Pelican Cays Land and Sea Park

est. 1972

About

When this national park was established, it was the 2nd land and sea park created in The Bahamas. Pelican Cays offers spectacular snorkeling and diving because of its impressive reef systems with a high diversity of tropical reef species. The magnificent coral reefs and pristine beaches within the park make this area a valuable attraction for both visitors and residents. The pristine beaches are inviting for swimming, sunbathing and picnicking, and frequently used during the summer and holidays. The Pelican Cays Land & Sea Park protects 2,100 acres of extensive coral reefs and abounds with terrestrial plant and animal life. More than 170 species have been documented within park boundaries Commercially important species such as Nassau grouper, Queen conch, and Caribbean Spiny Lobster have been seen in the park. In addition, the park serves as a refuge for sea turtles. Some species of seabirds nest in colonies on the rocky cays and marine mammals have been observed frequenting the park.

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Wilderness

This park has little infrastructure and trail systems, there is no one on guard.
Only accessible by boat.
History

Protecting the Land and Sea.

In 1965, several American citizens living in Abaco came together to form the Good Neighbor Foundation, Inc. This group of people desired to assist in the formation of a national park in Abaco, and to aid present and future generations by ensuring that they have recreational areas, and provide an alternative spot for visitors.

In March 1965, a  letter to Premier Roland Symonette, Mr. Dixon Downey, the President of the Good Neighbor Foundation, suggested that the Sandy Cay reef be preserved because: “… this uniquely beautiful reef centers upon Sandy Cay, a relatively low, undeveloped cay immediately by North Bar Channel in Pelican Harbour. The reef is greatly admired by all who have seen it, including professional oceanographers”. Mr. Downey went on to say the advantages of this area were its protected location on the bank, white sandy floor bottom allowed people to see fish and corals, and its naturally occurring conch beds and fish schools. The presence of good anchorage also made attractive as a tourist vacation spot for snorkeling and beachcombing.

Sea fan coral, finger sponges and more | Pelican Cays Land & Sea Park

In 1972 a ninety-nine-year lease was signed for the 2,100-acre region located 8 miles north of Cherokee Sound, Great Abaco for the Pelican Cays Land and Sea Park. It was established as a sister park to the Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park. It consists of beautiful underwater caves and extensive coral reefs. The Good Neighbor Foundation, Inc was supported by residents of Man-O-War Cay and neighboring island and in 1974 the Abaco Conservation Society was formed by them. This group worked closely with the BNT and they made a donation to assist in the Green Turtle Project and to assist in the repair of the Cays.

Today this Park contains many forms of terrestrial flora and fauna, and has beautiful underwater caves and coral reef areas.

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