23 March – His Excellency the Governor, Mr. Martyn Roper, accompanied by the Minister of Environment, the Hon. Dwayne Seymour, Deputy Governor, the Hon. Franz Manderson and West Bay MLA and Ministerial Councilor Capt. Eugene Ebanks toured the Cayman Islands Government’s Department of Environment (DoE) headquarters on the morning of Friday, 22nd March, spending nearly two hours learning about the agency and meeting dozens of staff members.
The tour was Governor Roper’s first visit to the DoE since arriving in Cayman. Mr. Roper was also accompanied during the tour by Ministry Chief Officer Jennifer Ahearn.
(On board DoE vessel D-33 are (from left) Environment Minister the Hon. Dwayne Seymour, West Bay MLA Capt. Eugene Ebanks, His Excellency the Governor Martyn Roper, Deputy Governor the Hon. Franz Manderson, DoE Director Gina Ebanks-Petrie and DoE Deputy Director Tim Austin.)
“It’s hugely impressive, the range of things the DoE is doing with a relatively small team,” His Excellency, Mr. Roper said during a meeting with DoE senior staff. “It’s great to know that all of this work is ongoing to protect Cayman’s natural environment.”
Following a tour of the facility on North Sound Road, senior staff members, led by DoE Director Gina Ebanks-Petrie, each got an opportunity to discuss the duties of their respective units within the department. Everything from marine and terrestrial conservation, to indigenous species protection, to environmental management and enforcement under the National Conservation Law was discussed.
“We were glad to have this opportunity to let Mr. Roper know a bit more about the work we do every day and very pleased at his supportive response,” Ms. Ebanks-Petrie said.
(His Excellency the Governor, Mr. Martyn Roper, talks with DoE staff member Paul Chin while other staffers and volunteers look on.)
Minister Seymour also expressed a keen interest in a number of projects under way at the DoE, including efforts to implement turtle-friendly property and street lighting and ongoing enforcement of marine and terrestrial conservation rules.
“In everything from marine parks protection, to establishing protected land areas, to the Green Iguana Cull Project, this department punches well above its weight when it comes to results,” Mr. Seymour said. “I’m happy His Excellency got a chance to see that first-hand.”