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Residents Protest to Stop Bimini’s Development

PM Visits Bimini Following Irma (3)

Protesters in Bimini are calling for all further development on that island to cease.

PM Visits Bimini Following Irma (3)

Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis and his delegation met a team of protesters in Bimini on Thursday, who was in no way concerned about hurricane assessments, but about environmental protection.


Leader of the group Save Our Home Bimini Jenny Cook said the environmental impact of the developments on that island caused the storm to affect the island even more.


“The resort has already destroyed 458 acres of mangroves, which is why we had so much storm surge on top of the bay during the hurricane,” Cook said.


She said they don’t want any further development as they believe that the current development has destroyed 450 acres of mangroves and as she understands it, the resort seems to have plans to rip out the whole of the north end of this island to develop more hotels, golf courses and homes.


The prime minister allowed Cook to join him at Resorts World Bimini where they had a brief impromptu meeting with Rafael Reyes, president of Rav Bahamas development group, and Missy Lawrence president of Resorts World.


Reyes said he thinks that it is crucial to find a formula to rejuvenate the beach and improve it as quickly as possible.


He said, “We’ve had a special assessment that was about to be passed for the home owners to fix that whole seawall and we can even implement a major rejuvenation system to it as well.”


Lawrence said, “We want the environment to be right, but we also want the economy of Bimini to be right, that is the only way that this island gets back on its feet.”

The prime minister said the government will facilitate everything within the law to ensure that what needs to be done gets done and told them that he’s an environmental protector.


Cook, leader of the activist group, said she thinks their protest was a success.


“I think I did get my message across to the delegation here today, Dr. Minnis has definitely given us hope that it is the people’s time and we have faith that some steps are being taken now to right some things on the island for the future.”


Minister of Tourism Dioniso D’Aguliar said he thinks the hotel is a beautiful property and that the environmental issues are something that can be sorted out.


“I completely understand their concerns and I encourage people who don’t approve of economic development to state their concerns. They’re very vocal and vociferous on social media and they are absolutely right. They keep us focused on the environmental issues,” D’Aguliar said.


He added that he doesn’t want economic development to the point where it deteriorates the environment.


D’Agulair said, “North Bimini has the wonderful mangroves and some say the development thus far may have caused degradation of those mangroves and significant environmental impact thus it’s important that we balance it. People need jobs, but we must work within our environment.”


Written by Jones Bahamas

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