Peterson Cay National Park
Peterson Cay is a one-and-a-half-acre geological wonder. This beautiful park is the only cay on Grand Bahama’s leeward shore. Peterson Cay is a low-lying aeolian limestone cay, of Pleistocene origin. There is a back-reef lagoon, which is less than five meters deep. Coral reefs occur 1-2 km offshore, and there are four distinct reef zones present. Peterson Cay was established on April 1, 1968. It comprises the cay and the marine area within ¼ mile of the land.
- Established: 1968
- Size: 1.5 Acres
Peterson Cay was leased to the Port Authority’s Grand Bahama Development Company in 1962 on condition that “approximately $7,000 would be spent on improvement or construction on the Cay by February 1967”. In 1966 as the deadline approached for improvements to be carried out on the Cay, the Grand Bahama Port Authority requested of the Premier, Sir Roland Symonette, to approve a transfer of the Port Authority’s lease rights to Peterson Cay to the Bahamas National Trust. They wanted the island to be preserved and held for public use. By this time, the Bahamas Government, which had already recognized the importance of the area, established a protected area around Peterson cay through The Agriculture and Fisheries Act which took effect in December, 1967. On April 1st, 1968, Peterson Cay was turned over to the BNT and established as the smallest National park in the Park system. While the Cay had already been protected, the premise was that the BNT would have the capacity to properly manage and enforce the rules governing use of the Cay. Volunteers from the Bahamas National Trust installed picnic tables on the Cay in 1985.
- Only Cay off the southern shore of Grand Bahama
- Bridled Tern nesting colonies
- In close proximity to healthy fringe and scattered patch reefs
- Beach on northern shore of the Cay
- Large numbers of Soldier Crabs
- Healthy turtle population around Cay
- Habitats: extensive seagrass beds, fringed reefs, patch reefs, sandy bottom, seabird nesting habitats
- The cay puts snorkelers within close proximity to a vibrant and healthy reef system