Fresh off a trip the 2018 Ocean Heroes boot camp in New Orleans, one young Caymanian is energised and ready to inspire others to join her in protecting Cayman’s natural environment.
She’s starting a new conservation organisation that’s for Caymanians, by Caymanians.
17-year old Steff McDermott is passionate about the oceans that surround our islands.
“I just love the ocean so much, it’s on my island, and I think it is so important that more Caymanians are involved about that, and if I stand up and set a good example, hopefully my peers will stand up with me, and together we can get change on the island,” said Ms. McDermott.
She’s told Cayman 27 she’s hoping to make her passion for conservation contagious, especially to young Caymanians.
This month, Ms. McDermott traveled to New Orleans for the Ocean Heroes boot camp, where she and other environmentally minded youths came away with the tools to start their own campaigns.
“My campaign, the one that I want to have together with young Caymanians to work on is to ban polystyrene products, and to establish an education programme that is taught by Caymanians to Caymanians,” said Ms. McDermott.
She said this premise is key to her foundation.
“In order to get change, and needs to come from the young Caymanians because, it is our island, our home, we are the next generation,” she said.
She told Cayman 27 the organisation is in its formative stages, and is not ready to share a name, but it’s already making progress on its campaign.
“It’s just kind of getting started and there is three tiers to it, there is a community outreach initiative, the education program, and the research project,” she explained.
The ultimate goal is ridding our islands of polystyrene.
“We may not be able to get the government to ban it, but to raise the importation tax on those styrofoam products, so that would make the eco-friendly products more desirable to businesses, as there is a massive price gap in that,” she said.
She hopes other young Caymanians can join her in her efforts.
“My goal is to get more young Caymanians aware on the situation, and to get them to care,” she said.