Save The Bays Support Grows; Facebook Likes Top 20,000, More than 7,000 Sign Petition
More than 7,000 people have signed a petition that will soon be presented to government calling for strict environmental legislation and nearly three times that many have checked the Like icon on its Facebook page – both signs of “powerful and growing support for Save The Bays,” says the organization.
“Save The Bays is only a little more than three years old but in that short time we have gained respect for the courage of our legal filings and the value of our educational campaigns. We are proud of the powerful support that continues to grow as people recognise that the environment is everyone’s business, not a luxury for another day, but a necessity for the lives we want and the land and waters we cherish,” said Joseph Darville, Chairman of the non-government organization with hundreds of members. “As of July 12, we had more than 20,000 Likes on Facebook, and 7,087 signatures on our petition. https://www.change.org/p/prime-minister-perry-christie-help-save-the-bays-before-paradise-is-lost”
Launched in late March 2013 by Coalition to Protect Clifton Bay, the petition has a seven-point platform. It seeks to have government put an end to unregulated development, hold guilty parties accountable for oil pollution in Clifton Bay and stop the pollution, pass an environmental protection act, pass freedom of information legislation, create a long-promised marine park in conjunction with Clifton Heritage Park to marry the land and sea heritage, establish the West New Providence Marine Managed Area to protect New Providence’s vital 7-mile coral reef ecosystems, and pass conchservation laws.
“There was a time when the environment was considered a matter for the elite,” said Darville. “When you had nothing else to worry about, you could worry about the environment. If we have done our job – and I think we have – it has been to show that the protection of the environment is up to each of us and needs are often urgent and immediate,” said Darville. “We have watched as other countries have overfished their waters, depleted their fish stock and now invade our waters. We have watched as others have allowed beautiful coral reefs to be destroyed. We have watched with great sadness what has happened right here in our own country when oversized developments swamp areas that were not designed to support them. We have said repeatedly and we hope this message is heard loud and clear that Save The Bays is NOT anti-development. We are pro sustainable, environmentally sensitive development that includes community input and protects the air we breathe, the water we fish or swim in, the conch, fish and crawfish we enjoy and the culture that makes our communities, particularly in the Family Islands, the unique place each one is. Since numbers don’t lie, it is apparent that a whole host of people who have signed our petition, liked our Facebook page and listened to the music with a message by K.B. agree that those are noble goals and we encourage more to sign on and keep the momentum going.”
Save The Bays did not say when it would present the petition, but did say it would be “soon.” A list of its achievements, cases and editorial contributions is on its website at www.savethebays.bs and current postings are on its Facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/SaveTheBays/. Its latest music by rake ‘n’ scrape artist Kirkland ‘K.B.’ Bodie jumped from 40,000 hits in the first few weeks to more than 80,000, possibly setting a new record for Bahamian music online.