Team Protect Our Future Is Saving Grand Cayman’s Reefs
Organizing protests against the cruise ship port project helped Protect Our Future garner the signatures they needed to call for a referendum.
Protect Our Future, led by Ocean Heroes Ben Somerville and Dejea Lyons, includes over 50 students at seven schools all over Grand Cayman Island!
Their campaign aims to protect their island’s reefs and mangrove ecosystems, and they work closely with Plastic Free Cayman to advocate for the elimination of single-use plastic on the island. Their work in this area is helping push through a law banning five different SUP items (grocery bags, takeout containers, stirrers, straws, and cotton swabs) starting January 2021.
Their most recent achievement was to help force the island government to reconsider a plan to construct a cruise ship port that would require the destruction of a large section of precious reef. Protect Our Future spent months organizing events and social media campaigns to spread awareness and ensure that the project did not move forward without citizens’ voices being heard. A major success came in December when enough signatures (over 200,00!) were gathered to force the government to call for a public referendum on the project. Then, in a new development, a judge ruled the cruise ship port an unconstitutional action, delaying the current referendum and forcing the government to reconsider their actions.
Lastly, Ben and Dejea’s campaign has helped ignite other campaigns on island, including the youth ambassadors program, which focuses on mental health. Their Protect Our Future Campaign is helping people see that mental health is directly influenced by one’s environment. Check out both campaigns here and here.
The Protect Our Future team has hosted dozens of beach cleanups!