Seasons Greetings

As we say goodbye to another year, and another decade we are thankful to you our supporters for your continued dedication to helping us preserve our beautiful environment for generations to come. This year has had its challenges but despite setbacks, it was still a wonderful year!

The work continues. We welcome 2020…..

Here are some of our 2019 achievements

  • Trained 12 student Cadets, who are now able to identify over 100 species of fish, coral and algae.  Also saw that 9 of those Cadets who didn’t have, received their open water SCUBA certification.
  • Conducted mangrove harvesting a replanting projects on Bimini and Grand Bahama, planting nearly 1,000 mangrove saplings in safer areas to build mangrove forest.
  • Returned with the Learn to Swim and Ocean Survival program with SwimTayka on Bimini and Grand Bahama where 150 children and adults were taught safe water methods for swimming and introduced to several environmental education topics such as coastal erosion and the mangrove web.
  • Implemented the Canal Clean Sweep initiative on Grand Bahama to highlight the impact that plastics and other marine debris are having on waterways which impacts small nurseries and safe movement of vessels.  With 4 sweeps under our belt, we have collected over 1500 small pieces of Styrofoam, glass, rope, aluminum and plastic pieces.
  • Expanded our water quality monitoring program for safe swimming at public beaches, collecting, processing and reporting on nearly 250 samples for Grand Bahama, Bimini and New Providence. Also increasing number of beaches monitored by 25% since 2018.
  • Scrutiny of the Oban deal and steps taken for legal action has seen the Government’s doubting its decision to agree to the oil refinery proposal.  This movement of the proposal is being closely monitored by STB, who stop at nothing to prevent the construction of the oil refinery in east Grand Bahama, home to one of the largest fresh water reserves in the country.
  • Successful engagement of people and government officials to meet with Robert Kennedy, Jr. during his visits to Grand Bahama, New Providence and Bimini.  Kennedy spoke to crowds on right to clean water as a human right and presented certificates of completion to students participating in swim program on Bimini.
  • Began water quality monitoring program on fresh water (groundwater well pumps) used by residents in small community outside the city after Hurricane Dorian so that these residents are aware of status of water being used for drinking and other household purposes.  Also partnered with Waves for Water to provide these homes with simple water filtration systems.
  • Formed coalition with 4 other local environmental NGOs to petition Disney and Government to withdraw plans for development of cruise at Lighthouse Point on Eleuthera island.

Happy Holidays

Sea level rise, explained

By: National Geographic

As humans continue to pour greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, oceans have tempered the effect. The world’s seas have absorbed more than 90 percent of the heat from these gases, but it’s taking a toll on our oceans: 2018 set a new record for ocean heating.

Many people think of global warming and climate change as synonyms, but scientists prefer to use “climate change” when describing the complex shifts now affecting our planet’s weather and climate systems.

Click on the link to read more!

Save The Bays Applauds Revival of South Beach Pools, Urges National Learn to Swim Programs in face of rising seas, stronger storms

By: znsbahamas – December 2, 2019

Environmental advocacy groups Save The Bays and Waterkeepers Bahamas today applauded government’s “important forward stroke” restoring and reviving the vast swimming complex known as South Beach Pools, urging officials now to go a step further and commit resources to a national learn-to-swim program. “Restoring the wonderful South Beach Pools facility is a great initiative,” said Save The Bays Chairman Joe Darville. “We urge officials to commit resources to using the pools for a massive learn-to-swim initiative. In the face of climate change with rising seas and stronger storms, knowing how to swim is no longer a matter of recreation. It can mean the difference between life and death. And every man, woman and child in this archipelagic nation should know — must know — how to swim.”

Darville revealed that Save the Bays, which also applauded government this week for passage of sweeping environmental protection legislation, had looked at assisting government by raising funds to restore the pools damaged by hurricane Matthew more than three years ago. “Other efforts, including weekly water quality monitoring in New Providence to make sure popular swam areas were safe, got in the way but the South Beach Pools project was still on our radar when suddenly we learned government had gotten the job done and we couldn’t be happier and we congratulate all connected with the project,” said Darville, noting that Waterkeepers Bahamas conducts the water quality monitoring exercise.

“But please, please do not think of these beautiful pools as merely a playground for recreation or a field for competitive sports. We will probably never know how many people were swept away by hurricane Dorian and drowned because they did not know how to swim and this is our chance to make sure that nothing like that ever happens again, no matter how strong a storm or tidal wave we have.” Darville, who was among the first in the region to be trained and certified in climate change leadership by Al Gore, said all evidence points to stronger storms.

“The Bahamas has never experienced a storm like Dorian before. But while we are still in the process of recovery, we have to face the reality that powerful storms like Dorian are likely to become the norm rather than the exception. Rising seas and warmer water temperatures create ideal conditions for more sudden onslaughts of violent weather and point to stronger and more dangerous climate crisis events in the future,” said Darville. “Now with these additional facilities, we have an opportunity to prepare our residents and equip everyone with the knowledge of swimming survival basics. “Save The Bays will pledge our support. We will enlist the help of trained volunteers and will help implement the international swim certification program that has benefitted nearly 15,000 trained individuals in Grand Bahama who learned to swim in the YMCA program.

“Please, let’s not wait until another Dorian sweeps through and takes innocent lives with it simply because a child did not know how to hold his breath underwater, float or raise an arm over their head and kick their feet. Learning to swim can be easier than learning how to ride a bike and it will save lives.”