Tempers flare at Lighthouse Point town meeting



It was an emotional Thursday evening in Rock Sound Eleuthera as the Disney Group held a town hall meeting on it’s proposed project for Lighthouse Point in South Eleuthera.

With no official representative from Disney present, the local representative hosted a forum that – for the most part – was said to be disorganised, confusing and offered little information or answers to many questions.

In fact, the back and forth between concerned residents and the local representative Denny Rankine often got out of hand with personal attacks.

It is not yet clear what the government’s stance is on this project.


Disney will negatively impact Lighthouse Beach. The images on the paper they shared showed a huge pier jutting out into the sea. They will have to dredge and blast to do this. Reference the following article: https://studyhippo.com/disney-environmental-impacts-hong-kong/ regarding environment impacts from Disney construction… “The removal of rocks at Tung Chung River had also ruined the natural habitat and it was also illegal, as they did not get permission to do so. Piles of mud filled the surrounding waters and this resulted in problems for fishermen. More than one million coastal fish were killed from the soaring levels of toxin from the dredging of land. Fishermen were then not compensated for the fish that made them lose business, thus caused fishermen to relocate their farms further into the sea. It was reported that many fish and coral that lived around and under the shipyard have now died because of the reclamation.”
From the following article: https://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/environment/article91390757.html — you will see that Disney brought dredging equipment to Spanish Wells to dredge off Egg Island BEFORE getting permission (flash back to Hong Kong?). It says, “Rumors about the project began swirling in the tight-knit village after drilling equipment turned up on the public dock in Spanish Wells in June and then, because of a customs dispute, sat on the dock for another month drawing attention. Attorney Holly Peel, whose grandfather Leo Pinder helped pioneer the island, tracked down a temporary business license pulled by an Orlando engineering company working for Disney.” Disney got caught! They did not back out because of environmental concerns… they backed out because Spanish Wells said NO!!!!
The “proposal” provided at the meeting did not have one single Disney logo on it. In my opinion, this would allow them to back out on anything written on the document as, not Disney approved.
Lighthouse Beach is to environmentally sensitive. It is a pristine beach with coral heads ten feet from shore. There is no way that the 3000+ guests who could potentially sit on this beach each day would NOT affect the reef, with their dripping sun block poisoning the coral and their water shoes ripping up the reef. This cannot be allowed to happen.
If Eleuthera is so concerned about potential jobs for locals, encourage Disney to dock in Governor’s Harbor. Guests would come off the ships and spend their dollars in local restaurants, trinket shops, local tour guides… With a cruise ship port at Lighthouse, Jimmy John from Bannerman Town may make $50 when he takes Disney guests on tour, but Disney will earn $120 time the number of guests on the same tour. This is not benefitting the locals, it’s benefitting Disney.

My husband and I fell in love with Eleuthera and Lighthouse Point. We’ve visited this beautiful island twice and are planning our 3rd trip. One of the main reasons we love Eleuthera is because of all the unspoiled beauty this island has to offer. Lighthouse Point is at the top of that list. Eleuthera is like no other place on earth. Please don’t let Disney ruin that. Say no to Disney!

I am a visitor to Eleuthera, I have no financial gain in any way. I visit this beautiful island because it has captured my heart. There is no where else I feel so complete/serene & just downright happy. That being said> This is because of the unspoiled areas of this island (besides Princess Cays) and the welcoming folks that live there. I would love for the people of the deep south to have more job opportunities, if it could be done without killing the pristine eco system that surrounds Lighthouse Point/Beach. It has been shown (Princess Cay) that is not possible. How many locals have decent paying jobs from this other cruise company? It is fenced off to all, shameful! I respectfully believe if Disney comes to Lighthouse it will be the same. This is an area like many others world wide, that will be destroyed by sunscreen and trampling of the reefs by people who may not know better ( or care because “they are on vacation”). This destruction cannot be undone. Promises are to easily broken, be careful of large entities that have the money & power to do this. This place should be respected as the Historical Site that it is, to be treasured for it’s natural beauty & eco system. It should not given away and destroyed for all time, never to recover. I do hope this will not happen ( Disney Cruise Line ), it would be catastrophic to the flora & fauna of this area also to the historical Lighthouse itself that has been mentioned to be torn down.

