Ocean Heroes In Action

On the Cayman Islands, 3 Ocean Heroes, Steff McDermott, Ben Somerville, and Dejea Lyons, are taking aim at single-use plastic to protect their island’s reefs, mangrove ecosystems, and help sustain the overall health of the ocean.

McDermott set up the “345 Pledge” with Plastic Free Cayman, the campaign, aimed at lessening and eventually banning single-use plastics, challenges businesses and individuals to reach that goal by making three changes

immediately, four after six months and five after a year, numbers echoing Cayman’s dialing code. In addition to stopping the use of plastic straws, bags and utensils, the pledge targets the ubiquitous Styrofoam container.

Somerville and Lyons created Protect Our Future, which helped push through a law banning five different SUP items on the Caymans. Their most recent achievement was to help force the island government to reconsider a plan to construct a cruise ship port that would require the destruction of a large section of precious reef. Protect Our Future spent months organizing events and social media campaigns to spread awareness and ensure that the project did not move forward without citizens’ voices being heard.

A major success came in December when enough signatures (over 200,000) were gathered to force the government to call for a public referendum on the project. Then, in a new development, a judge ruled the cruise ship port an unconstitutional action, delaying the current referendum and forcing the government to reconsider their actions.

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