The Bahamas Reef Environmental Educational Foundation (B.R.E.E.F) and ReEarth Bahamas on Sunday called for Bahamians to reject the proposed sale of Lighthouse Point to Disney, the latest of a number of environmental advocacy groups to speak out against the project.
The historic property, which is being advertised for sale by a number of local real estate companies, is being sought after for a cruise ship port.
B.R.E.E.F Executive Director Casuarina McKinney-Lambert told Eyewitness News that the proposed project has put Eleuthera under threat and said the foundation is absolutely “opposed to the project”.
McKinney-Lambert, who described the property as “iconic” and a “defining feature of Eleuthera” said, there are other sustainable alternatives to the proposed cruise ship port, which will allow traditional activities and access, provide more economic benefits to the communities of South Eleuthera, and inspire local entrepreneurship.
According to McKinney-Lambert, several organizations are working together to make this alternative a reality: One Eleuthera Foundation, B.R.E.E.F., Bahamas National Trust, The Island School and Cape Eleuthera Institute.
She added that Eleuthera has options that include a shared vision for a path of ecological and economic sustainability.
Fifteen thousand people have already signed a petition demanding the protection of Lighthouse Point, with more and more signatures every day highlighting Bahamians’ opposition to the proposed cruise ship facility, she said.
“This proposed cruise ship port development would result in major negative environmental impacts and restricted access for Bahamians and air-arrival visitors to one of the most iconic sites of natural beauty, biodiversity and cultural heritage of land and sea. Lighthouse Point is a pristine site of local and national importance and we must protect it,” McKinney-Lambert insisted.
Environmentalist and ReEarth’s Executive Director Sam Duncombe’s also expressed her disdain toward the Disney group.
She noted that the country constantly complains about “foreigners coming into our country and creating our tourism product in ‘their’ image”.
Eleuthera, through One Eleuthera Foundation she said, is arduously working to combat this occurrence from continuously happening.
“In Eleuthera, One Eleuthera is trailblazing a new concept of The Bahamas which is ‘ours’,” Duncombe said.
“Highlighting and showing off the real raw beauty of The Bahamas, which protects our environment, our culture and empowers our people.”
Residents of Rock Sound Eleuthera said recently that they are flabbergasted there has been no consideration for the community as to its feelings about the proposed sale of Lighthouse Point to the Disney Group and the [harmful] impacts it could have on the island, despite the potential employment opportunities.