As part of The Central Caribbean Marine Institute's (CCMI) effort to raise public awareness about the importance of the marine environment, marine biologist and author, Dr David Gruber delivered a reef report in Cayman. 

At the first of three such presentations for 2008, held 3 July at the Cracked Conch, Dr Gruber spoke about bio-fluorescense in the marine environment. 

The Department of Environment's John Bothwell began the evening by thanking the CCMI for educating the public on the importance of the marine environment, and then welcomed Dr Gruber. 

With the goal of proposing new conservation measures for deep and shallow reefs, Dr Gruber recently returned from an in-depth research project called ROV Deep Reef Exploration, which investigated the relations between the shallow and deeper reef ecologies using an ROV (remote operated vehicle), called the 'Little Tyche'. 

Conducted in the beautiful azure waters, located just feet away from the Central Caribbean Marine Institute (CCMI) on Little Cayman, Dr Gruber worked closely with Dr Carrie Manfrino, CCMI Director, to examine the health and ecology of the deeper waters of Bloody Bay Wall. 

"I came here with the intention of taking a good look and characterizing the Bloody Bay Reef so I could raise more awareness about this amazing natural resource in Cayman," he expressed. "It is absolutely beautiful, and from what I saw, trust me; I will do my best to raise awareness." 

His address to the small gathering at The Cracked Conch was also based on his recent book 'Aglow in the Dark' (Harvard University Press), co-authored with Dr Vincent Pieribone of Yale University School of Medicine, that archives how surprising discoveries from corals and bioluminescent jellyfish have transformed modern biomedical science, and led to breakthroughs from neuroscience to cancer research; breakthroughs which might someday aid in connecting mind and machine. 

The young doctor is currently a Visiting Assistant Professor at Brown University and Assistant Professor of Biology and Environmental Studies at City University of New York Baruch College. 

"I got a chance to examine and understand the very sparsely examined resource in the backyard of Cayman and am happy for that," he explains. 

Regarding his quick yet fulfilling fact finding visit to the Cayman Islands, he says, with a smile and uncomplicated answer: "I loved it, and I will definitely be back to do more research." 


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After a preliminary meeting on Monday, 30 June, Air Jamaica and Cayman Airways jointly announced the two carriers have begun to explore several areas of cooperation, which would benefit both airlines. 

The discussions come on the heels of a meeting of Ministers of Tourism and International Transportation held in Antigua a few weeks ago where both airlines were present. The purpose of that meeting, said a joint press release, was to discuss the crisis facing the Caribbean region from the fallout in airlift resulting from the spiralling increases in the price of fuel and associated challenges in the airline industry. 

Both airlines agreed to meet and discuss areas of cooperation that could reduce costs and improve efficiencies. Jamaica and the Cayman Islands both need to attract North American tourists and the airlines agreed that ways need to be found not only to maintain but also increase airlift to their respective territories through joint cooperation. 

Attending the meeting from Air Jamaica were Shirley Williams, Chairman, and Will Rodgers, Acting President/CEO, along with other executives. Cayman Airways representatives comprised Chairman Angelyn Hernandez and Vice President Flight Operations, Olson Anderson. 

Read the full here.

Here is some transport information that you may find useful for your visit to The Cayman Islands. 

Taxis are available at the airport and the fares from there are regulated - check with the dispatcher at the kerbside (should cost about CI$20 to most hotels/condos). Note that hotel vans are not allowed to collect visitors from the airport. There are taxi ranks outside the main hotels and at the cruise ship dock. 

There are eight minibus routes in operation each with a distinctive colour (coloured circles on the front and back with the route number) and blue license plates. The routes are: 1 (yellow) & 2 (lime green) go to West Bay with service about every 15 minutes and operates from 6am to 11pm. Route 3 (blue) goes to Bodden Town, (service every 30 minutes from 6am to 11pm). Route 4 (purple) goes to East End, 5 (red) goes to East End and North Side, 6 (dark green) goes from North Side to West Bay (service every hour from 6am to 9pm. Route 7 (dark green with white numbers) operates in the George Town area and 8 (orange) runs to Hutland in North Side. Maximum fare is about CI$2. 

