Sculpture to create artificial reef in West Bay

| 16/09/2013

(CNS): Owners of a local dive company and eco-condo development in North West Point, West Bay, plan to sink a 13-foot sculpture to create a artificial reef in the area. According to reports from the dive industry, Jay and Nancy Easterbrook commissioned a sculpture of the “Guardian of the Reef”, a mythological creature, half ancient warrior, half seahorse, from Canadian artist Simon Morris. It will be sunk in January pending approval of permits from the Department of Environment as a new underwater attraction and to launch a 12-month celebration of Divetech’s 20th anniversary. The statue will take up position on a sandy flat in 65 feet of water just off Lighthouse Point.

The top half of the sculpture is a guardsman wearing Greco-Roman armour and carrying a circular shield and a staff and sphere. His helmet is a stylized sea horse head, and a dorsal fin protrudes from the back of his breastplate. At the waist, the creature morphs into a seahorse with a tail coiled around a bronze ring mounted on a 4’ bronze column. The Guardian will be perched on a 4-foot concrete pedestal that will raise him to 17 feet and help the sculpture become part of the reef.

“We have a little pod of seahorses out front, so he’ll fit right in. I’m very excited about that,” Nancy Easterbrook told the local online dive industry magazine, The Cayman Bottom Times.

One dollar from every dive made on The Guardian will go to the conservation education programme, and the goal is to raise $20,000 the first year. Donations will also be accepted for the cause, and Jay and Nancy Easterbrook say this initiative may be extended after the year is up and the celebration is over. “I think its appropriate and it has meaning,” says Easterbrook.

Her husband, Jay, explained that the concrete pedestal should “attract underwater life almost immediately and we’ll see coral and sponges begin to grow on the base.”

Simon Morris is the creator of the famous mermaid sculptures "the Emerald Princess" and "Amphitrite" that were placed underwater in British Columbia and Grand Cayman.

“The Guardian of the Reef was inspired by the fact that I could provide a focal point for divers to understand and appreciate that the ocean is a gift to us from our ancestors, and a responsibility to pass on in a healthy state to our descendants,” says Morris.  “All the world’s reefs need protection and guardianship and if we don’t do it, who will? It’s my greatest hope that the Guardian will start discussions around the world of the need for environmental awareness of the fragile marine environment, not just with divers, but with everyone.”

The bronze sculpture, which is being cast in an American foundry, will journey to Cayman in October via the Diving Equipment and Marketing Association (DEMA) Show in Florida, where it will be unveiled. It is expected to arrive here in November, and the Easterbrooks plan to have him on display at Divetech’s facility at Lighthouse Point before the sculpture is sunk, if permission is granted by local authorities.

“The Guardian looks like a salty old dog and he’ll be out there protecting the reef,” says Nancy Easterbook. “He’s very symbolic – a tangible, physical creature, half man, half fish. I think he’s a cool-looking dude with his seahorse tail,” she added.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    This needs to be seriously looked into, i strongly believe there is a far deeper meaning/reason. Let us be mindful of the water spirts/kingdom….we are already wrestling with the marine spirits…Lets not be decieved.

  2. Anonymous says:

    if you were interested in protecting the reef….the amount of dive operators should be cut by 90%

  3. native. says:

    Why Greco-Roman?  This is the Caribbean man!!!!

  4. Anonymous says:

    I wonder if when they say that one dollar made from every dive on "the Guardian" will go to a conservation programme, they realize that while they might commit to that donation, they can't control other operations and divers who may dive the site. I think that's way inside the "high water' mark! 

    • Anonymous says:

      That thought came to my mind too. Btw, who will own this thing once it is sunk, Government, Divetech, someone else?

  5. Anonymous says:

    Putting this statue underwater amounts to nothing more than further polluting already critically endangered reefs. 

    Were any environmental impact studies conducted?

    I highly doubt it because the heavy metals and paint compounds will make therir way into the fish, which will be toxic. No responsible environmental agency would approve a statue such as this.

    While dive companies all over the world are creating living coral, this dive company selects an extremely enviornmentally detrimental piece of, well…….. garbage, is really the only way to describe it.


    Just don't dive with Divetech until they remove it. Tell your friends, word will get around soon enough. There are dozens of other dive companies that do not contaminate fish. Use one of them instead.


  6. Anon says:

    DOE – SAY NO!!! 

  7. Anonymous says:

    In other words if CIG is not doing it (and they don't do anything right) then Caymanians are against it.  Welcome to the third world.  Maybe if it looked like Ex- premeir Bush?  Pushing a lawnmower?  I would dive to see that!

