Government begins process for cruise port EIA

| 15/11/2013

(CNS): Plans to develop cruise berthing facilities are moving steadily forward, in compliance with the terms of the fiscal deal government signed with the UK and international best practice. The next step is the environmental impact assessment (EIA), and given the findings in the strategic business case undertaken by PricewaterhouseCoopers that pointed to significant environmental risks and the potential damage to coral and Grand Cayman’s world famous Seven Mile Beach, the EIA is of particular importance. Government has stated that if the EIA found that there was too much risk to the environment associated with the project, it could reconsider its position or work to mitigate those risks.

With the EIA being the next step in the process, the government is hosting another public meeting next week at the Mary Miller Hall to allow public input regarding the Terms of Reference (ToR) for the proposed EIA. The TOR outlines the envisaged technical approach for the EIA. They have been developed by Mott Macdonald as part of the Outline Business Case process, in collaboration with the government’s Environmental Advisory Board, which includes representatives from Departments of Environment, Planning, Tourism, the Port Authority, the National Museum and the National Roads Authority.

Government is seeking public input on the planned assessment and is asking interested parties to review the ToRS and join them for the open house session on Wednesday 20 November from 6pm for the discussion, which will be followed by a presentation.

Comments on the ToR may be submitted in writing at the meeting, electronically via e-mail to or mailed to Department of Environment PO Box 10202, Grand Cayman KY1-1002, or hand delivered to Department of Environment, Environmental Centre, 580 North Sound Road, George Town, Grand Cayman. The comment period will officially close at 9am on Monday, 2 December.

The ToR are available online at and hard copies can be reviewed at the main government building on Elgin Avenue, George Town, or at the Department of Environment’s offices at 580 North Sound Road, George Town. The document is also attached below.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Category: Science and Nature

About the Author ()

Comments (9)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Anonymous says:

    Just build better tender facilities what the problem with this some people just have to spend spend spend

  2. Anonymous says:

    $ame $hit different government

    This is all smoke and mirrors by Moses and the Progressives. The deal is done with the cruise lines and in the end the local conglomerate that owns this government and the last one will be involved in a major role.

    The facade of transparency and EIA being important is to placate a naive public. The Progressives paid 1m for PWC to tell them what KMPG told the last government.

    • Anonymous says:

      To:Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 15/11/2013 – 22:19                                   You say "This is all smoke and mirrors by Moses and the Progressives. The deal is done with the cruise lines and in the end the local conglomerate that owns this government and the last one will be involved in a major role." .Can you provide us with the evidence?.If not your comment is all "smoke and mirrors."

  3. Anonymous says:

    This is just not worth the risk. Smaller cruise ships and expanded airport for more overstayers is the way forward

  4. Anonymous says:

    An estimated 626,000 cubic meters of cutter suction dredging (CSD) and blasting is called for in the George Town proposal.  To put that in context, the massive undertaking of dredging the entire Nassau Harbour was about double that at a cost of $50mln back in 2009, but unlike them, we will accomodate just 4 ships.  The $100mln estimate is for design and build of piers alone, whereas the full upland development plan is est >$200mln.  This is not a trivial exercise or expense.  Even directly in the face of Nor'Westers, Cayman would have to guarantee the minimum maintanence of 36 feet or the ships won't come.  Water turbidity is going to be an ongoing issue.  Spending $200+mln to acheive an optimistic $220mln in economic benefit (over 20 years), while irreversibly altering the shoreline and character of George Town and the added risk of potentially destroying the ecology of West Wall, for an estimated 20 year net gain of merely $20mln: that doesn't sound like a smart exchange.

    • Anonymous says:

      But politically connected middle men will make a fortune out of this regardless of the benefits.  That drives most large projects like this.

    • Jonas Dwyer says:

      Have the cruise ships written to the CIG and said if you don't build it we will stop coming?.The relevancy of this question is that if we have been spending all of this money for so many years without a written request, then we really have a serious mental issue.

      We acknowledge that we are in a prime location and in the route that these ships have traversed for many years.  We I believe have never had an incident with the tenders resulting in a liability claim either to the tender company or the CIG. Then whatever or where is the beef.  Surely it's not about harrazing anymore, or there has been no press on this. That the Port Facility where the passengers land is indeed tacky and has no format conducive to a good welcoming experience, I am sure we all would agree. That the height of the pier and that of the tenders provides passengers with an Erie feeling coming ashore or on re boarding yes it is an issue, but these ARE ITEMS THAT CAN BE FIXED for less than $200 million.

      i could be wrong in my assumption as a layman observer, but if we have never been formally advised that if piers are not built, they will stop coming and if this parlay has only been a cocktail, lunch or dinner discussion,  let's stop this extravaganza and look for less costly solutions. I stand to be corrected.


  5. Anonymous says:

    Page 10 of EIA has a simple diagram which illustrates the pier layout and scope and scale of the 36 foot minimum dredging that would be required to accomodate Oasis class cruise ships.  Cayman would be required to guarantee that minimum depth or the cruise ships will not come – a  significant maintenance problem which Nassau Harbour has encountered.  Initial and ongoing water turbity problems will effect seven mile beach tourist product quality, I suspect more than sand migration might.