EARTHCARE and Biminites on Bimini proposed cruise ship terminal
By Gail Woon, EARTHCARE Founder
Sep 28, 2013 - 3:47:54 PM
The Bahamas - EARTHCARE is very concerned by the revelations in the press regarding the development plans for Bimini. Several Environmental Organizations have been trying to find out if there is an Environmental Impact Assessment completed for the proposed development. The most recent entity to assume control of the former “Bimini Bay Resort”, the Genting Group, a Malaysian conglomerate has renamed the project, Resorts World Bimini.
EARTHCARE is a proponent of Sustainable Development. The proposed plans for the cruise ship terminal are not sustainable by any stretch of the imagination. EARTHCARE Founder, Gail Woon said, “Who begins operating a cruise ship without a place to dock it, in place first? The plans are to build the 1,000 foot long jetty along with a 6 acre island for a cruise ship terminal over a very sensitive ecological oceanic habitat. The cruise ship is operating and the developer is in a hurry to have the terminal constructed. In my mind, it is beyond belief to think that the authorities in charge of Bahamian resources would allow for endangered coral reefs to be for all intents and purposes destroyed. We have seen video footage of the construction of the terminal in progress. We need to see the Permits if this construction has been approved. If it has been approved, was it by Central Government or the Local Government in Bimini? From our investigations, there have been no Town Meetings in Bimini to let the stakeholders, Biminites, know what the development plans are for their islands. If there is an Environmental Impact Assessment done, why is it not posted on the BEST (Bahamas Environment Science and Technology) Commission website for all and sundry to peruse?”
“We have seen the better plan for Bimini proposed by the Bimini Blue Coalition involving using smaller vessels that can dock at the existing Government Dock. This would allow for the cruise ship passengers to experience the culture of Bimini. This would give ground transportation professionals to be able to share a piece of the prosperity. This would allow the cruise ship passengers to see the straw market and Museum.”
“There are also plans to revive the golf course that was taken off the table years ago due to concerns that the golf course would cause further unsustainable damage to valuable marine nursery areas. This golf course would entail bulldozing even more acres of mangroves than the over 160 acres plus of healthy mangrove wetland nursery habitat that were already wantonly destroyed by the Bimini Bay Resort development.” One Biminite observed, “Why don’t they play golf on the existing golf course on Cat Cay? We don’t need a golf course on North Bimini!”
More Biminites speak
“It goes back to the fact that the island is too small to maintain such a big project, personally I’m a diver, so I know what the beauty is of the island and enjoying that aspect of it. I don’t’ see a cruise ship fitting on a port like this.” – Michael Prince
“I think it’s a destruction to the island. We are a very tiny little island. And they have made it into three times the size. Thus we have all the pollution, all the trash, all the garbage which we can’t contend with in our little piece and they are making it even bigger now.” – Hank Weech
“This is the gateway to the Bahamas and we need our fish. And it might mess up our fish industry. We don’t really need no one to mess that up not because you bringing a couple dollars into our little island but our main industry is fishing.” – Sherry Pratt
“ Being the fact that my Father is a fisherman and he’s been a fisherman all his life, I think that will affect him and everyone else that goes out fishing. If it comes in then it will take out all the fish and all the conch so we wouldn’t have nothing to really live off and to make money from.” – Fabrice Stuart
“ Well, as far as my livelihood goes, there is nothing is more important. I make my living off the reefs and the fact of the matter is the construction of this pier is definitely going to damage it. No matter how careful, or no matter how much mitigation they claim that they can do, regardless it is going to do a lot of destruction to the reefs out there.” - Neal Watson.
“We need to know what’s going on. And we are not going to allow them to come and take over our Bimini. This is our Bimini, OK, this is our Bimini, Bahamian, but Biminites first. And that’s it. Alright.” – Lorick Roberts
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