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June 30, 2009


Erasmus Folly

Thank you for this incredibly informative article Larry. Once again, you have the ability to slice away opinion and rumour and clarify fact and fiction.

Thanks and keep it up. I hope more Bahamians are able to read this and UNDERSTAND the situation better, whatever their conclusions. We need to raise the awareness and understanding of FACTS rather than FICTIONS in this country.

Much appreciated!


What are they going to do with the old trees? Please don't say they're just going to the dump. Surely they can mulch them or something to get some re-use out of those TONS of natural material.


Good Job Larry, concisely put, I look forward to seeing if the planning and Public /private partnership works out.

Patrick Goodwin

I am totally destroyed at even the prospect of the intended massacre of the magnificent trees that have lined and protected saunders beach for my entire lifetime.

I live just west of saunders beach, and can assure you that from the time of playing in those trees since my earliest memory, , they, and their root system are the only reason that saunders beach has remained the same for 64 years that I know of.

Without those trees, bay st. would have been completely destroyed in any number of hurricanes over the years. Sure a little sand blows across bay st in the winter Northers, its all a part of nature and causes no harm.

Larry, we are experiencing global warming It is getting HOT. how many bahamians, who enjoy saunders beach in its quaint island setting Will be happy to park across the street on a filthy hot asphalt parking lot, and walk to a white hot beach, with not a piece of shade. I say, put it to the general public to have a vote. for gods sake.

Larry, reference the removal of the wonderful casaurinas at Orange Hill, Yes it was a huge success, It , with its dense Seagrape groth has prevented locals access to a once very popular holiday beach, as was the intention.

The drive along saunders beach, with the magnificent trees, are a big part of the ever diminishing charm and beauty of our Island. My sadness at this planned desecration, and knowing that mine, and many other's plea to save the trees will come to naught leaves me with nothing further to say, only to pray to God that the powers that be come to their senses.

larry smith

The removal of invasive casuarinas from our shorelines is supported by good science and all environmental groups.

The fact that these trees have been allowed to grow over several decades between Saunders Beach and west bay street is not a sufficient reason to protect them.

While they have an aesthetic appeal, and have provided shade and windbreaks in many locations, this has been at a cost, which is why they are on virtually every banned list where they exist - check it out on Google.

Casuarinas suppress the native vegetation, which is why it so easy to park between them on Saunders Beach, and in the past at Orange Hill. The flat areas between them and the exposed roots are clear signs of beach erosion, and we should instead have a well-vegetated dune to protect the shoreline and nourish the beach.

Under stormy conditions the sand is washed over the road, and this is not a minor issue. Observers have seen many truck loads of sand being taken from behind Saunders Beach and Delaporte Beach (until they built the retaining wall).

Today, Saunders Beach is a mere shadow of what it once was, and there is no sand along the eastern half at all. Experts say the correct response to this situation is to relocate the road back from the shoreline, remove invasive species, plant dune-building native species, and provide parking areas behind the dune, with bridges over the dune to protect it.

The parking area at Gooodman's Bay is an example, and in fairness to the Orange Hill community, who after all were protecting their property and amenity, this area has been provided parking space and a wooden access bridge. If there is a criticism there it is that the recent commercial developments have not contributed to better road alignment and parking options in the area.

Here is a quote from coastal expert Neil Sealey on the effect Arawak Cay has on the New Providence shoreline:

"The exact impact of the construction of Arawak Cay on the Saunders Beach area is difficult to assess as there has been no monitoring or subsequent study of the area.

Undoubtedly this had some impact and the accumulation of sand between the cay and mainland is some evidence for this. I have also been told that dredging in Goodman's Bay during the construction of the golf course affected the beaches, but again it is difficult to assess the exact impact.

"It seems unlikely that the current extension to Arawak Cay will affect the area any further as the shielding of the beach and restriction of flow along the shore already exist. However, this should be modelled and monitored according to best practices.

"Observation of the Saunders Beach area does indicate that sand is still being generated offshore and transported to the beach. The problem now is to resurrect the beach with the sand that is available, as Arawak Cay and the dredging are not going to change this.

"Regardless of the past abuse, there is evidence that re-alignment of the road and replanting the shoreline will restore the beach eventually, whereas leaving it as it is will certainly lead to its eventual total loss."


The unfortunate part of this whole situation is the extent it is all being done in secrecy. The Bahamian taxpayers are paying for the extension of the island, the road re-development and all associated costs, except for the construction of a "large parking lot". Has their been an EIA on the extension of the island, what is the effect on the sea bed, what about the livestock there, what about the extent of beach erosion? How about we have transparency when the Bahamian public are going to be 40% owners, shoe the studies, show the agreement with the ACPDC. I as a Bahamian taxpayer want some government in the sunshine. This is the same secretiveness that went on at the airport on the GC contract to the Canadian firm.

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