With in-house dive operation Ocean Frontiers, Compass Point is recognized as one of the most conservation-minded dive resorts in the Cayman Islands
The Compass Point Dive Resort at East End in Grand Cayman has recently received its Green Globe re-certification for sustainable tourism. Green Globe provides a framework and guidelines to help tourism businesses develop and improve on best sustainability practices to save energy and water resources, reduce operational costs and positively contribute to local communities and their environment. Ocean Frontiers is also recognized as one of the most conservation-minded dive operators in the Cayman Islands with a long history of promoting ocean protection through its company programs, and an unwavering support for outside environmental projects.
“The Green Globe re-certification indicates that we are doing the right thing for the environment of East End and the local community on Grand Cayman,” said Steve Broadbelt, owner and general manager of Compass Point Resort and Ocean Frontiers. “All of us at the Compass Point Resort feel it’s extremely important that we take care of the environment and give back to the community as much as we can.”
Compass Point also received the new biennial CEPTS Environmental Stewardship Award, bestowed by the Cayman Islands Tourism Association (CITA) at the Stingray Awards in May. The CEPTS project is a groundbreaking joint venture between the Cayman Islands Department of Tourism and Department of Environment that encourages local businesses to become Green Globe certified, and the award recognized Compass Point for its ongoing commitment to implement initiatives for the conservation and preservation of the natural environment.
For the program the Compass Point Dive Resort implements environmental best practices that include: recycling program for aluminum, glass and plastic; installation of EcoSmart thermostats and door switches for the resort’s air conditioning system; installation of low-flow show heads and dual-flush toilets; use of Zero-VOC paints and LowE glass for windows; use of green housekeeping products; on-site composting for landscape trimmings and coffee grounds; zero potable water for landscape irrigation and rainwater harvesting; Energy Star 3.0 rated appliances and electronics; non-incandescent lighting; and implementation of a linen re-use program for all guests resulting in 34% decrease in laundry expenses.
Avid conservationist Broadbelt realizes the dive resort plays an important role in protecting and enhancing the natural environment, so sustainability has always been a priority with Compass Point and Ocean Frontiers. New employees agree to abide by a company environmental policy that calls for minimizing use of energy, water and materials. Staff is also asked to educate guests about the sensitive environmental conditions, to invite them to participate in conservation efforts and to maintain a continuous commitment to improve environmental practices. Ocean Frontiers also enforces a code for Responsible Reef Diving which calls for divers to practice good buoyancy and secure equipment to keep it from damaging coral; avoid any contact with coral; refrain from buying marine souvenirs, and to eat sustainable seafood at restaurants. The resorts new restaurant, Eagle Ray’s Bar and Grill features invasive lionfish on the menu.
Since 1996 Ocean Frontiers has been involved in conservation and environmental projects that include; Dive Site Carrying Capacity Study, Shark Awareness & Tagging Program, Satellite Tracking of a Green Sea Turtle, Coral Spawning, Historic Shipwreck Mapping Project with the Cayman Islands National Museum, Wildlife Interaction Zones, Dive 365 Project, Kittiwake Artificial Reef (Silver Sponsor). Ocean Frontiers also developed the first carbon off-set tool for divers and helped mobilize a national demonstration that halted a port project threatening East End dive sites.
Broadbelt is one of the most vocal supporters of a legislative bill to enact the Cayman Islands National Conservation Law, providing protection for Cayman’s endangered species, including sharks, and promoting environmental considerations in future development. First drafted in 2002, the bill has gone through several revisions but has not been signed into law. There is hope that the National Conservation Law will be approved by the end of the year, and he lauds the efforts of the Department of Environment and some politicians in drafting and implementing the bill, despite obstacles.
“I am delighted to hear the law will finally go to the House and hopefully come into law. Most people in the dive industry wholeheartedly support the proposed law and feel it is about time that Cayman takes a sustainable and long-term approach to protecting our natural resources,” says Broadbelt. “Without our natural habitats on land and under the sea, our tourism product is nothing. Our reefs can compete on the highest levels throughout the region, but if our resources are not protected and managed, we will end up like every other destination in the region, relying on only blue skies and sunshine to attract tourists, not exactly a rare commodity in the Caribbean.”
About Ocean Frontiers and Compass Point Dive Resort
Ocean Frontiers Dive Shop is located at Compass Point Dive Resort on the remote East End of Grand Cayman. Founded in 1996 with one dive boat and a dream to introduce divers to the wonders of East End diving, the company has grown into one of Cayman’s premier dive operations with a reputation for catering to small groups and having the island’s friendliest staff. The winner of Project AWARE’s Environmental Achievement Award in 2004 and 2010, Ocean Frontiers has again been recognized in 2012. The company also received the PADI Green Star Dive Center accreditation in 2012 for demonstrating a dedication to conservation, the first dive operator in the Cayman Islands to receive this distinction. The Compass Point Dive Resort, which first received the Green Globe Certification award in 2010, is the epitome of laid-back luxury. It features 28 luxurious one, two and three bedroom oceanfront, ocean view and poolside condominiums, each with its own private patio or balcony and all beautifully decorated with stylish island décor, and fully equipped with all of the comforts of home. Eagle Ray’s Dive Bar and Grill is now open for business at the resort.
For more information:
Call Toll Free: 1 800-348-6096, Grand Cayman call (345) 640 7500.