As linked to Abaco Update 2007 of
Sandy’s Guide to the Abacos, Bahamas

Page 18 The Abaconian May 1, 2007
South Abaco News
Sandy Point - Coastal Awareness Month is brought to Sandy Point

Rocky Point developers
respond to Opposition Letter

By Tonia Ferguson

In a letter addressed to former Prime
Minister, the Rt. Hon. Perry Christie, dated
March 29, Diane Claridge, Director at the
Bahamas Marine Mammal Research
Organisation based in Sandy Point, outlined
concerns of the proposed Rocky Point de-
velopment. See website

The Bahamas Marine Mammal Research
Organisation documents the occurrence, distribution and abundance of marine mammals in the
Bahamas to contribute towards the conserva-
tion of these species both locally and glo-

According to Ms. Claridge the develop-
ment will include a 147-room mixed-use
hotel and approximately 100 two-storey
condos and homes. It will also include a
120-slip marina.
The proposed development
where the developer has purchased 50 acres
of land and plans to acquire an additional
300 acres of Crown Land including the duck
pond is within a half mile of an area used
by the organisation for the past ten years to
study the population of Blainville’s beaked

Ms. Claridge’s letter outlines concerns
of the development’s effects to the popula-
tions of the beaked whales and Atlantic
bottlenose dolphins. The letter also ad-
dresses socio-economic and ecological con-
cerns. Some ecological concerns are that
the purchased 50 acres is predominantly
fresh and salt-water wetlands. The land is a
drainage area in storms and prevents flood-
ing of Sandy Point. The area provides a feed-
ing habitat for the endangered Bahama Par-
rot, and the development may cause dam-
age to soft and hard corals.

  Ms. Claridge noted that her concerns
mirror those of the Inter-American Devel-
opment Bank, that the Bahamas needs an
Integrated Coastal Zone Management Plan.
She suggested that until implementation of
such a plan, large-scale coastal develop-
ments should cease. It was these concerns
that prompted her to request a public meet-
ing in Sandy Point.

Responding to the letter, the developers
held a town meeting in Sandy Point on April
12. The gathering of approximately 100
people listened attentively as the develop-
ers made their address. They detailed the
plans of the development and informed the
audience of their intent to make employ-
ment available to everyone who wants a job.
A concern outlined by Ms. Claridge was
addressed - the creation of a beach. Refer-
ring to a map of Rocky Point, the devel-
oper showed the previous existence of a
beach. While Ms. Claridge had other con-
cerns, the developer at the time was unable
to provide her with responses. The last ques-
tion of the evening posed by an eager young
resident was, “When will the development
begin?” In reply, the developer stated that
they expected to begin within months. This
excited the crowd who seemed to welcome
the proposed development.

Missing -
This is an aerial view of the Rocky Point area
that is slated for a hotel, residential development
and marina. The area is south of the Sandy Point
airport and would encompassing about 350 acres
of wetlands, coppice and pine forest. Fifty acres
were purchased privately while the rest will be
Crown Land.

Back to Abaco Update 2007