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Non-Profit: Eco Divers Reef Foundation

Attention all charities! Have you submitted your NPO application yet? To make sure you’re in compli-ance with the law, submit your pa-perwork before Tuesday, 31 July—and as a thank you, Government will waive the $300 application fee!

This column features a non-profit organisation (NPO) registered in the Cayman Islands:

A love of coral reefs is at the heart of the Eco Divers Reef Foundation (EDRF) and its work in the Cayman Islands.

In the last several decades, coral mortality around the world has been high but in the Caribbean, the effects are catastrophic. Recent studies show that more than 95 percent of stony corals in the Carib-bean Sea have died in the past 30 years, with massive areas that were once flourishing coral gardens stripped to bare rock.

Overfishing, pollution and a host of other forces have left the Caribbean coral species reduced to a tiny frac-tion of their original scale.

The Cayman Islands, however, can witness massive returns of living coral through a combination of fac-tors. For starters, Grand Cayman is an isolated island surrounded by deep, clean water. This isolation protects against disease outbreaks, with the abundance of deep water diluting pollutants.

Cayman can also boast a motivated local government and detailed Ma-rine Park laws that protect its fragile ecosystem. All three of the Cayman Islands are literally made of once living corals. Cayman presents a rare convergence of forces that can work together to return its coral reefs to their original splendour.

EDRF fits in by primarily managing coral nurseries and restoration projects. Its latest endeavour cen-tres on three coral nursery sites on the west side of Grand Cayman, with the goal of moving that coral back onto local reefs. With the project nearing completion, stay-ing prepared for another unpre-dictable hurricane season is para-mount.

EDRF believes their programmes can lead to genetic diversity and abundance of living coral where it once thrived. Secondary positives, such as increases in fish popula-tions, are expected and tourism products also stand to benefit.

EDRF also believes that daily un-derwater activities need thoughtful, targeted and location-specific planning to produce real change. Monitoring and maintain-ing Cayman’s coral nurseries re-quires young men and women to suit up and take the plunge. Sur-veying the health of corals also calls for dedication to work along-side local dive operations.

As an important part of its work, EDRF engages in outreach initia-tives including public speaking to youth and adult groups, PADI cer-tifications, public fundraising events and educational videos available through social media.

EDRF considers itself to be very fortunate to be able to offer its programmes, and to work with many of the dive operations on island. Every donation EDRF re-ceives helps to cover the cost of equipment, training and staff.

To donate, please email caymane-codivers@gmail.com; visit cay-manecodivers.com; or call us on 938-4904.

 

For more information on NPOs, please contact General Registry by emailing paul.inniss@gov.ky.

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