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October 06, 2008

Comments

hermit

Speaking of beaches... do you remember what the sandyport beach looked like before sandyport existed? Expect the same thing to happen in Adelaide.

Actually I'm desperate to find anyone with good photos of what the sandyport area & beach looked like back in the day. I vaguely remember it being a hell of a lot better beach than what it is today.

Also, what the hell is with the metric-ass-load of sand that's in the road in front of sanyport after every heavy storm?

Tim Robinson

As a relatively new arrival to these islands (nearly two years) it is with caution that I comment on matters Bahamian. However, the force of your article compels me to write.
If you wish to punish yourself further and shed more tears, continue your drive around the shores and witness the scenic destruction of Love Beach. When we first arrived here we took immense pleasure in visiting this beach several times a week, finding it the nearest to the pictures of “paradise” to be found in the glossy brochures. We watched with trepidation as the first markers of construction sites went down, followed by the foundations, thinking in our naiveté that this cannot really be allowed to happen. Reality now prevails and it has happened. A once beautiful beach is now dominated by some 8 or 10 blocks of condos. Whether or not there continues to be beach access is now for me, unfortunately, academic as I can no longer bear to visit the place, such is my sadness and anger. This is, perhaps, the starkest example of the question I have often found myself asking, both at micro and macro levels – “How can this happen?”
No doubt I can be pointed to numerous policies, papers, conferences and workshops on sustainable development, the balance of the economic needs and preservation, but to what avail? I appreciate that one may not notice that which does not change and has thus been successfully been preserved. However, given the preponderance of development (much of which is now likely to remain in an unfinished state for many years), I fear more tears are to be shed.
As an alternative to Pink Floyd, try listening to Woody Guthrie whilst overlooking what you can still see of Love Beach and keep a dry eye:
“As I was walkin' - I saw a sign there
And that sign said - no tresspassin'
But on the other side .... it didn't say nothin!
Now that side was made for you and me!”
Perhaps, as a medium term transient, some would say this is no business of mine. If so, then instead envisage a transient visitor to the Louvre who finds the Mona Lisa defaced by graffiti.
Carrying on the lyrics, Pete Seeger: “When will they ever learn?”

Sam Duncombe

Craig,

reEarth tried to warn the public about the Albany development before the damage began - we cited loss of biodiversity, water table concerns, lack of beach access, coral destruction... it seems that as long as we think are getting some scraps from our master's table, too many of us prefer to be quite in the hopes that the crumbs will fall our way.

Private property was acquired for private use...wouldn't the best use of the land that sits over the water table be to acquire it preserve it for the generation of fresh water into the future. It is disgusting that our laws are being used against the public who vote the same visionless government in over and over again - (That goes for both parties).

As an Adelaide resident I was and am horrified that government said they would take our concerns into consideration before granting final approval - that was not done. Albany's marina will breach the islands largest freshwater lens and as if to add insult to injury they'll be topping off the water lens with chemicals from their golf course. Hey but it is only a water supply that future Bahamians need - and by the way Water and Sewage had no oversight of the Albany development.

Then we have our "community leaders" who traded our beach, our water table, our acces to drive around the island for their own version of thirty pieces of silver - they endorsed the project in return for a personal marina, money and new dive facilities. What a disgrace!

I'm glad that you were affected so deeply - I encourage others that have not witnessed the damage wreaked upon our ecosystems for the almighty dollar - which we worship over and above any religion, to take that drive and mourn for the purchase of our souls and our children's birth right - all for a handful of foreigners that have no love or devotion for our country - who see our land as a "playground" - who are creating their towntownship because as much as they "love The Bahamas" they don't appear to love Bahamians very much. This segregationist policy of gated communities in ever nook and cranny of what is left of Nassau needs to stop.

As a nation we are ALL responsible for being quiet, not being bothered and filling our lives with entertainment over the very real issues. The wealth that most Bahamians can actually tap into is Our natural world. Our economy is based on it being kept pristine.

I live in eternal hope that we will wake up as a nation and realise the beauty that we have been blessed with, and move collectively to protect it beyond our self absorbed generation - for our children's sake.

