Back in March, we wrote about an agreement signed by the Government of the Bahamas, for Disney Cruise Line to develop an area of land at Lighthouse Point. Disney purchased the property from Meritage Hospitality Group back in 2018 and plans to create a cruise port here for guests on Bahamian and Caribbean itineraries.
However, five environmental groups have recently joined forces to oppose the project under its current environmental guidelines. BREEF, EARTHCARE, reEarth, Save The Bays and Waterkeeper Alliance wrote in a letter to Walt Disney Company’s top sustainability officer, that they have concerns about the size of the project, and the adequacy of the environmental impact study.
Per the signed Heads of Agreement, no construction will take place before the environmental impact assessment (EIA) has been completed. But, the groups are concerned that the assessment is being handled by a very small consulting firm from the Bahamas. They are concerned that this group lacks the recourses to conduct an assessment for the size and scope of the Disney project.
The environmental groups included a comprehensive list of studies and analyses that should appear in the EIA. They also expressed that Disney seeks out additional firms for the project if all of the recommended studies cannot (or will not) be completed by the small Bahamian firm.
Lighthouse Point sits on the southernmost tip of the island chain, and the property is considered an important natural and cultural site, located in the heart of a Marine Protected Area.
Late last month Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., President of the Waterkeepers Alliance, made a visit to the site to speak about the proposed project:
“Companies do not have the right to destroy something that they can’t create… Disney needs to show that they are going to protect (Lighthouse Point) and not degrade it.”
The environmental groups hope to see Disney live up to the high environmental standards that it holds for it’s other properties to around the world. Disney has many beneficial standards and large Environmental initiatives in place at its many parks and resorts as well.
In addition to the creation of the new cruise port, 190 acres of land will be donated back to the Bahamian Government for conservation and the creation of a public national park.
Source: EyeWitness News Bahamas
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