|As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
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|1997||land purchased by Christian and Ole Sorensen.|
The Cayman Crystal Caves are currently developed as a show cave with nature trail. The owner plans to open them to the public in 2014. His name is Christian Sorensen, and he is a relative of Ole Sorensen who co-owns the caves. Ole Sorensen is known to us, as he developed Harrison's Cave on Barbados in the 1970s.
The works to build trails included a heavy machine, digging away a large amount of cave sediments in the entrance area. By the removing of the sediment, two branches of the cave could be connected, but the current work is intended for gathering information about the depth of the sediment, in order to complete the plans.
The Sorensens have government approval for their current development and are praised by the Barbados National Conservation Committee, the Parks and Beaches Committe, and the Ministry of housing development (sic!). Their argumentation is, that the huge amounts of illegal cave visits, spelunking tours and people dumping their waste or making bonfires inside the cave damaged the cave in an increasing amount. The creation of a show cave generally protects the developed cave, as there is now a management which cares for the protection and earns money which can be invested into security measures.
This argument is not new and in most cases it really works this way to the benefit of cave protection. On the other hand, cave sediments often contain palaeontological and archaeological remains, and the use of heavy machinery is not really a good idea.
But the main problem is probably the owner, not the fact that the cave is developed. Ole Sorensen is praised for the efforts at Harrisons Cave and the eco awards the received lately. The he is given credit for the work of others. He once had the idea to develop Harrisons Cave and almost destroyed it in the early 1970s. He was kicked out in the last moment and the real work was done by the Gurnees, a famous couple of U.S. cavers. Giving him the expertise to develop a cave carefully results in heavy machinery.