NASSAU, BAHAMAS — On South Florida beaches, a Florida-based multimedia company has over the past few weeks displayed billboards against Bahamas Petroleum Company’s (BPC) planned exploratory oil drilling, according to environmentalist coalition Our Islands, Our Future.
According to a statement by the coalition: “Bahamas oil drilling opponents are thanking Ballyhoo Media for its ‘fantastic’ effort to warn South Floridans of the dangers of offshore drilling, set to commence in days just a stone’s throw away from their shores.
“Over the past few weeks, Ballyhoo Media, a pioneering water-based multimedia company, hosted large digital billboards reading ‘Stop oil drilling in the Bahamas’ and featuring images of the pristine beauty of the country’s marine environment, as well as the horrors of recent drilling disasters.
“The Miami company’s custom-built barges displayed the billboards just off some of South Florida’s busiest beaches, in full view of beachgoers.”
BPC is expected to commence drilling an exploratory oil well in the near future. Stena Drilling’s Stena ICEMax drillship, which BPC will be using for its exploratory well, was expected to arrive in Bahamian waters earlier this week.
But environmentalists have continued opposing the drilling and appealing to the government to stop BPC from proceeding.
The Ballyhoo Media billboards against the drilling show a variety of images, such as an aerial view of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill that occurred in 2010 in the Gulf of Mexico, a pod of dolphins swimming near the proposed BPC drill site and a turtle interacting with a scuba diver. The images are meant to convey the group’s concerns about a potential oil spill and the impact it could have on local marine life.
A Ballyhoo Media spokesperson said: “We need to fight for The Bahamas. South Florida and The Bahamas are close neighbors and share many mutually beneficial relationships.
“Unfortunately, when it comes to offshore oil drilling in the narrow waters between our shores, we also share the danger of huge destruction to our marine ecology and local economy. As a water-based small business, we are on the frontlines to fight for our oceans and marine life.
“Ballyhoo Media’s partnership with BREEF, Oceana and Our Islands, Our Future is meant to sound the alarm for our community and politicians on this urgent issue. We see this as performing a service for our own community as well as supporting our friends who are fighting this in The Bahamas.”
Bahamas Reef Environment Educational Foundation (BREEF) Executive Director said Casuarina McKinney-Lambert, who is also a member of the steering committee for Our Islands, Our Future, in the group’s statement yesterday thanked Ballyhoo Media for donating the “fantastic” billboards supporting its cause.
“There has been an outpouring of support from people around the world who care about The Bahamas and who are standing with the Bahamians who are opposing the plans for oil drilling,” she said.
“South Florida and The Bahamas are connected by ocean currents and we are glad that so many businesses in South Florida realize the risk that an oil drilling industry would pose to our shared fishery and coastal resources, and that they are taking action to stop the drilling.”