- Cayman Govt, DOE, DOT, National Trust, CKPOA, Bioluminescent Tour Operators
- Cayman Islands
We need to preserve the Bioluminescent Bay here in Grand Cayman and protect the bioluminescent dinoflagellates from, skin lotions and bug sprays, boats using gas and diesel and overuse of the bays water.
With the existing homes around the bay, fossil fuel engines used inside the bay, swimming whilst wearing skin lotions like sun screens and bug sprays containing DEET; the destruction of the mangroves that once surrounded the bay, we have already done enough damage to this environment.
We are deeply concerned that swimming in the bay whilst wearing skin lotions and bug sprays, the use of gas or diesel, as well as dredging the bay is going to harm this amazing natural phenomenon.
“There used to be more bioluminescent bays. New Providence Island in the Bahamas had a bioluminescent bay. Its opening to the sea was widened and the dinoflagellates population declined. A bioluminescent bay in Hawaii suffered a similar fate. Others in the Caribbean have been lost due to industrial or boat pollution, the cutting of mangroves for charcoal, the overgrazing by cattle of nearby fields, which produces water-clouding runoff, and the increase in artificial lights, which reduces the phenomenonís brightness, according to Barabara Bernache Baker, a retired biologist who has worked hard to preserve the Mosquito Bay.”
“Tests now show that because of pollution, La Paguera bay only glows 1/10 of its original strength.”
Paul Zaul July 1960, National geographic
“The Puerto Mosquito in Puerto Rico is now a preserved bay and listed as a national natural landmark. The Department of National Environmental Resources (DNER) has classified the Puerto Mosquito as a “Class SA” water body, which means it that it is of high quality or of exceptional ecological or recreational value, and cannot be altered except by natural causes. There is a DNER regulation to help preserve the bay by prohibiting swimming in the water and all tours are done on electrically powered pontoon boats or paddle boats. The National Trust of Puerto Rico has also implemented a conservation certification program for Mosquito Bay guides and tour operators in coordination with DNER, as well as workshops on reducing water pollution for enforcement, elected officials, hospitality and tourism leaders, and the members of the construction industry.”
Grand Cayman needs to classify our bay as a high quality or of exceptional ecological or recreational value, that cannot be altered except by natural causes. We need to implement the same laws that DNER in Puerto Rico has put in place in order to preserve our bay for generations to come. We should also enforce programs to teach our hospitality and tourism leaders, locals, and guests on how to protect our environment instead of harming it.
“Many dinoflagellates are primary producers of food in the aquatic food webs. Dinoflagellates are an integral part of the first link in the aquatic food chain: the initial transfer of light energy to chemical energy (photosynthesis). Almost all other organisms are dependent upon this energy transfer for their subsequent existence. This group of microorganisms comprises a large number of unusual algal species of many shapes and sizes. Some even serve as symbionts, known as zooxanthellae, providing organic carbon to their hosts: reef-building corals, sponges, clams, jellyfish, anemones and squid.”
Smithsonian Institution. National Museum of Natural History. http://www.mnh.si.edu/highlight/sem/dinoflagellates.html
Dredging, pollution, land development, and overuse of the bay’s water must be regulated, studied and preserved as one of Cayman's National Wonders.
Our first step to saving the bay is to NOT dredge it. Then we must try to enforce electric motors on the boats that travel inside the bay, no swimming with attentive skin lotions, hair conditioners and bug sprays, reduce ambient light to enhance the experience and replant red mangroves to replenish the bays nutrient sources.
We can’t let these natural lights go out!
Let's live by example and preserve this unique phenomenon before its too late.
Say "NO" to dredging the Bioluminescent Bay.
Say "YES" to preserving and implementing regulations for the Bay.