Bahamas National Trust and Elizabeth Harbour Conservation Partnership Announce New Mooring Installations in Exuma
Great Exuma, The Bahamas – November 30th, 2023
In a joint initiative between The Bahamas National Trust (BNT) and The Elizabeth Harbour Conservation Partnership (EHCP), new state-of-the-art mooring systems are being installed in Elizabeth Harbour and the Moriah Harbour Cay National Park. This latest initiative is part of both organisations’ broader commitments to preserving the unique and fragile marine environments of Great and Little Exuma.
The new mooring fields being installed will protect seagrass habitats from the impacts of continued anchoring and maintain seabed sediment stability, thus improving water clarity and quality. The moorings will support vessels up to 60 feet and will be regularly maintained, offering a safe and reliable alternative to anchoring.
“The EHCP has invested in installing the best mooring systems we could find to minimize the impact on our fragile ecosystems and provide a safe alternative to anchoring in a busy harbour. We thank everyone for supporting our efforts to ensure our beautiful Elizabeth Harbour remains a world-class example of sustainable tourism,” said Howard Bethel, Vice President of the EHCP.
“Our new mooring system offers boaters a safe, reliable, and environmentally friendly way to enjoy the beauty of The Moriah Harbour Cay National Park while preserving our fragile marine environment,” said Catherine Booker, Exuma Programme Coordinator for BNT. “We are committed to ensuring that our natural treasures can be enjoyed responsibly, and invite everyone to join us in preserving the pristine marine environment of the park for generations to come.”
As The BNT continues to finalize park use zones and regulations for the MHCNP, the introduction of moorings adds to the necessary infrastructure intended to support the continued enjoyment of the visitor experience, while reducing the impact of tourism activities in the national park.
Mooring installation will be completed in Elizabeth Harbour and in the MHCNP by December 15, 2023. The new mooring fields will be located at Stocking Island (Chat n Chill Beach to Sand Dollar Beach) in Elizabeth Harbour and at Red Shanks Cay in Moriah Harbour Cay National Park. Fee schedules for moorings will be introduced in January 2024. Revenue generated from the moorings will directly support local conservation and community efforts, contributing to the maintenance and management of Elizabeth Harbour and Moriah Harbour Cay National Park.
The installation of moorings in Elizabeth Harbour is being supported by the Friends of Exuma Harbour Conservation Fund and the Global Fund for Coral Reefs: Bahama Reefs Programme. The moorings programme in Moriah Harbour Cay National Park is being supported by The Global Environment Facility: Meeting the Challenge of 2020 in The Bahamas Project and the Friends of Exuma Harbour Conservation Fund.
Mooring system design and installation was contracted to Bahamas Maritime Solutions with the support of American Underwater Contractors, Applied Technology Management, and FourCs Ltd.
To provide the community with more information on the new moorings, give an update on park zones, and gather valuable feedback, The BNT and EHCP will be hosting a virtual public meeting on December 11, 2023, at 6:00 pm on Zoom. All interested parties are invited to attend and participate in this meeting, by registering at the following link:
Additionally, The BNT and The Elizabeth Harbour Conservation Partnership invite the cruising community to contribute their feedback and insights through a short survey. The public’s participation is crucial in helping us develop programs that meet the needs of our visitors while prioritising conservation. Please follow this link to take the survey:
For more information about the mooring systems, and upcoming public meeting please stay tuned to BNT’s and EHCP’s websites and social media.
About the BNT:
The Bahamas National Trust (BNT) was created by an Act of Parliament in 1959 to build and manage the national park system of The Bahamas. Possibly the only non-governmental organization in the world charged with such a responsibility, the BNT works daily to conserve and protect the natural resources of The Bahamas through science, stewardship and education for present and future generations. There are currently 33 National Parks managed by the BNT with more than 2 million acres of marine and terrestrial areas protected.
Media Contact: Elijah Sands, Senior Communications Officer | email@example.com | (242) 431-6797
About the EHCP:
The mission of the Elizabeth Harbour Conservation Partnership is to to guide the ecologically sustainable development of the coastal zone and waters of Elizabeth Harbour, with the aim of enhancing tourism, fisheries, and recreational use, through stakeholder education and participation, and collaborative management of harbour facilities, for the benefit of present and future generations.