Percival Miller

Interesting discussion. One statement seems to unfortunately suggest that the way ‘public domain’ issue is settled is that the public might have to go into the sea to reach the beach area available to them because of how the developments are done, for which the problem is obvious. Also included is Craig’s statement that the cutting of the marine channel through the beach was indicated to be done in such a way as to ‘not affect the ecology of the area.’ How is this ecology defined - just surface plants or nearshore mangroves? Why wouldn’t ecological protection include the impact of cutting through a fresh water lens, which in the past had been a serious bone of contention, and regardless of whether the water department might not ‘need’ the wellfield at present;or it is not their authority to protect linked wetlands (if any exist there)? If S. Duncombe’s statement describes the water table importance and outcome, why wouldn’t the water department not have any authoritative input into the project? The handling of these active or ‘inactive’ freshwater sources seems a very important issue, considering that all of the islands have similarly vulnerable freshwater lens that feed freshwater supply to residential wells, community wellfields, or support life and biological species in land and nearshore wetlands. It is well known that these freshwater lens can be forever impaired by cutting into them for whatever reason (boat access, overland flow drainage), which increases their drainage into salt water and thus can permanently reduce their freshwater production capacity. With climate change we need not only to preserve as much as we can of our country’s freshwater supply as long as we can, but could need to increase natural recharge by more preservation of freshwater recharge areas and ponds; and conserve, collect, and recycle water pulled from the ground. This could help liveability, despite possible changes in water supplies, in the islands (which, because it benefits all, will be as important as creating new jobs).

5

Personally, this is a conversation that is both interesting and pointless. It is interesting in that this can be viewed from different personal social perspectives.

One perspective is in that the very argument of reEarth can be percieved as one of elitism. For those who can argue for preservation, there is also a level of economic stability and assurance in that the preservation of land as a concept is not driven by need. I suggest that there are very few economically challenged persons who will argue for perservation when they are looking to attain what the economically secure have achieved. There reality is that of securing income and revenue to increase their levels/standards of living. It is very seldom that i have read or heard of any conservationist who has attained financial security who has offered any "rebate" to offset the need. These persons appear to be comfortable within their achievements and have forgotten the "ruthless economic approaches and tools" they may have employed to attain their security. Now that it is no longer a "necessity" it is fully able to be vilified.

This ramble notwithstanding... tourism is in and of itself nothing more than controlled destruction. It is an industry that is consumptive in nature. Sustainable Tourism is merely educated tourism. That is it is an indication that affects of tourism are an accepted liability and in an effort to extend the lifespan of their investment then certain steps can be take to secure that tenure. And Mass Tourism, which we have adopted and I may add, prospered from... even those in the advocacy groups... is especially devastating.

What makes tourism so alluring, as I am sure we all know or suspect, is that it provides periods of mass employment, global interaction, and economies of scale for those political and social states that derive a living with limited or minimal natural mineral resources. In areas such as these, the product requires minimal investment as others are willing to seed development to gain maximum returns as the result of an idea sold.

And as to those persons who lament the loss of access or visibility, there is a trace of hypocrisy, present in that the resistance and objection to the construction along the beachfront obscures that which they traveled here to consume. The presence of the threatens and removes from their access the very thing that those condo occupants want for themselves. Thus the cry can be said to be a cry of deprivation.... that is they are deprived of access to that which drew them here in the first place.

It always strikes me when we lament the loss of something after we have benefited from our use of it.

I do agree that Albany and many of the other developments are altering the physical, social, economic, and intellectual landscape of New Providence, and i do agree that this type of development is detrimental to our existing environment... however, these positions are often offset by the recognition that change takes place and often change is violent in that it violates our established place and comfort; by the realization that there is nothing evil or despicable for the desire to change existing landscapes to secure personal comfort and advancement; by the realization that acceptance of change is often driven by immediate responses to short term perspectives and positions that are the parameters of our reality; by the acceptance that often government will act in ways that are often counterproductive to social and environmental longevity as their reality is very real and reflective of demands of instantaneous gratification; by the recognition that tourism is often self-perpetuating in that it is the perfect instrument of globalization and the engine that runs it -- capitalism; and by the very prevalent understanding that the greater percentage of our population does not possess the luxury of environmenatlist perspectives to the extent of the financial minority.

The challenge now is to the financial majority to posit some financial backing/gifting/sacrifice, whatever the term is, to alter the landscape that they have created and benefited from, before their creation succeeds in destroying them....

How many of us will have the tenacity to stick it out and sacrifice for the challenge to ammend increasingly unravelling course of action that surrounds us instead of fleeing to new jurisdictions ourselves.

I fear the governing bodies, or persons who comprise the governing bodies, will not act on what they know to be so, until it affects them directly, either personally or socially.

"5"

p.s. i do apologize for the sloppiness of my writing style and structure, for there are many, many, many, many, many, grammatical mistakes (sigh).

Roxann

Go to www,lighthousebahamas.com./brochure.html

Go and look what developer Jorge Perez has in Mind with lighthouse point in Eleuthera the jewel of the island that will never be agin... Go look at the Before and After.... it will be have a heleport and a new marine and condos.... this should be a natational park....It will distroy all the marine life with the chemicals for the gold course... what to do??? this is the only place that is still heaven....

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