I visited the Cayman Islands a few years ago fairly soon after the islands had been hit by a strong hurricane. Even though this area takes a beating during hurricane season, the waters and beaches surrounding the island are extremely beautiful. Corals, fish, and stingrays are some of the highlights of this popular destination. While snorkeling, I was in close proximity to a medium sized barracuda and many other smaller colorful fish. One of my favorites was a flounder about the size of a plate, camouflaged against the sand beneath me. If you are ever find yourself on Grand Cayman, make sure to check out Stingray City. There really isn’t any experience like it. With a little reluctance at first, we mingled with dozens of large stingrays, while feeding them squid. You will know you picked the right vacation the first time a 100+ pound stingray swims into your outstretched arms.
A number of environmental problems are facing the Cayman Islands today. Global and Ocean Warming is increasing the magnitude of tropical storms throughout the Caribbean. High winds destroy trees and increase erosion. Waves caused by tropical storms break apart reefs which in turn leave no place for fish to hide. As with many environmental problems, this is mostly man-made. Animals on the islands are also threatened due to development of the land. In particular, the Grand Cayman Blue Iguana has been in jeopardy of becoming extinct. Since this animal is only found native to the Cayman Islands, the Blue Iguana needs our help to survive. Luckily, The Cayman Islands National Trust has stepped in with captive breeding, education, protection, and research. The Cayman Islands are just one of the many places that are effected by pollution, global warming, and human interaction. This factors represent themselves exponentially on these pristine environments. Hopefully, the Cayman Islands can continue to be an exotic place for many years to come.