BNT throws support behind one of two Long Island projects

In a statement released Thursday night, the Bahamas National Trust (BNT) heralded its support for one of two proposed developments on Long Island and insisted that the second development, which has a cruise port component, should not be built.

The development which has the support of the BNT in principle, is slated for development on just 1,400 acres of a 10,000 parcel, and was approved by the government last week.

The developers of that project have set aside 8,000 acres as a nature reserve, which the BNT said it supports.

“For the past several years we have been engaged with the landowner and his representatives for the Salinas project, which covers the area formerly known as the Diamond Crystal Salt Works,” the BNT statement said.

“The 10,000 acre property includes wetlands, coppice, and sandy shore habitats and is home to a variety of wildlife, including flamingos, ospreys, and numerous species of scalefish.

“The landowner recognized the value of the site both culturally and ecologically, and determined more than 8,000 acres would be set aside as a nature reserve.

“The BNT’s involvement with this project is primarily for the reserve. The property that is to be developed is expected to hold a boutique type of facility with a low-impact build.”

The BNT said it awaits the submission of the developer’s environmental impact assessment (EIA) before giving its official thumbs up on the project.

“We feel that in principle, the developer appears committed to staying within a scale that is compatible with the ecology and culture of Long Island. The Salinas Project does not include the development of a waterpark or cruise port,” the BNT said.

The second project, which the BNT does not support, has not yet been approved by the government, but is expected to contain a cruise port component and waterpark.

The BNT said its position generally on cruise ports is that no more should be built in The Bahamas, especially on pristine islands such as Long Island.

“The BNT is aware of a separate proposed development for South Long Island that has cruise elements,” the statement said.

“The BNT wishes to clarify that it has no details about this second proposed development, and has neither met nor spoken with its developers.

“In general, however, the BNT does not support the expansion of the cruise industry, specifically as it relates to those southern islands and pristine areas.”

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Chester Robards

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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