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SO THEY WANT TO CUT A HOLE IN THE DIKE?

Roller from the seaside lagoon area

Feb. 11, 2014

Permanent Secretary
Ministry of Financial Services, Commerce and Environment

RE: APPLICATION TO CUT THROUGH THE BARRIER REEF OFF BLOCK 30A, PARCELS 6 AND 7, CAYMAN BRAC

Dear Sirs,

I have viewed and researched this proposal. While I am not opposed to all coastal works — I appreciate the cut into the iron shore at the Buccaneer’s Inn site for example — I am alarmed by this one, the proposal to cut the reef by Dennis Point.

A cut in our protective reef would open a permanent breach in our defenses. In a country with a proud record of protecting marine resources, this would be a retrograde step.

Without any benefit being shown, all we see is cost:

  1. Unshielded wave erosion on our island from cyclonic systems passing to the west, with sea incursion of storm waves affecting Saltwater Pond, associated low-lying land, and the houses, shops and roads built on them, as well as a hotel;
  2. Damage to sensitive eco-systems just inland from the proposed cut;
  3. Degradation of the Brac’s only remaining undisturbed “nursery” of fish, lobster, conch and other species. (The equivalent lagoon lying west of Dennis Point is periodically dredged for large pleasure craft);
  4. Violation of existing marine protection sites on this island, Cayman Brac, which already has the lowest degree of such protection of the three islands;
  5. Siltation and other damage to the living reef to the west, the location of the island’s only seaside beach resort.

Without any benefit being shown, even the simplest cost-benefit analysis cannot be performed. Yet a full Environmental Impact Assessment would definitely be required, before such a radical proposal (cutting a hole in our natural “dike”) could be approved.

One supposes that a key purpose of the Coastal Works Committee is to assess the merit of applications that come before it. It seems in this case, no merit has been revealed.

Respectfully,
[Original signed by the blogger]

February 2018
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