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Govt ‘Is Ready’ If Environmentalists Want To Go To Court

photo

Perry Christie

By DANA SMITH

Tribune Staff Reporter

dsmith@tribunemedia.net

IF environmentalists want to go to court over the construction of a jetty in Bimini for the Resorts World Bimini SuperFast, the government will be “ready to take them on,” Prime Minister Perry Christie said Saturday.

He was speaking at Resorts World Bimini where he stressed the government’s commitment to “steadfastly maintaining” the “pristine environment” of the Bahamas.

Before year end, Resort World developers will complete – at their expense – the construction of a deep-water jetty and terminal for the berthing of the SuperFast, Mr Christie said.

“The developers and the government will ensure that this facility will neither be obtrusive in appearance nor cause damage to the environment, which must be protected at all time,” he continued.

“I do know, that in the nature of things in the Bahamas, there will be the rumblings and the beginning of some grouping that says it’s concerned about the environment in Bimini. Well I want them to know, just as I will say Monday in Parliament, that as a prime minister, I anticipated them. I will continue to anticipate them.

“And all of our efforts will be to ensure that even if they want to go to court, we will be ready to take them on, wherever they want to go, whatever they want to do, because all of our efforts are driven by a commitment to ensuring we put maximum effort in protecting the environment of these areas that are being developed.”

Mr Christie explained the Resorts World developers have been required to pay a “substantial amount of money” for their environmental impact assessment study and the government has brought in its own experts and specialists.

“In this particular instance, a well known international firm from Canada, to do a microscopic examination of what the developer’s experts have said should happen and how the development should take place,” he said. “So I will be able to say very clearly we are taking steps in the best interests of the Bahamian people.”

A petition calling on the government to stop plans for the construction of the dock has gathered 1,798 supporters up to press time, last night.

According to the petition, which was created by an environmental group, the Bimini Blue Coalition, on the website, www.change.org –  the dock could cause “catastrophic” damage to the environment.

“The current proposal being put forth by Genting’s newly acquired Resorts World Bimini Bay calls for the creation of a massive cruise ship terminal off the western shore of North Bimini. These plans include a 1,000 ft dock extending west off North Bimini’s beaches, the creation of a large man-made island offshore, and an enormous amount of related dredging. All of this is being proposed in an area of densely populated coral reef habitat,” the petition says.

“The damage to the surrounding reefs will be catastrophic, and the landscape of Bimini will be forever transformed.

“We are calling on Prime Minister Perry G Christie to halt these proposals and demand that a new plan be developed. Any new proposals put forth must not adversely impact Bimini’s reefs or marine ecosystems, must not negatively affect the North Bimini Marine Reserve, must not negatively impact the quality of life or property value of North Bimini’s residents and homeowners, and should take into consideration the ideas and concerns of Bimini’s residents, stakeholders, and homeowners.”

Comments

ThisIsOurs 7 years ago

Ok so rather than engaging environmental groups and performing the work to ensure that development is sustainable and has no negative affect on the environment, we've decided that its better strategically to fight them in court with the $0 dollar discretionary budget that we have....interesting

I hope the developers aren't paying for the group from Canada same as the web shops paid for the consultants from the UK. Maybe this time they will receive a big enough payday to actually produce an official report...

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john33xyz 7 years ago

This time the PM is correct. These crazy environmentalists need to focus their attention on the delivery room at PMH. As long as more and more babies are popping out, more and more jobs are needed, more and more real estate needs to be cut down for houses, more cars, more roads, more garbage disposal, etc, etc. If you want to save the environment STOP POLLUTING IT WITH PEOPLE !!!!! They should take their signs to Shirley Street where they can be more effective at "saving the world".

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concernedcitizen 7 years ago

you got it right ,we have to keep taxing ,borrowing ,and building to try to absorb our prolific baby making ,,mostly w/ more jobs on the uncivil service ,,,,

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BiminiHomeowner 7 years ago

What a sad day for The Bahamas when the Prime Minister openly sides with a wealthy foreign investor, rather than the people he was elected to represent.

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banker 7 years ago

PGC is not all there. In his first term of office, he had something that those poor people who drowned off Grand Bahama could have used -- a good stroke.

