GEORGE TOWN: Carnival Cruise Line has pledged a contribution of $100,000 to the Cayman Islands National Trust to support the ongoing George Town Reef Restoration Effort.
Under the guidance of the Department of the Environment (DOE), local dive and water sports operators have been working to repair damage to the reef that occurred in August 2014, when the captain of the cruise ship Carnival Magic was inadvertently guided by a Port Authority-licensed pilot to drop anchor outside of the designated anchorage zone.
“The fact that Carnival is supporting the DOE and the volunteer partners on this restoration project demonstrates their appreciation of Cayman’s valuable marine environment and the need to protect and maintain it,” said the Cayman Islands’ Minister of Financial Services, Commerce and the Environment, Wayne Panton. “The ministry thanks Carnival for this initial donation and we welcome their continuing partnership with us on this critical restoration work.”
“We hugely value the beautiful reefs and pristine environment that make the Cayman Islands so extraordinary,” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. “When you consider that coral reefs cover less than 0.2 per cent of the ocean floor, we understand the paramount importance of preserving and protecting them. Grand Cayman is one of our guests’ favourite destinations and, as Grand Cayman’s longest-standing cruise partner and the company bringing the most guests there each year, we are very pleased to pledge this contribution in support of the ongoing coral reef restoration efforts.”
Minister for Tourism, Moses Kirkconnell, who met with Carnival Cruise Line executives last month, commended the cruise line for its willingness to collaborate in the conservation project.
“The Cayman Islands government is appreciative of this gesture which has been provided in good faith by a most valued tourism partner. This initial pledge to provide funding will assist the important work being undertaken on the reef, which is largely a community effort by teams of dedicated volunteers whose primary motivation is to conserve our Island’s spectacular marine environment.
“I am pleased to welcome Carnival Cruise Line as a partner in this important initiative and provide the assurance that this and all subsequent donations from Carnival will solely be used to support the George Town Reef Restoration Effort,” he said.