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Environmental groups seeking sustainable development of Lighthouse Point

Representatives from reEarth, the Bahamas National Trust (BNT), Save the Bays and Waterkeepers Bahamas want to see jobs created in South Eleuthera through the sustainable development of Lighthouse Point as a national park, they collectively said on Friday.

Executive Director of the BNT Eric Carey said he would like to see a Bahamian propose an eco-lodge or some other kind of low-impact development at Lighthouse Point.

Representative for Save the Bays and Waterkeepers Bahamas Paco Nunez said while there is no development that will not impact Lighthouse Point, the development proposed by Disney Cruise Line will not preserve the natural beauty of the 700-acre property. He said the government must continue to consult the Bahamian people on this proposed initiative by Disney.

Disney has proposed to purchase the property and develop it into a cruise port. The One Eleuthera Foundation has presented a plan to the government to purchase the property and preserve it for Bahamians, while helping entrepreneurs in South Eleuthera develop businesses around the preserved Lighthouse Point property.

Co-Founder of reEarth Sam Duncombe said the Mission Blue organization, led by oceanographer Dr. Sylvia Earle, has joined the movement to save Lighthouse Point.

“Sylvia Earle’s Facebook link ‘Eden Ripe for Exploitation’ highlights the pitfalls of the cruise industry on the whole in The Bahamas, as well as the expulsion of Disney from Egg Island last year,” Duncombe said.

“Mission Blue has added Lighthouse Point as a ‘hope spot’. Hope spots are special places that are critical to the health of the ocean — Earth’s blue heart.

“Hope spots are about recognizing, empowering and supporting individuals and communities around the world in their efforts to protect the ocean. Dr. Sylvia Earle introduced the concept in her 2009 TED talk. Since then the idea has inspired millions across the planet.”

According to information surrounding Disney’s proposals, there could be 120 permanent jobs created if its proposal is to go through. The One Eleuthera Foundation proposes the creation of some 400 jobs. Carey said if the area is turned into a national park it could almost immediately create 25 permanent jobs.

“Saving Lighthouse Point is not a new issue,” said Duncombe.

“One Eleuthera raised concerns about another potential development in 2007-2008 and prompted the report ‘A Shared Vision for South Eleuthera’,  a revolutionary, imaginative concept that continues to allow access to Lighthouse Point, strengthens the gateway communities in South Eleuthera and connects all of Eleuthera’s environmental, cultural and historical treasures.”

Local organizations that support saving Lighthouse Point include the Bannerman Town, Millars, John Millars, Eleuthera Association (BTMJMEA); the Bahamas Reef Environment Educational Foundation; the Bahamas National Trust; reEarth; Earthcare; Save the Bays and Waterkeepers.

Chester Robards

Senior Business Reporter at The Nassau Guardian
Chester Robards rejoined The Nassau Guardian in November 2017 as a senior business reporter. He has covered myriad topics and events for The Nassau Guardian.
Education: Florida International University, BS in Journalism
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