Exuma Marine Park Development Might Be Approved

Friday 01st, October 2010 / 09:27 Published by

NASSAU — Environmentalists are angry that the Bahamas government is leaning toward approving a request by a billionaire philanthropist and Muslim spiritual leader to develop his private island inside a marine park.

The Aga Khan wants to dredge two channels around Bell Island within the Exuma Cays to accommodate mega yachts, service barges and up to 20 boats in an inland marina.

The project would require the dredging of nine acres of seabed in the Bahamas’ oldest state park, as well as the excavation of five acres on land.

The park is known for its pristine environment and police fine locals and tourists and confiscate their boats if they are found fishing, camping or anchoring in protected areas.

However, the wealthy owners of 11 private islands within the park – among them actor Johnny Depp – can seek permission to develop their islands. Most construction has taken place on the islands themselves.

The Aga Khan’s plans call for one 14-foot-deep channel that would be 80 feet across and another channel 12 feet deep and 100 feet wide.

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2 Comments on “Exuma Marine Park Development Might Be Approved

  • This will absolutely ruin the island. It is a pristine area with abundant wildlife and wonderful to visit for a day. Now they will kill all of it.

  • You can barely see any development on Johnny Depp’s Island – from a biologist/conservationist perspective it is subtle, tucked into the landscape and relatively responsible. Other celebrities islands are terrible- removing entire islands to mine the sand for their private golf courses. The Exuma Marine Park is an very special place, like no other in the Caribbean, and should be treated as such.


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