Earlier this week, I received information that Disney Cruises is apparently moving ahead with preliminary plans to build a cruise ship pier on an island in north Eleuthera in the Bahamas, called Egg Island.
Disney already has one private cay in the Bahamas where it unloads thousands of cruise tourists (photo bottom).
A poster to the Disney Vacation Club reportedly observed and spoke to surveyors were on the Bahamian island who told him they were working for Disney. A contractor has also apparently been drilling core samples around the island, presumably to evaluate the foundation for structures Disney may build (photo right).
Some of the information which I received suggests that Egg Island’s natural beauty and ecology will be destroyed if Disney proceeds with its plans to develop the island. "Egg Island boasts several ecosystems including mangroves, coral reefs, (and) salt ponds . . . Egg island is known for having a sustainable grouper spawning aggregation, of which there are few left in the Bahamas. The endangered sea turtles are well known to nest on egg island beach, endangered shore birds nest there and the juvenile conch are maturing in safety."
The waste of thousands of cruise tourists can’t be accomodated on the little island, as explained by a local Bahamian newspaper.
The Miami Herald recently published an article titled Disney Plan to Develop Unspoiled Bahamian Island Draws Fire which confirmed "that the government issued a temporary license for exploratory work to (the) Disney contractor."
There is an online change.org petition titled Save Egg Island (Bahamas)! Stop Disney Cruise Line! Preserve Egg Island! #saveeggisland.
I have visited nearby Spanish Wells a number of times in the 1980’s. I still remember the beautiful reefs and untouched beaches there. It would be a shame to see another natural island in the Caribbean to be dredged and filled to make way for another cruise development.
The Tribune newspaper confirmed that "preliminary talks" have taken place between Disney and local Bahamian representatives. Prime Minister Perry Christie claims that impact assessment studies must first be considered before any plans are approved. But one needs to look no further than prior projects permitted by Bahamian politicians to be skeptical.
Bimini sustained considerable environmental damage brought about by dredge and fill operations associated with the Resorts World and Bimini SuperFast projects. Environmental damage, dislocation of native wildlife and reef destruction brought about by cruise development is often an afterthought to the Bahamian politicians and cruise line executives if there is money to be made.
There is a Save Egg Island Facebook page trying to raise awareness of what has been, to date, largely secret development plans by Disney regarding the pristine Egg Island.
Photo Credit: Save Egg Island Facebook page
Video credit: Watch video of Egg Island – Via Tre’ Russell
July 22 2016 Update: According to the Disney Cruise Line Blog, "Egg Island appears to saved. Multiple newspaper reports from the Bahamas confirm that Disney Cruise Line will no longer consider developing Egg Island, Eleuthera into a cruise port due to the initial test results. Kim Prunty, a spokesperson for DCL confirmed to The Tribune that environmental impact assessments and geo-technical studies carried out by the company have indicated that the quitting island’s marine and environmental profile could not survive a development on that level."
The Nassau Guardian states that Disney is not developing the island after conducting an environmental assessment,
The Miami Herald published Disney Backs Off Cruise Port on Pristine Bahamas Island.