A petition that has been launched as part of a campaign to “Stop Disney-Last Chance for Lighthouse Point” has collected close to 400,000 signatures.
The petition was launched by environmental activists to protest against Disney’s plans to construct a multi-million-dollar cruise destination in South Eleuthera.
“We’re looking to reinvigorate the campaign and continue pushing out the fact that we do need answers to our questions,” re-Earth president, Sam Duncombe told The Tribune newspaper.
“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,” said Duncombe.
The environmental watchdogs are concerned about the negative implications that the project could create for the area’s environment and want more sustainable development options for South Eleuthera and its residents.
“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,” Duncombe said.
In 2019, the government and Disney Island Development Ltd signed a Heads of Agreement for the construction of a US$250m to $400m cruise port and entertainment facility at Lighthouse Point.
The deal allows for the conveyance of 190 acres of land along the southernmost point of the property — a $6.29m value — to the government for the establishment of a national park.
Some 120 Bahamians are expected to be employed directly during the construction of the project, which will begin after the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) – which was submitted last December—and Environmental Management Plan (EMP) has been approved by the government.
Public consultation must also be completed, and all other necessary government permits and approvals granted.
Giving an update on the process during a Ministry of Environment press conference in September, officials said they were still in the process of finalising the document, noting it will be released to the public soon.