By MORGAN ADDERLEY
Tribune Staff Reporter
THE petition against the development of a Disney Cruise Lines port at Lighthouse Point, Eleuthera has garnered over 30,000 signatures.
The “Stop Disney - Last Chance for Lighthouse Point” campaign yesterday said this massive support is evidence of “growing global opposition” to Disney’s plans for the development of a “massive cruise port” at the iconic site located at the southern tip of Eleuthera.
The campaign made these remarks in a statement released yesterday.
“Leading Bahamian and international environmental groups released today (Monday) a full-page advertisement in The Tribune newspaper on their new petition calling upon Disney to select an alternative site for their cruise port and instead to work with local groups on a win-win alternative that would protect this unique site and secure sustainable economic opportunities for the communities in South Eleuthera,” the statement reads.
“The ad calls attention to the more than 20,000 people who had signed the petition within just 12 days after its public launch on July 15th. Since the ad was submitted for publication to the Tribune just 4 days ago, another 10,000 people have signed on.
“Of these 30,000 people, scores took the time to jot down their reasons for asking Disney to back off its port plans at the Point; and others have reached out to the campaign to become engaged.”
The statement notes people in the Bahamas, United States, and around the world “treasure” the site and are “worried” about the pressures coral reefs and oceans are currently facing.
“Some Last Chance for Lighthouse Point campaign supporters love Disney and are puzzled by why Disney would pick a place like Lighthouse Point to build a port that would tarnish and degrade the area.
“The launch of the campaign has received media attention from all major Bahamian news outlets.
“For the first time, Disney has felt compelled to respond publicly to the Bahamian environmental groups, but Disney still does not address the fundamental issues set out in the campaign’s website: StopDisney.com.”
Campaign Director Phoebe Shaw underscored “it’s not too late” for Disney to “change course and find a different site” for its port.
“At the same time, the groups are eager to see Disney stay at Lighthouse Point and cooperate with local groups on a sustainable development alternative. Disney has a chance to set a new precedent for sustainable development and the protection of global oceans,” she said.
Bahamas Reef Environment Education Foundation (BREEF), EARTHCARE, reEarth, Save the Bays, and Waterkeepers Bahamas are all local organizations involved in the campaign. The Waterkeeper Alliance, based in New York, has also signed onto it.