Kennedy To Announce Marine Protection Programme

Friday 26th, April 2013 / 10:17 Published by

Environmental activist, author and international figure Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., will arrive in Nassau April 27 to announce the first Waterkeeper program in The Bahamas – a move that one environmental spokesman has already called “potentially the greatest boost the country has ever had in marine environmental protection.”

Kennedy, president of Waterkeeper Alliance, a non-profit environmental movement active on six continents, will unveil the Western Bays Waterkeeper, a community partner of the Coalition to Protect Clifton Bay (CPCB).

According to environmentalist, senior attorney and Coalition to Protect Clifton Bay Director Fred Smith, QC, “The Coalition, an association of community leaders, concerned citizens and environmentalists, is honoured and excited about the partnership with Mr. Kennedy’s organization. Waterkeeper Alliance is a movement of more than 200 Waterkeeper organizations around the world. Together they patrol 1.5 million square miles of rivers, streams and coastlines on six continents. Imagine the strength that brings to our marine environmental efforts in The Bahamas. This has the potential to be the greatest boost the country has ever had in marine environmental protection.”

Waterkeeper Alliance said the decision to approve the Western Bays Waterkeeper was based on the treasures of the bays, their shoreline and a history of threats that have had the potential to destroy coral reefs that take thousands of years to grow, to harm the quality of the water and the marine life that depends on it and to damage reefs known around the world as unmatched for diving and snorkeling. The bays have also been the backdrop for heart-racing scenes from popular movies including Thunderball, Into the Blue, Cocoon, Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean and the last Jaws film.

“Western Bays are home to a world famous reef system and seagrass beds that rival anything found elsewhere in the Bahamas or Caribbean,” the Waterkeeper Alliance report noted. “Western Bays Waterkeeper is committed to preserving and protecting the Western Bays and other common marine environments surrounding the western coast of New Providence.”

Kennedy, the nephew of the late President John F. Kennedy and son of the late former attorney general of the United States Robert Kennedy, was in Nassau in January for the rededication of a plaque honouring his late uncle, President Kennedy. At that time, he met with environmentalists and paid a courtesy call on the Minister of the Environment.

During his visit this weekend, he is expected to participate in Saturday’s Bahamas National Trust-sponsored Conchservation event at Arawak Cay. He and Coalition spokesman Fred Smith, QC, both experienced SCUBA divers, will dive the western bays waters with Stuart Cove, another  Coalition director and often-quoted source on the marine environment. The Coalition is also calling for passage of an Environmental Protection Act.

Diane Phillips and Associates

Caption: Major Watershed — Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., President of the world’s fastest growing grassroots environmental movement, Waterkeeper Alliance, will be in Nassau this weekend for a major announcement.

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