Petition to Stop Disney From Creating Second Cruise Line Private Island Gains Momentum
A petition was recently launched by environmental activists over Disney’s plans to construct a multi-million dollar cruise destination for Disney Cruise Line. As we previously reported here at MickeyBlog, the island is located in South Eleuthera.
According to a recent piece in the Nassau Tribune, over 400,000 signatures have been collected.
The petition is part of a campaign “STOP Disney- Last Chance for Lighthouse Point” to persuade Disney to abandon it’s plans! The peititon can be found on change.org.
re-Earth president Sam Duncombe who is behind the petition said, “We’re looking to reinvigorate the campaign and continue pushing out the fact that we do need answers to our questions.”
Duncombe continues, “Disney’s pages on Lighthouse Point talk about how they’re going to be respectful to the environment… and on one hand, they push out a lot of good information but then they’re not walking the walk when it comes to their own development.” The Tribune reached out to Disney regarding the petition but as of going to print the company has refused to comment.
Several activist groups seem to be supporting the petition including: Bahamas Reef Environment Education Foundation, EARTHCARE, reEarth, as well as its partners Waterkeepers Bahamas and Save the Bays.
The groups are concerned about the impact the project would have on the environment and want more sustainable development options. Duncombe says, “We are deeply concerned about Disney’s plans for a massive cruise ship port at Lighthouse Point that threaten this unique natural place treasured by generations of Bahamians and visitors from around the world. This is not the place where an environmentally-responsible corporation would choose to develop a massive cruise ship port.”
Last year the government signed a contract with Disney for the construction of a $250 million – $400 million cruise port and entertainment facility on Lighthouse Point. The project will involve 190 acres of land along the island’s southernmost point a $6.29 million value for the government to develop as a national park.
Disney has said that the island will bring 120 jobs to the area during the construction project which will only happen after the Environment Impact Assessment and the Environmental Management Plan have bee approved by the government.
State officials in the Bahamas last spoke about the project back in September saying that they are still looking over the plan and it will be released to the public soon. However, Duncombe is concerned at Disney’s lack of transparency saying, “It seems like Disney’s EIA is missing in action.” She added, “We were told it was submitted ten months ago and then we were told it was more submissions happening. None of it has been released to the public.”
Activists are also saying that Disney must do more to “address the realities of climate change, COVID, and systemic injustice and provide an opportunity for meaningful public participation.” The statement continues, “Disney has the opportunity to show real leadership in making the transformation to a new model of lower-impact, lower-carbon, and higher-community-benefit tourism. Let’s make Lighthouse Point a beacon of hope for the future.”
Disney has previously said that they will ONLY proceed with the project if it can be done in a manner that is environmentally responsible. This includes Disney’s plans to leave a large majority of the island undeveloped and through the donation of 190 acres to the government and people in the Bahamas.
However, without actually seeing the proposals, environmentalists are concerned.
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