Apr 15

The threat to Abaco

It is easy to see that a lot of Abaco is for sale. There are enough new developments being dreamed up, one has to hope that half of them (at least) fail or the island is going to lose some real character.

Right at Treasure Cay you can see what some particularly bad development looks like. There is a creek right there, what used to be a good bonefish flat. Someone decided it would be a good place for a bonefishing lodge. So, what did they do? They dredged a path through the bonefish flat to make a way for the bonefish skiffs to get in and out the creek.

Well... isn't that ugly!?

Well… isn’t that ugly!?

From what I heard the dredging was not permitted, but since the company doing the destruction belongs to a Bahamian senator, no one is going to stop it.

Here is some more about what is going on.

This isn’t the only example. Another flat I looked at had a nice paved road and a dredged dock and path for boats to get out into deeper water and the whole things sits abandoned.

It is easier to dream up these sorts of projects than it is to do it well and there seems to be some pretty shoddy development going on in Abaco, which is a shame. Abaco is a fantastic bonefish fishery. It is beautiful, vast and charming. I sure hope things are encouraged to go in a more sustainable direction. It makes little sense to destroy the thing you are trying to showcase.

May 14

A Bimini Victory, for now

The good news is that the dredging has been halted in Bimini. The Privy Council issued an injunction to keep the dredger, named after Machiavelli, from chewing up any more of the Bahamian sand. The bad news… it could start again.

Declaring a major victory for advocacy group Bimini Blue Coalition (BBC), their lawyer Fred Smith, QC, said: “This is a significant step in the effort to save the vital natural resources of Bimini and defend the integrity of the rule of law in The Bahamas. Hopefully, political leaders will come to realize that they do not have the right to bypass the safeguards and protections built into our laws when granting approvals to developers. We are very happy with the court’s decision, and will continue to hold the government’s feet to the fire in an effort to protect the interests of Bimini’s unique community and precious environment.”


Knock it off!

Knock it off!


Aug 13

Cruise ships make me sad, Key West edition

It isn’t just in Belize that we face these sorts of tough questions about dredging. There are plans to further dredge around Key West to accommodate Mega Cruise Ships. Here’s a fantastic video by Will Benson.


The Lower Keys Guide Association has this to say:

Harbor dredging: The cruise ship industry, and segments of Key West business support a new dredging project to widen the shipping channel in Key West Harbor so that the city can accommodate the arrival of “mega cruise ships”.

We stand adamantly opposed to this idea. Such a dredging project would negatively impact the health of the area’s ecosystem in ways that cannot be anticipated. This project could devastate our fishery; one that has yet to fully recover from the last such event in 2004. The area to be dredged is located in one of Key West’s prime tarpon staging areas off Ft Zachary Taylor. As tarpon fishing communities in Texas and Homosassa have learned, you can negatively affect the fishery to such a degree that the tarpon no longer frequent the area.

We believe that dredging Key West Harbor could very well be just such an event and the repercussions could be permanent and devastating.

Nov 10

Dredging Today – Kamalame Cay on Andros

Damn… this doesn’t paint a pretty picture of the goings on at Kamalame Cay on Andros.  Maybe there is more to the story, but it certainly doesn’t sound super fabulous.

An aquatic breeding ground once teeming with marine life that provided food and much-needed cash in a diminished economy, is now barren due to dredging at nearby Kamalame Cay, according to several local fishermen interviewed by The Nassau Guardian.

via Dredging Today – The Bahamas: Residents Concerned About Dredging at Kamalame Cay.

Dredging at Kamalame

Kind of crazy that there even is a “Dredging Today” to find this story in.  I’m sure I benefit from dredging in some ways just like I’m sure I benefit in various ways from clear-cutting and mountain top removal mining, but damn… when folks start talking about dredges on the flats, in the creek mouths… well… it makes me cranky.  That this would happen at a lodge that hosts lots of bonefisherman makes me a bit irate.  Maybe I don’t have the whole picture… and I’d hope I don’t, but this sounds like it kind of sucks.