By CHESTER ROBARDS
Tribune Senior Reporter
CASES might be brought against companies responsible for leaking oil into waters around the Clifton Pier area, lawyer and environmental activist Fred Smith said yesterday.
Mr Smith, who represents the Coalition to save Clifton along with environmental activist Robert F Kennedy Jr and Troy Albury of the Save Guana Cay movement, visited the reefs around the Clifton area yesterday and held a press conference on the state of the reefs.
Mr Kennedy said a dive party had to descend to the reef through an oil slick. He added that he has witnessed the degradation of the reefs around the Clifton area since he was a young man.
“Everybody can use that reef but nobody can poison it,” he said. “The beaches, the reef and the fisheries are the social safety net.”
Mr Albury said Clifton’s reefs seem to be in good condition despite oil spills in the area. He said “stiff penalties” must be implemented for individuals who break the law.
Mr Smith said he has spoken to Esso, Texaco, Shell and the Bahamas Electricity Corporation about their environmental responsibility at Clifton. Those companies all run industrial operations at Clifton Pier.
He said he has asked the companies for their Environmental Impact Assessments for the area and for them to assist with cleaning up the area.
Mr Kennedy said a ‘Waterkeeper’ will be stationed in the Bahamas to police endangered coastline. The Waterkeeper Alliance is a global movement of on-the-water advocates who patrol and protect more than 100,000 miles of river streams and coastlines in North and South America, Europe, Asia and Africa. Mr Kennedy is a founder of the organisation.