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Cayman Islands: Ministry, Department of Environment celebrate our ‘Paradise’

313052aFrom Cayman Islands Government

Earth Day 2014 was so good, that both the Ministry and the Department of Environment decided to celebrate it for a little while longer.

On the morning of Friday, 2 May, they invited all civil servants to help ‘Protect Our Paradise’ by purchasing T-shirts that supported the National Trust’s environmental and historical 313052fconservation efforts. Dressed in their shirts, civil servants then put their support on display by gathering for a photo on the steps of the Government Administration Building.

In the afternoon, Ministry and Department staff met at George Town Barcadere to plant red mangrove propagules in the cool, clear water, as well as to plant coconut and seagrape trees in the area.

‘We’re grateful that Mr John Lawrus, manager of the Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park, donated the majority of the plants, and that and Mr Mark Bothwell , acting general manager of the Recreation, Cemetery and Parks Unit, brought his team with him to help dig the holes for them’, said 313052c313052dDepartment of Environment Director Gina Ebanks-Petrie.

Her Excellency the Governor, Helen Kilpatrick; and Deputy Governor Franz Manderson joined civil servants for the photo, as did Minister of Environment Wayne Panton. Mr Panton also joined in the efforts at George Town Barcadere by digging a few holes and planting propagules.

‘This is about setting an example and inspiring all of us to better appreciate, preserve and protect our natural surroundings as a legacy for our children, grandchildren and all future generations to enjoy the natural beauty of our Islands’, he said.

Mrs Ebanks-Petrie explained the particular bit of coastline chosen for the mangrove planting is owned by Government. It was dredged and filled many years ago, and now has been eroded by the waves over time.

‘We decided that we would attempt to stop or slow down the erosion by planting the propagules, which hopefully will grow to recreate the fringing mangrove 313052ehabitat that occurred naturally in this area,’ she said.



Civil servants purchaed ‘Protect Our Paradise’ T-shirts, to support the National Trust’s environmental and historical conservation efforts.

Research Officer Jessica Harvey (left) in the Department of Environment’s Terrestrial Resources Unit, and Deputy Chief Officer Tamara Ebanks in the Ministry of Environment take a closer look at a seagrape tree.

The Ministry’s Senior Policy Adviser Troy Jacob 313052g(left), and the Department of Environment’s Director Gina Ebanks-Petrie, prepare suppport pipes for the red mangrove propagules planting by filling them with dirt.

Department of Environment staff plant red mangrove propagules. From left are DeputyDirector Tim Austin, Director Gina Ebanks-Petrie, and Deputy Director Scott Slaybaugh.

Minister of Environment Wayne Panton gets the ground ready for a seagrape tree.

Minister of Environment Wayne Panton plants a seagrape tree,with help from DoE’s Director Gina Ebanks-Petrie.

The Ministry’s Chief Officer Dr Dax Basdeo examines a red mangrove propagule, as Minister of Environment Wayne Panton looks on.

313052hRed mangrove propagules.


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