The first week of the Central Caribbean Marine Institute (CCMI) Caribbean Sea Camp has come to an end and students were awarded their Marine Conservation Certificates last night at McCoy’s Lodge on Little Cayman. The student successfully completed the required tasks and tests set forth during the 2003 Central Caribbean Marine Institute Summer Sea Camp. These included: Marine research survey design and application; Caribbean reef organism identifications; Introduction to Global Positioning System (GPS).
The following students were awarded the CCMI Certificate: Leah Grant, Daniela Ryan, Catherine Welds, Matthew Moss-Solomon, Melissa Brown, Nicholas Watson, Gianna Esteban, Joel Porter, Dakota Kievman, Cynthia Frederick, Gaspard Clozel, Sean Surat, and Koby Elias.
The program, in its 4th year focuses on ‘Investigating Endangered Species and Marine Conservation’ and had its beginnings with the first "Coral Reef Experience" Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award event on Grand Cayman in 2000.
The organization’s director, Dr. Carrie Manfrino, developed the awards program for the large group of youths visiting the Cayman Islands to complete their Award on invitation by the Department of Environment. The Coral Reef Experience was a huge success with the youths involved that year and its success provided the impetus for developing it into the CCMI Sea Camp program.
The CCMI program was developed to be a model for coral reef education for high school youths living in or visiting the Caribbean.
CCMI is a non-profit Cayman Islands organization developing the Little Cayman Marine Research Centre to facilitate such programs in the future. CCMI broke ground on their new facility last month. This project is monumental for the islands as the objective is for the centre to become a focal point in the Caribbean for coral reef research and education as well as an important site for surveys and studies on sustaining biodiversity.
Sponsors for the summer program include Bank Austria, Southern Cross Club (Little Cayman), Little Cayman National Trust, Rotary Club of Grand Cayman, Esso Caribbean, Cayman Airways, Cayman Islands Department of Tourism and Department of Environment, Island Air and PADI. Fosters Brothers provided snacks for the youths for the week.