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Bell Island, Exumas

From the Tribune:

The Department of Physical Planning has approved plans to dredge and excavate more than 12 acres of land and sea at the 349-acre island in the Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park.  Plans to dredge three areas to accommodate vessels up to 150 ft long, excavate a marina, and redevelop a barge landing on Bell Island after Prince Karim Aga Khan bought the island last year.

From the Nassau Guardian:

Minister of the Environment Earl Deveaux told reporters yesterday that the system of government in The Bahamas is “conflicted beyond repair” if his ride aboard a developer’s helicopter is branded a conflict of interest.  The Nassau Guardian revealed yesterday that the proposed harbour dredging project on Bell Island in the Exuma Land and Sea Park had been approved.  Deveaux, who came under fire for accepting a ride aboard the helicopter of the island’s owner, said the flight was the only way for him to view the Aga Khan’s property and the areas proposed for development.  According to him, it is standard for public officers to accept rides aboard aircraft, boats and in cars when viewing developments – especially small island developments.  “Whenever a developer entertains a public officer we ride in their cars, we ride in their golf carts, we ride on their boats, we ride in their planes,” he said. “One cannot travel to the Exumas without a boat or a plane.  “Executive Director of the Bahamas National Trust (BNT) Eric Carey said because the only access to the island is by boat or plane, the owners requested the government’s approval of the dredging project despite the work having to be done within a protected park.

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