Mon, Sep 30th 2013, 02:31 PM
After a thorough tour of marine habitats in Bimini to observe the results of ongoing development, rapidly-growing environmental movement Save The Bays is strongly urging the government and Genting Group to make public the findings of the hotel and casino developer’s environmental impact assessment (EIA). The request comes days after executives of the Bahamas National Trust (BNT) also toured the island on a fact-finding mission, discovering a mass sense of uncertainty from residents and a withholding of information from those who have the answers.
“Even the BNT has not had the opportunity to view the EIA, so a lack of transparency while having no environmental protection act in place makes this matter worse,” said Save The Bays Director Joe Darville. “The excavation work is being carried out substantially by non-Bahamians, so there is no vested interest in their psyche to have a sense of preservation for our environment. I call upon the government to do so something about this, because it is desecrating our natural heritage in Bimini.”
Darville’s outcry comes after he and a group of environmentalists including Save The Bays Director Fred Smith, Earthcare Founder Gail Woon, environmental lawyer Romauld Ferreira and Save The Bays’ education coordinator Nikki Severe visited proposed sites for a 1,000-foot cruise terminal to be placed off the western shore of Bimini and a proposed man-made island further south with a golf course to be developed in the heart of mangroves where hundreds of marine animals such as turtles, grunts and lemon sharks all spawn.
"A Freedom of Information Act will finally put the Bahamian on equal footing with your government," said Ferreira. "It is the public's right to access documents, the public's right to know what decisions are being made or considered, decisions that affect them. A Freedom of Information Act ensures transparency, openness and participation and it is participation in the decision-making process that is the bedrock of democracy."
A Freedom of Information Act is one of the basic tenets of Save The Bays, the quickly-growing environmental movement that is calling for passage of the long-proposed legislation along with passage of an environmental protection act. The organisation is nearing 5,000 signatures on a petition calling for both pieces of legislation and an end to unregulated development. Video footage of the group’s tour was recorded and will be made public on Save The Bays’ YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/ProtectCliftonBay. Supporters are also asked to sign the petitions for Save The Bays and the Bimini Blue Coalition at www.savethebays.bs and http://www.biminibluecoalition.org/2013/06/petition-to-keep-bimini-blue-we-need.html
PROPOSED GOLF COURSE: Save The Bays toured Bimini’s mangroves teeming with marine life. The spawning sanctuary may possibly be destroyed for the sake of developing a golf course. Save The Bays is calling for the government and Genting Group to release the environmental impact assessment. (photo courtesy of Save The Bays)
PROPOSED CRUISE TERMINAL: The above satellite image shows the over-bearing presence the proposed cruise terminal will have on the island. Save The Bays is appealing to the government to have a second, third and final look at the proposed development and to place a cease and desist order to prohibit Genting Group from doing damage to Bimini.
Mon, Sep 30th 2013, 02:02 PM
Mon, Sep 30th 2013, 01:36 PM
News Item on Tropical Depression 11 issued by The Bahamas Department of Meteorology forecast office section, at 6:00 am EDT Monday, September 30, 2013.
...The Depression is moving slowly Eastward over the Central Atlantic...
AT 5:00 am EDT, the Center of Depression 11 was located near Latitude 26.9°North and Longitude 46.7° West or about 1150 miles East-SouthEast of Bermuda.
The Depression is moving toward the East near 5 miles per hour. A slow erratic motion is expected during the next couple of days.
Maximum sustained winds are near 35 miles per hour (MPH) with higher gusts. Some strengthening is forecast during the next 48 hours and the Depression could become a Tropical Storm later today.
The next News Item will be issued at noon today.
PREPARED BY FORECASTER …PAT BUTLER
Mon, Sep 30th 2013, 12:41 PM