Prince Edward praises CCMI during recent visit

| 16/03/2016
CNS Local Life

(Centre, L-R) Carrie Manfrino, the Countess of Wessex and Prince Edward, with CCMI staff (Photo by Melissa Wolfe)

(CNS): As part of their visit to the Cayman Islands, Prince Edward and his wife, Sophie, the Earl and Countess of Wessex, spent time at the Central Caribbean Marine Institute (CCMI) in Little Cayman to tour the facility for which he participated in the groundbreaking in 2003. The prince has previously visited the facility three times to check in on progress and the development of the various CCMI programmes, including the Ocean Literacy initiative that he launched during his 2007 visit.

Ocean Literacy’s mandate is to ensure that “every child in the Cayman Islands is ocean literate by the time they are 12 years old”. To date more than 1,000 children in the Cayman Islands have participated in CCMI’s residential programme, with 368 last year, and the organisation has recently launched an in-school workshop, reaching students in their classrooms.

Prince Edward spoke to the reasons why he is so interested in CCMI and its work. “Declining coral reefs pose urgent threats to society and indeed, to the economy of entire island nations,” he said.

“The Central Caribbean Marine Institute is one of the premier research institutes that is working to reduce this disastrous decline and to save coral reefs around the globe.”

CCMI president Dr Carrie Manfrino said she was grateful for the support and emphasised the importance of their work. “One of our greatest discoveries is that coral reefs in Little Cayman are capable of rebounding from global stressors,” she explained.

“Our next mission is to uncover what is driving this and hopefully we can reverse the decline of coral reefs around the world – but first we need to expand our research capacity.”

The success of CCMI’s science and research arm, alongside its educational mission, means that it has become increasingly difficult for the facilities to accommodate both of these diverse groups. To overcome this challenge, Manfrino announced during the royal visit that CCMI intends to launch the Caribbean Ocean Science Academy (COSA).

The royal couple toured the Little Cayman Research Centre, meeting school children who were in residence at the time, as well as a research team of students from Dartmouth College. They also attended a special dinner of CCMI’s many sponsors and donors.

Video of Prince Edward’s tour of CCMI 

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Category: Marine Environment

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