An online petition is gaining support in the hopes of preventing Disney from developing Lighthouse Point as a new Disney Cruise Line destination. The petition, which has over 318,000 signatures as of the date of this article, hopes to convince Disney to preserve Lighthouse Point and develop elsewhere in The Bahamas.
The petition on Change.org (you can view it here) cites the environmental impact of Disney’s development plans and how they will destroy the local corral reefs. Specifically, the petition hopes to protect staghorn corral while questioning the true economic benefit to the local community.
The full text from the petition can be seen below.
There are plenty of places in the Bahamas where Disney can dock its cruise ships. There is only one Lighthouse Point.
We are deeply concerned about Disney’s plans that threaten this unique natural place treasured by generations of Bahamians and visitors from around the world. The seas surrounding the point are so biologically rich that they have been formally proposed as a Marine Protected Area.
This is NOT the place where an environmentally responsible corporation would choose to construct a massive private cruise ship port – the centerpiece of which is a half-mile-long pier cutting across coral reefs including endangered staghorn coral. The port’s construction and operation would seriously harm the environment, while the economic benefits to communities in South Eleuthera are still unclear and very questionable.
Our planet’s oceans are already facing unprecedented pressures. Their future depends on the choices we make today to protect places like the proposed Lighthouse Point Marine Protected Area. Disney should follow the lead of other cruise companies that have chosen instead to rehabilitate already degraded areas for their cruise facilities.
This is our last chance to protect Lighthouse Point for generations to come. Sign the petition to call upon Disney to secure a different, more suitable site for their cruise ship port and instead work with Bahamian citizen groups on a sustainable development alternative for Lighthouse Point.
Disney originally purchased the 700 acres of Lighthouse Point in an agreement with the local government in March 2019. At that time it was reported that 190 acres would be donated back to the local government for use as a national park.
In February 2020, Disney released their initial plans for developing their portion of the island. They launched the website Lighthousepointbahamas.com and revealed they aim to build an adventure camp, nature trails, beaches, cabanas and amenities that sound similar to those found at Castaway Cay.
You can view the initial plans on the map below.
Disney originally planned for construction to begin in 2020 and for Lighthouse Point to welcome guests in either 2022 or 2023. Those timelines are subject to change and may be on the backburner due to the ongoing health and financial crisis.
Click here to view the petition.