Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Is Lighthouse Point in Trouble?

Disney's second private destination in the Bahamas, Lighthouse Point, isn't going to be completed until 2022 or 2023.  Disney has already announced a pretty good amount of information about it, and I'm excited for it.

However, it seems that not everyone is looking forward to it.  An article from Inside the Magic informed me of a petition aiming to stop Disney from building and operating a cruise ship port on Lighthouse Point.  The petition's goal is to get Disney to choose an alternative option for their second private destination.  The petition's gained quite a large amount of signatures, almost 319,000 at the time I wrote this.  The starter of the petition, a user called Lighthouse Point, is worried that Disney's developments on the island will have numerous detrimental effects on the environment and natural ecosystem.  Disney is planning on building a large cruise ship pier that could damage coral reefs, and this seems to be the petition creator's main concern.  Also, they are unsure of the economic benefits Disney's operations will have on Eleuthera.  Will the positive economic effects of Disney's cruise destination be worth the potentially negative environmental effects?  

According to the petition, Lighthouse Point and its surrounding waters are biodiverse areas that have been proposed as a Marine Protected Area.  From the pictures I've seen, it looks beautiful and I understand why so many people want to protect it.

So, if this petition succeeds and Disney cancels their plans for Lighthouse Point, where will Disney have their second private port of call?  The petition encourages Disney to choose an already-degraded island as their alternative, so they can reinvigorate the ecosystem there.  Other cruise lines have done this, and Disney could follow their examples.  I like this plan.  Instead of possibly hurting a thriving ecosystem, they can help revive a struggling one.

I can agree with this petition.  As exciting as Disney's plans for Lighthouse Point sound, protecting the environment is more important.  There's only one Earth, and we need to do all we can to keep it healthy.  But at the same time, Disney's Lighthouse Point website has a section dedicated to their plans to protect the environment of Eleuthera.  The cruise ship pier is being designed to have as little of an impact on the environment as possible.  Additionally, with the approval of the Bahamian government, the individual corals around the pier will be moved to help other struggling corals nearby.  Plus, over 80 percent of the property will be left untouched.  Also, we can't forget about those elevated walkways.  Finally, Carnival owns a property that's practically across the street from where Disney's is going to be.  What's the problem with Disney's?  If Disney keeps these commitments, then I really don't know whose side to be on here.

Time for the real question:  Is this petition going to work?  I don't think so. Disney has already purchased the Lighthouse Point property, and it seems unlikely that they'll throw away all of their plans just because of one petition, but it might succeed if enough people care.

What do you think about this?  Who do you agree with?  If you'd like to sign the petition, you can do so here.  

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