All routes run to/from/via the depot in George Town situated beside the library. There are a few designated bus stops, but just stand my the side of the road and wave one of the buses down as they approach. 

Education Director of the Mangrove Action Project Martin Keeley has been selected to receive the National Marine Educators Association's Outstanding Teacher Award for 2008. 

Mr. Keeley was recognized for his history of outstanding performance as a marine science educator in the Pacific Northwest and the Cayman Islands. 
This award honours effective and innovative marine science education in the classroom. 

Mr. Keeley will be honoured on July 23, 2008 at a ceremony during the National Marine Educators Association's annual conference in Savannah, Georgia, hosted by the Georgia Association of Marine Education. 

Mr. Keeley, who is Brac campus director for the University College of the Cayman Islands, has been teaching in Cayman since 1998. He researched, developed and produced the Marvellous Mangroves in the Cayman Islands teachers' guide in conjunction with the National Trust, the Department of Educational Services and MAP, and has been responsible for its implementation in schools throughout Cayman. 

He has also supervised the adaptation, translation and implementation of Marvellous Mangroves for the education systems in several other countries including Colombia, Honduras, Guatemala, Sri Lanka, Indonesia and, most recently, Brazil. 

"I am honoured to have been given this prestigious award," he says. "It recognises there is a continual need for students to learn, through hands-on exploration, the true importance of the natural world around them," said Mr. Keeley. 

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Moving can be a life-altering experience for a child. If you are moving out of the area and your children will be attending a new school, the difficulties for children may only be magnified. 
However, there are plenty of things you can do for your children during the moving process that can turn a stressful event into a time of excitement. Here are some suggestions. 

1. Share the news early 
Once you have made the decision to move, let your children know and listen to their opinions. While some kids may be disappointed, especially if you are moving out of the area, they may find some solace in providing input. Furthermore, the more time your children have to prepare themselves for the move, the better. 

2. Show some excitement 
Rather than expressing regret about the decision to move, let your kids know that a new home will be an exciting opportunity for everyone. Talk about the activities your family can do after moving and the benefits of their new school. As moving day approaches, you may find that your children are looking forward to everything from decorating their bedrooms to making new friends. 

3. Get the kids involved 
As you make the preparations to move, try to get your kids involved in the process. To help your kids remain focused and happy, work with them to schedule some fun activities before moving out. Find some local guide books or websites that your children can read and let them serve as tour guides after moving into the new neighborhood. When packing, it can also be helpful to let children box up and label their own belongings allowing them to feel more in control of the process. 

4. Incorporate some creativity 
To help your kids take their minds off the stresses of moving, encourage them to be creative. Younger children might enjoy painting pictures of your old house to display after you've moved. Older children can keep a journal or scrapbook during moving and have a story to share later. During the moving process, you could also give your kids jobs to complete with badges and uniforms to help them stay involved. 

5. Have a party 
Prior to leaving your home, throw a party for yourself and your kids. Invite the friends of everyone in the family and plan some fun, all-ages activities. Afterwards, make sure your kids receive contact information for everyone they want to stay in contact with. 

6. Get acquainted with your new surroundings 
Once you have unloaded the truck, try to make the first night in your new home as exciting as possible. Have fun playing hide-and-seek or a board game before worrying about unpacking and organizing. 

After you have settled in, start taking walks or bike rides around the neighborhood. You can introduce yourselves to the neighbors and the kids might find some new friends. 

7. Get back to normal 

For the sake of the entire family's happiness, try not to take too long to resume doing what your family enjoys. If your family had a custom of bowling every Friday, try to find a bowling alley near your new home. You may also want to drive through the area and acquaint yourself with the locations of businesses like grocery stores and restaurants. When Saturday rolls around, try out the pizza parlor you found. 

Though moving can be difficult on children of all ages, it can also provide something to look forward to. By keeping your kids involved during every step of the moving process, you will help them 

feel in control of the situation. After moving into your new home, help them understand that life will be as fun as it always was; it will just take place in a different location. Most importantly, do your best as a family to stay together and have fun along the way. 

To begin your search for your new home click here.