Exuma Cays Land & Sea Park

est. 1958
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About

Established in 1958, the Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park is the first marine reserve in The Bahamas and the wider Caribbean. Covering 112,640 acres of land and sea, it is renowned for its breathtaking beauty, species biodiversity, secluded beaches, amazing views and safe anchorages. Throughout the park you can explore the underwater magnificence of coral reefs, mangroves and seagrasses, stroll along pristine beaches, traverse several hiking trails, and observe tons of wildlife including birds, fish, turtles and iguanas. ECLSP Wardens and RBDF officers, stationed at Warderick Wells maintain constant patrols and surveillance of the park.

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Boardwalks and Trails

There are access boardwalks and trails in this park.
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Bird Hotspot

This park has high bird activity.
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Event Space

This park has suitable grounds to host an event.
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Moorings

This park has moorings available.
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Park Warden

This park has an active warden.
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Restrooms

This park has restroom facilities available.
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Tourist Attraction

This park is a popular tourist attraction.
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Visitor’s Center

This park has a visitor’s center.
Park Fees
Park Office Hours

Open Mon-Sun 8 am - 12 pm | 1 pm - 5 pm
Contact: VHF - 09
24 / 7 emergency line: VHF - 16

A Model for Marine Protected Areas.

As the first Land and Sea Park in the world, the park has contributed significantly to the development of MPAs around the globe. The demonstrated success of this MPA model contributes to conserving resources throughout the world while simultaneously benefiting the Bahamian people by replenishing fish stocks and serving as a research tool for future protection of the marine environment. In 2018, The Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park won the Platinum Global Ocean Refuge Award, meaning it meets the highest science-based standards for biodiversity protection and best practices for management and enforcement.

Today the Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park is the most visited national park in The Bahamas. It’s breathtaking beauty and safe anchorages made it a very popular boating spot in The Bahamas, welcoming thousands of boaters every year. Its healthy ecosystems and proper fisheries management made it an ideal spot for researchers and scientists to conduct various types of research. Whether you’re a boater, a scientist, a ‘thalassophile’, a filmmaker, a beachgoer, or just someone on vacation, the Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park is one of the most superb places on the planet and a model for national parks everywhere.

ECLSP Aerial - taken by MY Loon copy 3 (2)
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Park Details

Exuma Park’s office is located on a remote location on a small island, so contacting the park office can sometimes be challenging!

VHF: Call “Exuma Park” on Channel # 09.

Channel #16 is monitored 24 hours a day for emergencies.

Coordinates of Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park Boundaries In Degrees / Minutes / Seconds

NW corner: Lat 24 deg 30′ 37 ” N Long 76 deg 52′ 37″W | NE corner: Lat 24 deg 35′ 30″ N Long 76 deg 45′ 50″ W
SW corner: Lat 24 deg 14′ 25″ N Long 76 deg 36′ 02″ W | SE corner: Lat 24 deg 18′ 37″ N Long 76 deg 28′ 47″ W

How To Report Poaching

Park Warden

Park Wardens request all visitors to report any poaching or other unusual activity they may observe – no fishing, shelling, conching of any kind is permited within Exuma Park boundries.

Call “Exuma Park” on Channel # 09 to report suspicious activity.

You can remain anonymous if desired – simply identify your vessel as “Miss Molly” or any other fictitious name to remain anonymous.

Bahamas Defence Force

The Bahamas Defence Force has stationed three officers at Park Headquarters to assist Park Staff with enforcement matters. Defence Force vessels frequently overnight at Park Headquarters as well.

Contact Defence Force on VHF #16

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History

How it all began: The Dawn of Bahamian National Parks.

 The Exuma Cays Park under consideration should be regarded as only the beginning of a conservation movement that is vital to The Bahamas as a whole. It will also be a beginning of a new concept, integrated land-and-sea conservation, in which The Bahamas will take the lead and show the way to other nations throughout the world.

Exuma Cays Park Project Report

Expedition to the Exuma Cays

When Ilya Tolstoy, grandson of famed Russian author Leo Tolstoy, assembled a concerned group of forward-thinking Bahamian and North American conservationists in 1958, he did not set out to create The Bahamas National Trust. He was just a dedicated naturalist who realized that the Exuma chain of islands was under threat from developers who wanted to buy it. The expedition to save the Exuma Cays, that Tolstoy led, included key Bahamian officials Oris Russell and Herbert McKinney, Robert P. Allen of the National Audubon Society, as well as environmentalists Carleton Ray, Dan Beard, John Randall and Don Squires. The report from this expedention concluded that the area had “outstanding natural values”.

The survey team called for an organisation modelled on the British National Trust to acquire lands and manage protected areas throughout the Bahamas. This organisation – which was created by the historic 1959 legislation – was to act as the government’s advisor on conservation matters and seek to educate Bahamians on the value of their natural heritage. 

Hence, on July 13, 1959 the Bahamas National Trust Act was signed creating The Bahamas National Trust. The government adopted the team’s recommendations, and the 176-square-mile Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park – the first of its kind in the world – was officially established. The Bahamas National Trust was formed as an independent statutory organization charged with conservation and preservation. The BNTs governing council included government, civil society and scientific representatives.

Mooring Field | ECLSP

Today, the Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park is the most visited national park in The Bahamas. It’s breathtaking beauty and safe anchorages made it a very popular boating spot in The Bahamas, welcoming thousands of boaters every year. Its healthy ecosystems and proper fisheries management made it an ideal spot for researchers and scientist to conduct various types of research. Whether you’re a boater, a scientist, a thalassophile, a filmmaker, a beach goer, or just someone on vacation, the Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park is one of the most superb places on the planet and a model for national parks everywhere.

School of french grunts, ECLSP | Colin Ruggiero

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