The meeting was a total disaster with many concerned citizens trying to get answers. The presentation was very ill prepared and lacked important information. #NODISNEY

Disney will ruin Lighthouse Point. They will not hire 150 Bahamians. Cruise ships pollute.

Stand up Eleuthera! They will keep you out of Light House point and ruin your beautiful island. They build their own restaurants and will not help the local economy at all.

As a resident of Eleuthera I am vehemently opposed to this project. A Disney development of this size will destroy the pristine natural resources of Lighthouse Point and be disastrous to the existing ecosystem. As in most foreign developments local jobs will be farmed out to a minimum and huge amount of monies will be funneled out of the country. Smoke and mirrors are being pedaled. All should take heed of what has happened to Nassau with foreign overdevelopment and not allow this to happen here.!

The Bahamian government needs to step in before lighthouse beach is stolen from their natural resources. We are contacting every agency we can find to help us and keep an American company from ravaging their natural resources with very little benefit to the Bahamian people or their government.

Please, please do not allow Disney to purchase Lighthouse Point! Such diverse beauty should be preserved for future generations of Bahamians and visitors to Eleuthera. The nearby coral reef should be allowed the opportunity to continue flourishing. The long term, irreversible damage done to Lighthouse Point by the construction of a port and the inundation of thousands of visitors almost daily would be an absolute travesty. Please preserve Lighthouse Point!

NO to Disney at Lighthouse Point/Beach or anywhere on Eleuthera. Disney = Destroy!

It would be a shame for Disney to take possession of this Bahamian treasure. It will be ruined forever, and there will be very little benefit for the local people.

I beg of Disney to not destroy Lighthouse Pointe with your fun and games. A good idea for Disney might be to purchase and donate back to this beautiful island for future preservation. Wouldn’t that be great PR? This is one if the few uncommercialized inhabited islands in the Bahamas. Lighthouse Pointe has a fabulous ecosystem in place with unspoiled beauty. The people of Eleuthera and respectful visitors have kept it that way. What a nightmare to think that Disney plans to destroy it by unloading shiploads of tourists on its beach to destroy the reefs and and surrounding landscape. Please, Disney….find yourself a small uninhabited island to spend your big bucks on to destroy. Shame on Disney and it’s uncaring brass. Disney used to be a positive influence in our children and this does nothing but teach them that money talks and it’s ok to destroy the environment as long as people are spending happy money. Shame on Disney!

There are about 15,500 people that signed a petition on Change.org to SAVE LIGHT HOUSE POINT and signatures keep on coming in from locals and tourists that have been visiting Eleuthera for many years. Eleuthera’s population is around 11,000… It seems REALLY CLEAR TO ME THAT PEOPLE DO NOT WANT DISNEY CRUISES or any other cruise line that would destroy one of the most beautiful and pristine place on earth. This would be an ecological disaster! We need to find out where the government owns and where it stands! The population of Eleuthera needs to find this information out. People of Eleuthera have been let down by previous governments… Let’s just hope that Prime Minister Minnis will STEP UP! We can create 150 jobs while protecting nature. Right now, we need all the media coverage that we can to have answers to our questions.

Leave Lighthouse Point alone, Disney!! Disney’s proposed private port would completely devastate Eleuthera! If this development happens, Lighthouse Point would be changed forever. With so few untouched treasures left in this world, we need to protect Lighthouse Point and leave its natural beauty alone. We can’t have our oceans deteriorate and this will be yet another step in big money and big corporations polluting and devastating our environment.

