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Rolle Soothes Fears Over Bimini Dredging Damage

photo

Khaalis Rolle

By KYLE WALKINE

Tribune Staff Reporter

kwalkine@tribunemedia.net

KHAALIS Rolle, Minister of State for Investments, yesterday sought to allay fears that dredging activities by a private developer in North Bimini will harm the environment.

He told the House of Assembly that a similar level of dredging took place in the country years ago without significant damage to the marine environment.  

Resorts World Bimini (RWB) began dredging last month to accommodate its cruise ship terminal, 1,000 foot pier and man-made island.

Mr Rolle said Disney Cruise Line’s Castaway Cay, located near Abaco, was opened in the late 1990s and extensive dredging in the area occurred to accommodate large cruise ships.

“This happened in the late 90s with a lot of dredging,” he said. “I think the same amount of dredging done here, is the same amount that was done in Bimini. Bimini may be about 50,000 cubic yards more.

“You go there, and the environment is one of the most pleasing ones,” he said. 

“In fact, the president of Disney said amongst all of Disney Cruise’s destinations, the satisfaction rate on this is 97 per cent. The environment (is) intact. They did the dredging and if you look at the environment outside of the channel that the cruise ship comes in, the environment is pristine.” 

The controversial Bimini dredging is at the centre of a court battle and has elicited an outcry from environmentalists who believe the project will harm the country’s natural resources.

On May 30th a Supreme Court judge set aside an injunction handed down by the UK’s Privy Council, which in turn gave Resorts World Bimini the green light to restart its dredging activities. 

The Bimini Blue Coalition, which initiated legal action to stop the dredging, now has to pay for all of the expenses of the government and the developers, both before the Privy Council and the Supreme Court. 

RWB’s Public Relations Director Michelle Malcolm has said the dredging will result in many Biminites finding employment. 

“The people of Bimini know that Resorts World Bimini is an enormously positive development for the economy and ethos of the island, and we are hopeful that outside special interests will finally cease their litigious efforts to stand in the way of a project that the local people so clearly want,” she said.

Comments

justthefactsplease 5 years, 9 months ago

So I guess he has swum the entire area around the Castaway Cay dredge site, compared the before and after photos, read the environemtnal impact assessment, reviewed the mitigation steps that may have been taken by Disney, interviewed the sea life and then compare all the relevant factors with Bimini and found them to be the exactly the same before arriving at his conclusion. Or is he just hoping we are all asses who will take HIS word for it?

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Cobalt 5 years, 9 months ago

Yeah, I think he thinks we're all idiots who can't think for ourselves. You don't have to be a marine biologist to know that dredging is detrimental to the environment.

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DillyTree 5 years, 9 months ago

Yep, just the asses who will take his word for it. At least that's what he's hoping. The fact that this is the Minister for Finance smacks just a wee bit of self-interest. Where is the Minister for Environment? Tied up and muzzled in the basement?

Anyone who wants a shred of evidence of the damage done to Abaco has only to look at the conch stock surveys and condition of the reefs around the area. Pristine indeed -- of sea life and coral compared to how it was before dredging. And Bimini is that much more senitive an environment with even more dredging involved. You come to your own conclusion.

And all so we can continue to be a nation of housekeepers and waiters for minimum wages? Where's the long term benefits? And does anyone really think Resorts World will actually be sustainable in the long run? Chalk up another failed enterprise within a few years. We are so shortsighted for a few dollars and untold damage.

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BiminiHomeowner 5 years, 9 months ago

Nothing makes a country look dumber then when politicians try to speak on a matter of which they know nothing about.

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Cobalt 5 years, 9 months ago

That's what I'm saying! Is this man a marine biologist??? What exactly is his area of expertise??? I'm certain that he's no oceanic scientist! Just another liar in a suit!

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proudloudandfnm 5 years, 9 months ago

Disney did not dredge to build a pier in the middle of the Gulf with no lee or breakwater to protect it. Disney will be here in 5 to 10 years. Resort World will most certainly not be...

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ThisIsOurs 5 years, 9 months ago

Stupidity...as usual with these politicians, concerned with only the surface level view. You need to put on your scuba gear to sea the damage the report YOU OBVIOUSLY NEVER READ is talking about.

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ThisIsOurs 5 years, 9 months ago

In fact I can bet NOT ONE of the persons making the decision to go ahead with the dredging ACTUALLY READ THE FULL REPORT. They probably had some junior techy read it, summoned him/her to a meeting to brief them , then 5mins into the presentation they asked the presenter to cut to the chase and tell them that they could go ahead. No I wasn't in the room, but ten to one that's what happened. They knew what they wanted to do, what money they would be paid under the table to do, and they did it.

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ThisIsOurs 5 years, 9 months ago

I'll go the Supreme Court only if crazy goes with me. I need some backup. As for ass, it's a little tired, I'm using ears today.

I don't like to see posters pinned on trees (trees must be screaming) doesn't matter if the flyers are FNM or PLP, I really wish they would stop that foolishness, at minimum it's extremely unsightly. (Anyone doubts their disrespect for the environment, check the trees around election time and the billboards crammed on Montague beach) In that light, I'd hardly differentiate decimation of the seabed along political lines.

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Cobalt 5 years, 9 months ago

These freakin politicians make me so angry!!! Where's my blood pressure medicine?

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ThisIsOurs 5 years, 9 months ago

Find it fast, Perry just donated crown land and a promise of "hundreds of thousands of dollars"(???), on the spot, to a brain research facility.

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thomas 5 years, 9 months ago

To a foundation with the name Mitchell...things that make you go hmmm

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Emac 5 years, 9 months ago

@ThisisOurs KML...You're certainly only a roll today. That's exactly what I needed to get through today!

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proudloudandfnm 5 years, 9 months ago

Man crazy/sicko/rory/captain Bahamas what happened? The FNM refused to hire you or something? Um dude, FNM aint in power no mo. If you get off ya ma's couch erry now and then you'd know this.... Man...

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proudloudandfnm 5 years, 9 months ago

Someone on FB asked me just the other day if I was sickman from BI. Boy looka here. I jumped my butt right up and gone buy some Prozac....

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SP 5 years, 9 months ago

Wonder why Prime Minister Christie thinks solar power is good only for his house but not good for the rest of us? 1000's of jobs could be created almost overnight like in Jamaica and 1000's of homes now without power could have power restored.

http://www.caribbeannewsnow.com/topst...">http://www.caribbeannewsnow.com/topst...

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