Save the Mangrove at Bimini!

Islands in the Stream

The island of Bimini, portrayed in Hemingway’s Island in the Streams, is a tropical paradise that supports an abundance of life, but the island and its culture are at risk from developers.


The developers of the Bimini Bay Resort are cutting down, filling-in and destroying  the rich mangrove ecosystem of the island. They are destroying the very habitats on which Bimini's biological richness and true economy depend.

Bimini possesses the only mangrove ecosystem on the entire Northwest Bahama Bank, and is responsible for replenishing fish populations not only in Bimini but over thousands of square miles of coral reefs and seabed. Today countless species of fish, rays, sponges, lobsters, and birds fill their unique niche in this ecosystem. But Bimini Bay Resort and Hilton are in the process of destroying all this pristine beauty and irreplaceable habitat by building a sprawling golf course, condos, a casino and a marina.

This is an ecological disaster in the making.

Mangroves are essential as buffers against storms (hurricanes & tsunamis), in addition to serving as nurseries where the eggs of fish, conch, shrimp, lobsters and many other living things find a safe place to grow up into adulthood without being disturbed. The mangrove ecosystem provides fish to feed people in coastal communities and throughout the world by stocking the ocean's natural fisheries and serve as important habitat for many other living things as well as to protect the health of sea grass beds and coral reefs.

The future is in anything but paradise.

As the developer, Gerardo Carpo, is allowed to bulldoze the mangroves and build a golf course on the northern tip of the island (whose associated fertilizer and pesticide pollution will damage or destroy the local inshore ecosystems) and dredge and destroy the lagoon (a world-famous nursery for lemon sharks) – the very future of the islands ecosystem, inhabitants and future are threatened.

A few can make a difference.

Please take a few moments to sign this petition. Then please take more action by
contacting via email, snail mail or phone, representatives listed at:

Let them know you do not approve what is being done to Bimini!

Then spread the word to your friends and family and cross-post this information elsewhere.

A few people can make a difference.  A big difference.

 

Created: August 1, 2006
Sent: October 30, 2006. THANK YOU ALL! GOAL REACHED!

 


Parts of this petition taken from http://www.restrictbiminibayresort.org.



Dear Mr. Hart,

We the undersigned are requesting that you cease and desist clearing any more land or damaging any more marine habitat due to construction of the Bimini Bay Resort. Gerardo Capo, the developer, is destroying mangroves and dredging the ocean bottom and building up the land.  The sediment that he is disturbing is clouding the water and affecting the whole Bimini ecosystem.

According to your website Hilton Hotels claim to have a commitment to the environment. If this is true, you must take immediate action and stop destroying the mangroves.
Mangroves are essential as buffers against storms (hurricanes & tsunamis), as nurseries where the eggs of fish, conch, shrimp, lobsters and many other living things find a safe place to grow up into adulthood without being disturbed providing fish to feed people in coastal communities and throughout the world by stocking the ocean's natural fisheries, as important habitat for many other living things and to protect the health of sea grass beds and coral reefs.

The mangroves of Bimini are the only fish nursery on entire northwest Great Bahama Bank and as such are vital to the fish stocks for thousands of square miles of ocean. 

It is common knowledge how the mangroves in Indonesia saved some of the coastal communities from destruction. The Wall St. Journal and many other media outlets reported on how the coastal communities that had not cut their mangroves were spared while the ones that cut their mangroves were obliterated. By cutting the mangroves you are risking the lives of every resident, as well as their livelihood, sustained through commercial and tourist fishing. You also risk the property and lives of your hotel guests and your foreign guests.

The mangroves in Florida buffered coastal communities from the recent hurricanes. Bimini, being so low and so small, needs this natural barrier to an even greater degree than does Florida. 

The Bimini Bay Resort development is destroying mangroves that provide the ecosystem services mentioned above, is destroying the Biminites’ community, their island, their ability to feed themselves from the ocean and their ability to attract tourist dollars through snorkeling, diving and fishing, destroying the larval (very young) stage of conch, crabs, lobsters, shrimp, fin fish (food fish) and sports fish like tuna, swordfish, marlin, bonefish, snapper, grouper & sharks) and causing harm to the bigger fish that need the smaller fish to feed on.

An intact mangrove ecosystem will attract eco-tourists and preserve the fishery that is the reason people vacation on Bimini. Before Gerardo Capo began his destructive march through Bimini, the North Sound of Bimini was entirely mangroves and was slated to become a Marine Protected Area (MPA).

We ask that you stop this senseless destruction of irreplaceable mangrove and begin to restore the mangrove ecosystem and estuarine streams. We ask that you stop construction of the golf course, or build a smaller course on already degraded lands. And, we ask that you commit to using no pesticides and fertilizers.

Thank you for your time in this urgent matter.


Sincerely,


 
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