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Environment specialists sign up to roles at Lighthouse Point

Lighthouse Point.

Lighthouse Point.

By YOURI KEMP

Tribune Business Reporter

ykemp@tribunemedia.net

Disney Cruise line (DCL) has recruited more Bahamians to fill positions for its Eleuthera Lighthouse Point project.

In a statement, DCL named Bradley Watson of Nassau as Bahamas conservation programmes manager and Pachancia Knowles, also a Nassau-native, as Bahamas assistant conservation programmes manager.

These newly created positions based in Eleuthera will lead the implementation of DCL’s environmental management plan and local conservation strategies within The Bahamas.

“At Disney, our approach to protecting the environment has always been centered on the idea that people are the key to meaningful and lasting conservation success,” said Dr Andy Stamper, conservation science manager with Disney’s animals, science and environment. “Bradley and Pachancia’s expertise and history of work in The Bahamas will be tremendously valuable as we carry forward our commitment to people, wildlife and nature in the region. We are excited to welcome them to the Disney team.”

For the past three years, Mr Watson championed several community-driven conservation and ecotourism projects throughout Abaco, Grand Bahama and Eleuthera as a science officer with the Bahamas National Trust. In this role, he led successful conservation efforts on both private and public lands including a monitoring programme to protect a rare species of songbird, drone mapping of vulnerable ecosystems and increasing awareness to endangered animals. As a result of these efforts and others, Watson was named The Bahamas’ national youth climate ambassador earlier this year.

Mr Watson has a passion for educating the public on the importance of environmental conservation and sustainable development projects. He has held teaching assistant and mentorship roles at various colleges and universities, conducted ecotourism guide trainings throughout The Bahamas, and served on the board of directors for the Center for Ocean Research and Education.

“I love my country, the environment and the people who live in it, and that is why I am working to develop a future where each can thrive,” he said. “I’m excited to join Disney Cruise Line and help facilitate sustainable economic opportunities for Bahamians while also protecting the environment so we can better prepare for the future and unlock the unlimited potential of The Bahamas.”

Ms Knowles served as marine science officer with the Bahamas National Trust since January 2020. She was responsible for several marine monitoring and restoration programs within The Bahamas national parks, including coral reef nurseries and the Northern Mangrove Restoration Project in the aftermath of Hurricane Dorian.

She aims to inspire future generations to care for wildlife and the environment, stemming from her experiences as an educator and animal trainer. She has developed far-reaching partnerships with local organisations, government officials, educators, students, landowners, fishers, international groups and others to foster a shared sense of responsibility to protect the environment.

“I believe that everyone can make a positive impact to create a more resilient and healthier world,” Knowles said. “I look forward to my new role with Disney Cruise Line and collaborating with valued partners to support the Bahamian economy and, at the same time, celebrate and protect our region’s rich biodiversity.”

DCL has long been committed to The Bahamas, including its most recent ‘Wishes Set Sail’ campaign to support youth initiatives in the cruise line’s key port communities. Since its maiden voyage in 1998, Disney has introduced countless families to the beauty and spirit of The Bahamas and has provided significant economic impact while demonstrating a strong commitment to the environment and the community. Approximately 75 percent of the cruises offered by Disney have at least one stop in The Bahamas, all five of its ships are registered in The Bahamas and it is estimated that DCL operations currently contribute more than $70 million toward the Bahamas gross domestic product annually.

DCL has committed to filling all positions on Castaway Cay with Bahamians across a range of disciplines with opportunities for training and advancement. Disney has received all the necessary approvals from the government and has begun work at Lighthouse Point, which is expected to create more than 300 construction-related roles – more than doubling the number of jobs DCL committed to in its Heads of Agreement.

Comments

tribanon 1 year, 6 months ago

This is a classic example of how the corrupt cruise ship industry goes about silencing the voices of opposition to their environmentally destructive business practices.

Here we see the Disney Cruise Line enterprise disemboweling and disarming The Bahamas National Trust of key personnel responsible for monitoring and overseeing vital conservation and preservation policies aimed at protecting our environment and natural heritage from the very likes of DCL.

DCL will now use Bradley Watson and Pachancia Knowles, both former science officers with The Bahamas National Trust, to dampen and or silence the Bahamian voices of others at their former employer and elsewhere who are extremely concerned about the very damaging impact of the cruise ship industry on our pristine environment.

These behemoth filthy floating hotels are destroying our coral reefs, dumping shiit and bilge contaminants in our territorial waters whenever they feel they can get away with it, poisoning our beaches and creating toxic landfill areas, not to mention all of the air pollution from their smoke stacks.

And here we see two Bahamians more interested in pocketing the big bucks DCL will be paying them, then they are in helping The Bahamas National Trust protect and preserve our natural heritage. They have joined the enemy of our environment.....truly disgraceful on their part to say the very least.

None of us should be wishing these two well in their new self-enriching endeavours with DCL.

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ScubaSteve 1 year, 6 months ago

110% agree!!!! Now that they are on the DCL payroll -- how in the hell are they going to be able to honorably and objectively monitor the environment and to ensure the DCL aren't doing anything illegal or damaging to the environment?

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ThisIsOurs 1 year, 6 months ago

Maybe they threw in a few of those I love Disney tshirts. Who could say no that that?

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concerned799 1 year, 6 months ago

Anyone who knows anything about reefs could tell you the reefs at Lighthouse Beach will be all but destroyed in 1-2 years once Disney begins full operations. Disney should save itself the money, as you don't need any specialists to watch over a reef that is no longer alive for all intents and purposes.

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LutraB 1 year, 6 months ago

They need to hire people to carry anyone who's not an olympic athlete the TWO MILES ...FOUR MILES ROUND TRIP ... it now takes to reach the ACTUAL lighthouse point! How did the Bahamas let a foreign multi-national corporation wall off a national treasure that should be able to be enjoyed by everyone whether they are able-bodied or not. It's like Holiday Inn was allowed to buy Old Faithful in the USA. We spent a couple days at the new "public beach" this summer and multiple groups of "locals" came to see "Disney" and were very disappointed and disillusioned with the lack of access. One worn out, very sweaty gentleman just muttered "never again" as he came trudging back. So sad. Hopefully lessons be learned?

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Soapstop 1 year, 6 months ago

Never again, but sadly history repeats itself again and again. I know he was talking about his trip to LHP, but it’s also a fitting epitaph to the decisions that the government makes. The people perish for lack of vision…..

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LutraB 1 year, 6 months ago

http://tribune242.com/users/photos/20...">http://thetribune.media.clients.ellin..." alt="Four miles round trip!">

http://thetribune.media.clients.ellin...">Four miles round trip! by LutraB

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TrueGod 1 year, 2 months ago

They need to limit disney. Protect that natural area for its beauty and serenity. Stop the unnecessary development of Eleuthera. Save it and make it pristine.

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