The Central Caribbean Marine Institute was established to create a regional centre for excellence in coral reef science. With a programme of continuing education and outreach to schoolchildren, students and coral scientists, it offers a base for the study and monitoring of reef biology on Little Cayman Island. Donations such as ours enable CCMI to run the research centre with its dormitories, canteen, wet laboratory and study centre as well as contributing to the publication and research of publications aimed at furthering knowledge on the plight of the fragile reef ecosystem. The past six months have seen the publication of 'Our Ocean Planet' - a comprehensive teacher's handbook which is introducing the concept of 'ocean literacy' as established by NOAA to schools in Cayman with the cooperation of the Dept of Education. In addition, 2009 has already seen the production of the Green Guide to Cayman Islands (Special Publication No.2, by Dr. Carrie Manfrino) which is distributed to all households in the islands.
CCMI also hosts weekend residencies for schoolchildren and older pupils where coral reef science and the principles of marine ecology are taught with practical study of the nearby Marine Park. Tertiary level students, post-graduates and academic visitors make up the bulk of the researchers using the laboratory facilities at CCMI and we regularly host high level programmes by NOAA scientists and coral scientists from around the world who value the unique location and facilities offered at the institute.