • Anon says:

      Thank you, Mr. Science for putting this whole thing into perspective for us.  You must be very educated and published.  Where can we read about your exhaustive research?

      • Pending says:

        I think you will find it in the library of common sense, you should check it out.

    • My2cents says:

      I think the problem relates to the quality of the water in the deep water canals.

      If you dig a deep hole, and then connect it to the relatively shallow north sound, the full depth of the water in the hole will not circulate properly with the water of the sound.

      Result? The natural flora and fauna in the water dies, and the water in the hole becomes a stagnant, smelly, dirty bowl of toxic soup where nothing lives.

      Then keep it connected to North Sound, and what you do is allow the toxins of the dead noxious water to pollute the relatively clean ocean water of the north sound.


      • Anonymous says:

        My2cents is on the right track. The minimal tides and light breezes here can just about allow nature to deal with the pollutants in a shallow canal and the top 10ft of a 20ft deep canal. But the North Sound is only 10ft deep, and the heavy run off of nutrients from the golf courses and manicured lawns  will cause a  toxic soup to get trapped in the bottom 10ft of the deep canals.  That is until we have a storm, and the whole "stagnant smelly dirty bowl of toxic soup" gets flushed into the Sound in a concentrated poisonous plume that kills every living thing in its path. They are digging deep to get cheap fill and to match the future channel across the Sound. The Caymanian contractor gets a temporary job for his expat labour, but the very thing that the purchasers of the property came to enjoy has vanished forever.

    • Anonymous says:

      What is dangerous about it? Once the water is over your head you will drown if you can’t swim. A 20 foot depth canal is no more dangerous to people than the DoE’s request of 9 feet. Surely they could rely on more factual environmental information than such an old report.

      • Anonymous says:

        Actually that is not totally true.

        The deeper the water the larger the wave it can carry. If you put 20 foot deep canal right next to shore that is a fairly large wave slamming right on shore. And of course that shore is made up of compacted sand which the large waves will dig out for you. Think what happened to Mariners Cove.

    • Anonymous says:

      So that you understand me, I clicked on thumbs up.

      I also agree that 20 feet should not be too much and consider your writing sensible.

      However… anything this dictator does, especially for his supporters MUST BE QUESTIONED AS TO MOTIVE. That is why you have more thumbs down.

      The Premier/Dictator is out-of-control and anything he does now, including some APPARENTLY positive moves, will need to be reviewed later in great detail by the new Govt. that, God willing/hopefully replaces him/his so as to try to reverse as much of the damage as possible that he has already inflicted by his undemocratic/dictatorial methods.


    • Anonymous says:

      You will find most of the deepest canals in the world are deep specifically so they can allow ocean vessels to either pass through them (i.e. Suez Canal) or to allow ocean vessels into deeper parts of a country (i.e. Saint Lawrence Seaway).

      For the first sort (i.e. the Suez Canal) – this just saves an enormous amount of time (and money) by going through rather than navigating around.

      For the second sort, this saves money by allowing the vessel to further venture into a large country and then docking (rather than docking by the ocean and having to unload & deliver goods by rail/road).

      You will find neither example relates to what is happening at Dragon Bay. I don’t see huge ships trying to either go through the country or try to get into the heart of Cayman. In short there is no need to do this.

      You will find most canals in the world are rarely deeper than 6 feet. Stretch it to 9 feet to allow for some big old yacht to dock – fair enough. But to have a canal with a depth of 20 feet in Grand Cayman – that sounds as bizarre as a leader of a government attacking the free press in their own country, hold on…

  38. Ex Caymanian & Not by Choice says:

    It’s  the RITZ CARLTON /MICHEAL RYAN one of McKeeva’s  PUPPETMASTERS, try doing something about this PPM, GOVR Taylor, anyone!!!  

    Why bother? Like i said before once it belongs to the PAY/PUPPETMASTERS (KENNETH DART & MICHEAL RYAN) anything goes here they own this McKeeva & US……..  

    • Macman says:

      Is it only me or does anyone else see the benefits (such as the parks created) that Dart has brought to the island. What similar benefits has Ryan produced..Oh yes he is going to plant some Mangroves, but only after he has gained more land by tearing the existing mangroves out! And yes he is going to dredge some really deep canals so that we won’t be bothered by the silting up….say WHAT??

    • Anonymous says:

      Dere u go anti-everbody, speak to the issue if you have the ability to do so!!

    • Pending says:

      In the beginning was the Plan.

      And then came the Assumptions.

      And the Assumptions were without form.

      And darkness was upon the face of the Workers.

      And they spoke among themselves, saying, "It is a crock of sh@t, and it stinketh."

      And the workers went unto their Supervisors and said, "It is a pail of dung, and none may abide the odour thereof."

      And the Supervisors went unto their Managers, saying, "It is a container of excrement, and it is very strong, such that none may abide by it."

      And theManagers went unto their Directors, saying, "It is a vessel of fertiliser, and none may abide its strength."

      And the Directors spoke amongst themselves, saying one to another, "It contains that which aids plant growth, and it is very strong."

      And the Directors then went onto the Vice Presidents, saying unto them, "It promotes growth and is very powerful."

      And the Vice Presidents went unto the President, saying unto him, "This new plan will actively promote the growth and vigour of the company; with powerful effects."

      And the President looked upon the Plan, and saw that it was good.

      And the Plan became Policy.

      This is How Sh@t Happens.