BNT Supports Nature Reserve Component of Salinas Development on Long Island

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June 23, 2022

The Bahamas National Trust (BNT) notes recent comments attributed to Acting Prime Minister and Minister of Tourism, Investments, & Aviation the Hon. Chester Cooper about a proposed development in South Long Island.

In a Nassau Guardian article dated June 22, 2022, Mr. Cooper referenced the approval of a 10,000 acre, $250 million-dollar project with cruise elements and a nature reserve “which has the support of the BNT.” The BNT wishes to clarify that the article referenced elements of two separate projects, one of which does not have the support of the BNT.

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 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. We are pleased that this project appears to be low-impact and will build on a relatively small percentage of the proposed property. While we will await the submission of the requisite Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for this development before offering our official review, 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.

We believe this development represents a rare opportunity for large-scale restoration of a former industrial site to conservation. We also believe it will provide significant recreational benefits for the Long Island community.

The BNT is aware of a separate proposed development for South Long Island that has cruise elements. 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 these southern islands and pristine areas.

News date : 06/23/2022    Category : Press Releases

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