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JoeBruce 7 years ago

This is all a bunch or rhetoric from other bahamian developers who are trying to disrupt the Genting project. The "environmental groups" are paid by other Bahamas resorts in an effort to give the Resorts World Bimini project a bad name. It's a shame that the real news doesn't get reported. Genting is helping to transfer the Island of Bimini into the greatest island resort in the world - we should all be grateful of their investments into our faltering economy. Genting has a team of people that make sure the environment is protected. The Bahamas government watches every little thing they do. There would be no way any environmental damage could occur.

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concernedcitizen 7 years ago

@joebruce please PGC stop posting using a fake name,

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InezObregon 7 years ago

Environmental concerns are above my pay grade as the saying goes. Being that the Prime Minister states that he and Genting’s World Resort in Bimini are both committed to safe-guarding the environment, I support the plans for building the jetty. Maintaining Bimini’s "pristine environment" is crucial to the Resort’s appeal. It’s not only the world-class gambling that attracts me. I plan to enjoy the great fishing, snorkeling and even try the stand-up paddle boarding. Resort World Bimini makes the tired casinos and water attractions in Miami pale by comparison.

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concernedcitizen 7 years ago

wow PGC another fake name to post under,,Mr PM you claim to also have a study ,paid by us the taxpayer to show why save clifton is talking foolishness ,please Mr PM stop wasteing our money on referendums and studies and just say for the next four years the PLP is going to give whatever they want to the folks that line their pockets ,,come on bro give us some respect and just get on ZNS and say it ..

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BiminiHomeowner 7 years ago

If you think Genting and RAV Bahamas are concerned about Bimini's environment, you obviously don't live here or know anything about their work thus far, or what they are proposing.

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ThisIsOurs 7 years ago

Where there is no vision...

This is a tiny little island, not Miami. I have never seen a tropical island advertisement showing thousands of people crowded into a limited space. The scene more often than not is miles of pristine white sand beaches and a single woman (if that) relaxing on a beach chair. They typically try to sell peace and tranquility, a get-a-way. If that is what we try to sell, and people are buying, what do you think they actually expect to get? Water parks and casinos are the last thing I think about when I think about Bimini. Oh well, eco-tourism must have a new definition.

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PhillipDodge 7 years ago

Genting is one of the most respected developers on the planet. If anything, their architectural changes will improve the environment in Bimini. Their advance teams have already found deficiencies in the Island infrastructure like sewer management and safety issues that they are helping address. If you ask merchants on the street how they feel about it, you will she they are ecstatic. Sherri Pratt of Sherri’s Beach Bar says: “It helps out economy. It creates a lot of jobs. It helps us to build houses, to eat a nice steak. Fish, conch and lobster. You all come and eat the fish conch and lobster.”

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BiminiHomeowner 7 years ago

I live here in Bimini. The people who support this support it until you tell them the details of what Genting is planning, and then they are outraged.

Genting could and should do better, this is an embarrassment for them and for the island.

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john33xyz 7 years ago

Tell us the details of what they are planning - don't keep it a secret. What horrible things are they planning to do? Eh ?

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BiminiHomeowner 7 years ago

There have been two versions of this "jetty" that have been circulating around the island. The first version included burying Three Sisters under a 12-acre man-made island, then dredging an enormous channel and turning basin for the ship west from there. Three Sisters is probably one of the top 3 most popular snorkeling sites in Bimini, and home to swarms of fish, and critically endangered species of coral.

The second plan moved the jetty to the south a little, basically putting it right over Rainbow Reef. This plan had the man-made island slightly smaller, but still big at ~6 acres, and then the related dredging of a channel. This proposed version of the plan had the jetty, dredging, and related traffic literally cutting through the highest densities of coral reef found off of North Bimini.

Destroying Bimini's reefs for one big boat is a stupid idea, and Genting seems to know it since they are seemingly trying to exclude Biminites from these discussions. There's a BETTER plan now circulating online, where everyone gets what they want, check it out here: http://www.biminibluecoalition.org/20...">http://www.biminibluecoalition.org/20...

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henjons88 6 years, 6 months ago

Unfortunately, many of those who claim to be working for environmental improvements lack an understanding of a few basic concepts used by http://www.rocketdocketlegalsoftware....">Rocket Docket, which are absolutely critical to accomplishing anything. They need them if they want to present the evidence in court.

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