Sunday, June 21, 2015

Petitioners oppose cruise pier

Cayman Compass
June 18, 2015
Protesters have gathered more than 1,000 signatures for a petition to prevent construction of a $150 million cruise pier in George Town harbor.
The petition, organized by photographer Courtney Platt, urges government to drop the plan following the findings of an environmental impact assessment which concluded that a large area of coral reef would be destroyed as a result of the project.
Mr. Platt said it would be a “fiasco” if government went ahead with the cruise pier given the level of destruction outlined in the report.
Mr. Platt acknowledged that a petition alone may not be enough to sway government against the plan, which is supported by some local businesses, including Kirk Freeport and Tortuga Rum Company, whose owners believe jobs depend on a new dock being built.
He believes a people’s referendum may ultimately be required to stop the project. Protesters would need to gather signatures from 25 percent of registered voters in the Cayman Islands to trigger a referendum.
Mr. Platt said, “There has to be another solution beyond destroying the reef and the visibility in the harbor.”
He believes the quaintness of a tender operation and the clarity of the water in the harbor actually add to the experience for cruise tourism visitors.
The petition states, “We truly respect the great deal of good intentions, expense in time and resources that have gone into preparing this long-awaited proposal, but we believe the long-term cost to the environment is too great for the relatively short-term gain. Read the whole story here.
If you'd like to read or sign the Change.org petition, click here.

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