News & Insights

Stuarts Renews Central Caribbean Marine Institue Funding

Stuarts Walker Hersant has recently approved a significant multi-year funding commitment to the Central Caribbean Marine Institute (CCMI) for the next three years in support of their initiative to improve the conservation of coral reefs in the Cayman Islands.

Pursuant to the grant request, CCMI states:

"As a marine institute, our highest priority is to increase the sustainability and conservation of coral reef ecosystems. Understanding the factors that improve coral reef resilience and sustainability is the leading challenge for marine protection today. Within the framework of our initiative to build the capacity andstability of our organization, we are requesting core multi-year funding dedicated to the conservation and research programme at the Little Cayman Research Centre. We believe that improving conservation in the region will require: excellent facilities near low-impacted coral reef ecosystems, the best technology, long-term monitoring data, training and outreach opportunities for the regions reef managers, scientists, and students, and support for early career scientists who can build a regional collaborative network and become the next generation of innovators.

The Little Cayman facility is located where the coral reef ecosystem demonstrates the highest level of resiliency across the entire region. This virtually undeveloped island provides an ideal control site for demonstrating the factors required to sustain coral reef ecosystems. At the International Union on the Conservation of Nature (Smithsonian Institute, Panama) ‘Coral Reef Resiliency Workshop’ April 2012, we learned that the reefs surrounding Little Cayman are in far better condition than anywhere in the region.

The recent 40% increase and recovery of the corals on our reefs is unprecedented and clearly demonstrates the significance of this site. CCMI’s recent (Sept 2012) award from the National Science Foundation, to build a new wet lab to “Enhance the Capacity for Climate Change Research and Education”, offers an new important resource to better constrain (and indicate) the physical, biological, ecological, and chemical interactions between climate change and the coral reef ecosystem.

We require key funding now to support our continued Climate Change and Coral Reef Stress research. Stuarts Walker Hersant’s support has helped us improve the quality of information that is available about the factors that can lead to healthy coral reefs and has help improve the stewardship in our community through our many educational programmes."