Congratulations to The Bahamas Government on their valuable effort and extraordinary leap to protect and sustain the natural resources of the Bahamas!
Over the years the Government in collaboration wit the Bahamas Environment Science & Technology Commission and a dedicated team of conservation professionals from the Bahamas National Trust, The Nature Conservancy, and the Bahamas Department of Marine Resources, supported by funding from the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Global Environmental Facility (GEF) have been implementing a full sized project that aim to expand the marine protected area system of The Bahamas. The project sets as its target the protection of 2.5 million hectares. On August 31, 2015, Kenred Dorsett Minister of the Environment and Housing declared marine protected areas across the entire Bahamas. These new areas have undergone scientific assessments and community outreach has been done to inform persons on the value of these areas as well as to engage persons in this process.
The new additions to The Bahamas protected areas system are:
The Marls of Abaco National Park
East Abaco Creeks National Park
Cross Harbour National Park
South Abaco Blue Holes National Park
In Crooked Island / Acklins:
Southeast Bahamas Marine Managed Area
Bight of Acklins National Park
Andros Green Cay National Park
The Joulter Cays National Park
The Cay Sal Marine Managed Area
In Grand Bahama:
The North Shore – The Gap National Park
East Grand Bahama National Park
Lucayan National Park Expansion
Peterson Cay National Park expansion (further consultations are being held with the key Grand Bahama Stakeholders)
(All Grand Bahama Parks exclude Grand Bahama Development Company holdings)
Hogsty Reef Protected Area (in southern Bahamas between Great Inagua and Acklins)
Booby Cay National Park
In New Providence:
Southwest New Providence Marine Managed Area
Perpall Tract National Park
In Great Exuma:
Expansion of Moriah Harbour Cay National Park.
In 2008, The Bahamas declared their commitment to the Caribbean Challenge Initiative (CCI) which aims to protect 20% of its near shore and marine environment. August 31, 2015 marks a memorable day in which The Bahamas Government displayed their full dedication in protecting and sustaining the country’s marine environment and Bahamian livelihoods. This indeed is a great accomplishment but the journey continues on to reach the targeted goal of 20%. With the continued support of the Government, conservation partners and the Bahamian people, progress will be made and greatness will unveil.