The Cayman Islands Mangrove Rangers announce an exciting series of special events to celebrate the 25th World Wetlands Day in early February. The day is celebrated to mark the date of the adoption of the Convention on Wetlands on February 2, 1971, in the Iranian city of Ramsar on the shores of the Caspian Sea. World Wetlands Day was first celebrated in 1997. The Ramsar Convention on Wetlands was the world’s first international environmental treaty.

There is only one Ramsar site in Cayman, and that is the Booby Bird Pond and Rookery in Little Cayman which was designated a Wetlands of International Importance in 1994. The Booby Pond is a landlocked saline lagoon that supports the largest red-footed booby population in the Caribbean. There are currently over 2400 Ramsar sites in the world covering an area of 2.5 million sq. kilometres. And while Grand Cayman’s Central Mangrove Wetlands – the largest contiguous mangrove wetland in the Caribbean at some 3000 hectares – has for many years been recommended for inclusion as Ramsar site, successive governments have failed to move forward on the nomination.

To celebrate coastal wetlands – be they mangroves or seagrass – the Mangrove Rangers have organized several special events. They are as follows:

#1 Saturday, 5th February, morning. A 2-hour snorkel adventure among the mangrove roots and seagrass of the Central Mangroves. Meet at Newlands Barcadere at 9.00 am.

#2 Saturday, 5th February, afternoon 3.00 – 6.00 pm. A Ranger fundraiser with a special Mangrove Barbecue and launch of two new Mangrove Beers: the Black Mangrove stout and Red Mangrove lager. This together with a delicious Barbecue meal and a special event for the kids featuring the Mangrove Education Project’s 60ft inflatable shark. The afternoon will be supported with live music from the Fabulous 68s big band’s blues and rock ‘n roll. This event will take place outside at the 1981 Brewing Company, 273 Dorcy Drive, George Town.

#3 Sunday, 6th February, morning 9.00 – 11.00 am. A Mangrove kayak adventure with the Ambassadors of the Environment at the Ritz Carlton off West Bay Road. There will also be a walk on the new mangrove interpretive trail near the kayak launch pad.