Stand up Bahamas!!! Stop letting these foreign companies take advantage of your natural resources!!! Look at the long term picture! Lighthouse Point should be preserved for future generations! I support One Eleuthera Foundation’s plans to preserve that one of a kind natural attraction. Disney will not provide relief to those living in the south. The trade off is too great for a few measly jobs, IF Disney even offers those jobs to Bahamians. Say NO to Disney!

We have been visitors to Eleuthera 4 times in the last 7 years, and each time have been welcomed into the hearts and homes of the gracious and kind people of the Island. I implore you, men and women of the Bahamas, do not become Esau!! I know most of you, as a faithful nation know the story: Esau sold his birth rite for a bowl of stew. The natural beauty and pristine condition of your country Is YOUR birthright and it must be preserved. 150 jobs, if it ever gets to that number and is awarded to Bahamians, amounts to a bowl of stew compared to the magical, transcendent quality of this one area, let alone the entire country. Tell Disney to go elsewhere!! There are plenty of uninhabited islands that can be tailored to suit their needs. If Disney really is concerned about being environmental stewards, and if their love of nature so great, let them express it by partnering with the government, buying and preserving LHB intact for future generations. Now that would get my admiration and my support money! Stand strong!

Disney did not follow through at Castaway Cay. They dredged 50,000 tons of sand and blasted coral to build a 1700 foot channel. They only have 60 permanent workers and not all are Bahamian. Disney uses 50 of 1000 acres of Castaway Cay. Why not stay there and expand? Or will they abandon there like they did at Bakers Bay and leave their garbage to move on? Lighthouse Point should be preserved. It can become a National Park that is stafffed by Bahamians. They will be FOREVER permanent jobs.

As a loyal visitor from USA (8th time visiting within 10 years), Disney disgraded the value, moral and beliefs last few years including their original goals have been changed in worse way for people. Disney is much greedy lately for many ways. They have NO values for local community, local people and nature at all. I could provide countless resources, links and more but I will let you using Google search engine that will do the work for you if you are interested. Light house point should be established as a marine reservation. I do not want to see ‘Disney’ cruise, Disney hotels, and Disney tourism agency that damages the true Eleuthera like what they have done to many places.

I’m a three-time visitor to Eleuthera and have a fourth trip planned. We visit for the natural beauty of the island and the warmth of the people. Visits to Lighthouse Beach are special, and I’m very concerned about the biological impact Disney would have on this sensitive area. Just say no the mouse. Protect Lighthouse Beach the way Spanish Wells protected Egg Island.

Noooo, Disney can’t bring their cruise ships to Eleuthera anywhere!!!! There are 700 islands in the Bahamas and only 30 of them are inhibited so why not go to one of the islands that are not inhibited!? DISNEY, YOU are going to ruin Eleuthera!! Stay away!!

Disney’s acquisition of Lighthouse Point would be catastrophic to the environment and culture of the Bahamas. With the continued influx of coporate entities onto Eleuthera, the native people, their culture, and the environment will suffer immensely. I encourage you to research both sides of this before blindly supporting this idea. The area is low lying and has had many storm surges in the past few years with hurricanes that have been effecting the Caribbean. There is a cultural heritage site where an Old Lighthouse sits on the edge of one of the cliffs. This structure has been reduced to only a foundation because of rough weather coming during storms. There are also a large number of reefs that provide a healthy ecosystem and breeding grounds for fish such as the Nassau Grouper that are endangered. The Bahamaians have been fishing Nassau Grouper as one of the key elements of their diets for centuries. Also, if you haven’t made this connection already, with healthy reefs come healthy sharks. Sharks are regularly seen swimming the length of the beach and coasting the shallow water reefs where people will be swimming. This will onl be heightened by more people because of their natural curiosity. Let’s think a little harder before supporting this!

This is nothing less than a travesty!!! This so called “project” will have nothing but negative effects on this beautiful island and its people. Promises will be made, and as usual, never fulfilled. Do some reading on Disney’s history in cases like this. It is NOT pretty. This area is one of the most beautiful and ecologically diverse areas on the entire island. It should be preserved for ALL to enjoy, especially the citizens of the island!

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