The Moore Bahamas Foundation (“Moore Bahamas”) has announced $200,000 in new grants for Hurricane Dorian relief and recovery, bringing their contributions thus far to more than $500,000 as part of conservation philanthropist Louis Bacon’s million-dollar pledge for hurricane repairs.
The grants follow Moore Bahamas’ funding for emergency aid and a post-hurricane needs assessment in the immediate aftermath of Dorian and will help alleviate emergency hardships and accelerate recovery of The Bahamas’ ecosystems and economy.
“The Bahamas were devastated by Dorian and, despite steady progress, more needs to be done to repair homes, businesses and infrastructure and to put the people, the economy and the natural environment on the road to recovery,” said Mr. Bacon, chairman of The Moore Charitable Foundation and Moore Bahamas, its local affiliate. “We are committed to accelerating the progress through important partnerships.”
The first round of grants by Moore Bahamas, announced in December 2019, supported organisations working primarily on recovery projects. This round of grants focus on building resilience and boosting economic recovery in Grand Bahama, including installing a green energy grid in East End, reviving the local fishing industry and restoring Lucayan National Park. Additionally, support is provided for Waterkeeper Bahamas to continue its assessment and mitigation efforts at the Equinox oil spill site in Freeport, where hurricane damage caused a 50,000-barrel oil spill.
The green grid project will be undertaken by the Rocky Mountain Institute, which since 2014 has assisted the Government of The Bahamas design and implement its national energy transition strategy. The project aims to build a locally-sourced electricity system that is low-carbon, resilient, sustainable, and cost-effective, according to Justin Locke, senior director at Rocky Mountain Institute.
“Projects such as the green grid in East Grand Bahama are a part of the greater efforts to accelerate the clean energy transition across the Caribbean,” and will help “build resilience and stimulate economic recovery, Locke said. “We are extremely grateful to the Moore Bahamas Foundation for their vision and generosity in making this project possible.”
The Nature Conservancy grant will assist hard-hit East Grand Bahama fishing communities rebuild and strengthen their capacity by replacing lost and ruined equipment and accelerating their re-entry into the fishing industry. The project, in conjunction with the Red Cross, also will teach strategies to reduce community vulnerability and boost climate resilience going forward.
With 30,000 visitors a year, Lucayan National Park is a major economic driver for the island. Moore Bahamas is supporting a Bahamas National Trust project to rebuild the park’s infrastructure, which was severely damaged by the hurricane. The project includes cleaning the park, restoring mangroves and repairing the park’s main boardwalk.
The Waterkeeper Alliance, in collaboration with local affiliate Waterkeeper Bahamas, is spearheading the response to the Equinor oil spill. The Moore Bahamas grant will support Waterkeepers’ ongoing environmental risk assessments and fresh-water testing around the site.
The list of local grantees is:
Bahamas National Trust (BNT)
Bahamas Reef Environmental Education Foundation (BREEF)
Friends of the Environment in Abaco (Friends)
Grand Bahama Disaster Relief Foundation (GBDRF)
International Medical Corps (IMC)
The Nature Conservancy
Ranfurly Home for Children
Rocky Mountain Institute
Waves For Water (W4W)