DoE officer praised for commitment to turtles

| 05/09/2018
CNS Local Life

Gina Ebanks-Petrie presents Chadd Bush with Employee of the Month pin

(CNS Local Life): Department of the Environment (DoE) conservation officer Chadd Oliver Bush has been named the Cayman Islands Government Employee of the Month for July 2018. Deputy Governor Franz Manderson presented the certificate to Bush on Friday, 31 August, for developing “exceptional leadership qualities by being highly engaged and motivated in achieving results in the lives of those he serves”, stated a press release. The awards ceremony was also attended by Bush’s colleagues and senior managers.

As an employee, Bush “takes his department’s conservation mandate seriously”, said the release, adding that “over and above his regular duties, he demonstrates a real dedication and enthusiasm for preserving one of the Cayman Islands national treasures – our marine turtles”.

Although all of the DoE conservation officers are sometimes involved in nighttime patrols, over the past two years Bush has volunteered many hours in excess of the standard work week, patrolling active turtle nesting beaches at night. Such patrols/tours led to him rescuing a mature female turtle from poachers last turtle season and he took part in assisting another in July, the release said. On average, green sea turtles lay between 300 and 700 eggs each nesting season, therefore from a statistical standpoint, his rescue efforts ensured the laying of from 600-1,400 eggs.

Nothing that poachers, though not often encountered, can be aggressive and are sometimes armed with various weapons, the release said that risk made Bush’s commitment even more “noteworthy and heroic”.

CNS Local Life

Chadd Bush (centre) and Deputy Governor Franz Manderson hold certificates, with environment ministry and department staff

In doing this extra work, conservation officers not only help maintain current turtle populations, they also preserve an important piece of local heritage for future generations and contribute to Cayman’s eco-tourism experience, said the release.

Director of Environment Gina Ebanks-Petrie thanked the deputy governor for selecting a DoE staff member, saying: “Chadd has a very strong commitment to the conservation work of the DoE as demonstrated by his willingness to take on this extra responsibility for no additional pay and no time-in-lieu.”

She added, “Although the DoE’s marine turtle programme involves several DoE research staff and a large cadre of local volunteers who monitor turtle nesting beaches on the three islands from May through November of each year, we rely heavily on the selfless dedication of our conservation officers like Chadd to ensure that our marine turtles are permitted to successfully nest on those beaches targeted by poachers.

“Sea turtles are an important part of Cayman’s history/culture and Chadd is all too aware of the declining populations, so he does whatever he can to prevent further declines. It is not uncommon for him to walk the coast up to four to five nights per week from June until about October,” she said.

DoE chief conservation officer Mark Orr also praised Bush for his exceptional work ethic and sense of responsibility, the release said. “Mr Bush is fully deserving of the Employee of the Month award. He has earned the respect of his colleagues as he exemplifies remarkable motivation, leadership and drive.

“In this day where financial motivation is often required to get anyone to go above and beyond, it is truly admirable that Chadd does this work out of a love for the Cayman Islands,” Orr said.

On presenting the certificate at the awards ceremony, Manderson said, “Mr Bush’s level of altruism and singlemindedness when it comes to protecting the welfare of our sea turtles is inspiring and one we can all draw on and take pride in.

“You display a selflessness that is rarely found in most work environments. I am encouraged to learn that despite your full workload you have seen fit to independently take on the additional task of protecting our vulnerable sea turtles during the egg-laying season. I thank you for an outstanding level of duty and dedication to your department and the Cayman Islands Government. You are an outstanding role model for all Cayman Islands civil servants.”

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Category: Environment, Marine Environment

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Well on Cayman we have this absolutely amazing man called Chadd Bush and then we have the absolute SCUM turtle poachers.