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April 22nd is Earth Day and the Cayman Turtle Centre is taking the entire month to celebrate the Earth! In spite of COVID-19 measures mean the Centre has had to temporarily close its doors to the public, “Earth Month is just too important to miss in our line of work, and so we are inviting everyone to join in all the events we have planned, via social media,” said the Centre’s CEO, Tim Adam.
Cayman Turtle Centre - Earth Day Clean Up April 2019
“Taking care of the environment and our planet is always at the top of mind for the Centre and our crew, and we have dedicated the month of April to the Earth as a way to draw attention to the importance of issues surrounding conservation, which is at the heart of all the Centre does,” said the Centre’s Chief Marketing and Merchandising Officer, Renee Howell. “We have several interesting activities planned this month which will happen on social media as they had to be adjusted due to the coronavirus situation. You will be able to participate on our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram social media pages. So be sure to look out for details on how you can get involved and we hope you will share our posts to help spread the messages to affect change in a positive way!”
This year, the international Earth Month theme is Climate Action. Local organisations have banded together to form a Cayman Earth Day Committee to help highlight easy steps people can all take to make wiser use of planet Earth’s resources.
Partners for this project include Cayman Turtle Conservation and Education Centre, Cayman Eco, Cayman Islands Tourism Association, Cayman Mangrove Association, Cayman Compass, Central Caribbean Marine Institute, Cayman Islands Department of Environment, National Trust for the Cayman Islands, Guy Harvey Foundation, Plastic Free Cayman, Ocean Frontiers, as well as Cayman Islands Department of Tourism.
“Earth Day is important because safeguarding natural habitats is one of the most impactful ways of conserving the plants and animals that live on the Earth,” the Centre’s CEO, Tim Adam said. “In previous years we have participated in beach cleanups and other community events which demonstrate in practical ways that the Cayman Turtle Centre cares for Cayman’s environment. Sadly, this year we cannot organise any big public events, but we are nevertheless delighted to be able to carry on with several social media undertakings in which people can participate from all around the world, if they want, via our social media platforms,” Mr Adam continued.
Mrs. Howell said, “At the moment our essential staff is ensuring that the animals at our Centre continue to be well-fed and cared for during the COVID-19 situation. We are also contributing through Earth Month to encourage awareness of maintaining the integrity of our most precious jewel, Cayman’s natural environment, for future generations to cherish and enjoy. We are glad to be able to once again do our part to serve the people of the Cayman Islands.”
Teaching session with Shona at Cayman Turtle Centre
The Centre’s Education Programmes Officer, Shona McGill said, “Part of our education programme throughout the year includes putting out a strong message about the importance of picking up plastic trash, which is very harmful to all kinds of wildlife. We also promote recycling. For Earth Month we carry on with these messages as well as getting people to think about their effect on the Earth and how they can positively affect Climate Change. We are inviting everyone, including school-age students to participate in our social media Earth Month activities. Be sure to tune into our Plant-a-tree day on April 22nd, via social media. For us, every day is Earth Day.”
Cayman Turtle Centre’s Curator of Educational Programmes and Terrestrial Exhibits, Geddes Hislop, said, “Cayman Turtle Centre is actively involved in the captive breeding of rare and endangered animals such as sea turtles, Cayman parrots, and White-crowned pigeons, each of which play a key role in maintaining their respective ecosystems. For example, Green turtles are known to maintain healthy reefs and seagrass beds, and White-crowned pigeons are important dispersers of seeds from a variety of forest trees as they fly from island to island throughout the Western Caribbean. The benefits gained from these programmes assist in promoting positive climate environments in our islands. One of our main Climate Change messages for Earth Month is for people to think about how their actions affect the environment and to look at ways to reduce their carbon footprint.”
Ms McGill added, "A good example is just simply by eating more veggies or by say designating Mondays as 'Meatless Mondays' in your household! By simply just decreasing the amount of meat you eat by 50%, you can have a huge impact on the planet. You can help decrease your own carbon footprint by over 40%! By making one quick and healthy change to your diet, you can help make the planet a healthier place too."
Cayman Turtle Centre is inviting everyone to share in its special Tree Planting event for Earth Day, April 22 via social media. You can also join us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to get daily updates about Climate Change from us and our partner organisations, throughout April. Also, look out for our special Sea Turtle Education talk on 27th April, as well as interviews about our continuing conservation programs on local radio.