Save The Bays Makes Waves in Social Media
As The Bahamas celebrated its 40th Anniversary of Independence and marked its first Majority Rule Day, thousands of Bahamians pledged their love for country by signing the Save The Bays petition seeking protection of Bahamian marine life among other environmental protection measures.
Formed in April 2013, the group’s call to action through online support has swept its status from new environmental group to national movement with more than 13,000 ‘Likes’ on Facebook and nearly 6,000 signatures on a petition calling for an Environmental Protection Act, a Freedom of Information Act and an end to unregulated development.
“Bahamian land and its surrounding waters are the singular, uniting investments that all Bahamian citizens from varied walks of life have to depend on for their enjoyment, their livelihood and to support for future generations,” said Fred Smith, senior attorney and officer of Save The Bays.
“Reaching our first goal of 5,000 signatures was a great achievement for us but we are very pleased that the number keeps growing weekly as we ask Bahamians to pledge commitment for this cause. It is vital that if our resources are to be respected by our visitors, they must be respected by Bahamians first—the people to whom they are entrusted.”
Through the petition, Save The Bays aims to motivate the government to implement an Environmental Protection Act and a Freedom of Information Act. The petition seeks to create a marine park at Clifton Bay, protect crown land & sea beds at Nygard Cay, stop oil spills and pass conchservation laws.
According to Smith, the facts supporting the need for those initiatives resound clearly, yet the offshore areas of New Providence, including Clifton Bay, remain without a marine-managed area that would protect vital coral reef ecosystems.
More than a dozen association and organization partners have signed on with Save The Bays, including the The Nature Conservancy, Earthcare, and the Bahamas National Trust, an organization recognized for its many natural and environmental protection initiatives.
In addition to calling for laws protecting the environment, Save The Bays has filed legal action in two matters and launched major educational campaigns sensitizing educators and students to how fragile the Bahamian environment is. Save The Bays has also partnered with Bimini Blue Coalition, a champion for the protection of Bimini’s reefs, beaches and waters, as well as Waterkeeper Alliance—the voice of the world’s waters with organisations and volunteers in 37 countries. In late December, hundreds turned out for a concert headlined by Kirkland ‘KB’ Bodie to promote Save The Bays.
“We at Save The Bays are committed to collaborating with any organization or individuals who recognize the need for environmental conservation, protection and preservation,” Smith said.
The petition, in addition to general information regarding Save The Bays, can be found online at www.savethebays.bs and on Facebook by searching www.facebook.com/SaveTheBays.
Diane Phillips and Associates
Save The Bays Hits a High Note with Performers and Public – Top Bahamian entertainers lent voices and talent to the environmental movement sweeping The Bahamas, Save The Bays, during a concert headlined by Kirkland ‘KB’ Bodie in late December at Arawak Cay. Save The Bays now has more than 13,000 friends and fans on Facebook and is nearing the 6,000 signature mark on a petition calling for an Environmental Protection Act and Freedom of Information Act.