  8. Anonymous says:

    I hope he has a work permit.

  9. Anonymous says:

    the diving industry has killed the reef…but they think more diver tourists is going to improve things???????

  10. Anonymous says:

    This is more than just more ocean garbage, the statue is made of METALS – and by the look of it PAINT.

    Fish and other sea life absorb the metals from the statue and paints and contaminate the fish, rendering local fish and other sea life toxic. The metals make their way up to alpha predators like whales and shark, devastating them and destroying the entire balance of the ocean.  


    Say NO to more ocean GARBAGE!


    Use ANY other dive company until these pseudo-ecologists stop dumping garbage in the ocean to increase their PROFITS. Thisis obviously an uncreative and cheap attempt to mimic the statue at Sunset House and nothing more than an added threat to our already endangered reefs and local eco system.

    • Anonymous says:

      So just throw it on the toxic (but cheap) mountain of trash that is already contaminating north sound and is the biggest threat to fish and humans and really is Caymanians only contribution to the island?  Say YES to more GARBAGE as long as its not in the ocean and private business does not profit from it?  We get it.

    • Anonymous says:

      Ridiculous. Bronze is no more dangerous to sealife than it is to you.

    • Cayman Rght Hook says:

      You are absolutely i suggest we put one of our dear leader Alden since we talking about Junk and it  would be quite fitting being underwater since the island is slowly sinking below the sea under his leadership and that of his sea pirates.

  11. Anonymous says:

    As if our reefs need bling factor to pull in more dive tourists. I guess if we can't save it or grow it then let's replace it with man made stuff. 

    Seems like it will not be long before we have the first underwater Disney Land. Ooops, should not have mentioned that. 

  12. Anonymous says:

    To those of you making negative of this effort you should keep in mind that one reason our reefs are degenerate is because of the lack of concern about protecting our environment.  if we were to properly protect our reefs this may not be necessary.  I think it will be a welcome addition to our underwater destinations and will be yet another draw for our diving tourism.

    • Anonymous says:

      Your first sentence is correct 15:13 but the rest of your post is garbage.

  13. Anonymous says:

    And your government will allow this type of garbage to clutter up the seabed around such beautiful islands? This is absolute rubbish and should not be allowed! Guardian of the Reef?  Really?  Isn't that a job for Christ or God, or somebody else who guards us all? I am constantly amazed at how docile the Caymanian people are and how any self-serving character who comes here with some idiotic idea is just allowed to do what they want. Yea, I'm expat by d way.

    • Anon says:

      Thank you for your comment – I agree with you. We are an amazingly docile people and for some reason it has, as far back as I can remember (and I am a senior citizen) we always gave more credence to any idea that was the brainchild of a foreign person. It was like the snake oil salesman – who had the cure for everything. I'm afraid tho, that our docile demeanor will be our downfall. 

  14. Anonymous says:

    Why don't they set up a small underwater grid with a small voltage to grow coral like other scientist are having success with in bringing back dead reefs….this is what happens when marketing trumps proven science.  

    • Anonymous says:

      Why don't you set this up and save YOUR reefs? Retorical question.  Why don't you do some thing, anything that could be considered work?  Retorical question.  Why do you try and put down ANY one who tries to do anything good for the island?  Real question.

      • Anonymous says:

        Why do I need to unwind your convoluted pronouns since you can't deal with reality?  I don't….and I won't.

      • Anonymous says:

        Please learn to spell "rhetorical".

  15. Anonymous says:

    Bronze is an alloy of copper and other metals normally including tin, zinc, nickel and lead. All those metals are toxic and whatever people choose to believe bronze does corrode, particularly when you leave it in shallow saltwater? Smart move Nancy.

  16. Anonymous says:

    How tacky ! 

    • Anonymous says:

      He doesn't look Caymanian..

      • Anonymous says:


        Around the eyebrows, he kind of resembles the real king of West Bay.

      • Anonymous says:

        15.36- If you take your glasses off, squint a little and puff a little weed, he starts to look like Mac. Not for the faint hearted.

      • Anonymous says:

        Or Druish for that matter.

    • Anonymous says:

      I did not realise fish were so sensitive to art 10.10

      It may or may not be tacky but anything to help rebuild reefs has got to be a good idea.


  17. old man says:

    Replacing the ocean with junk for our fish!

  18. Anonymous says:

    Great! Another idol for Cayman. Nothing has changed.