New Providence, Bahamas – Maureen A. Sedonaen once wrote, “Youth involvement has moved forward. It is no longer seen as a rebellious act, the way it was a few decades ago.” For a trio of young activists from the island of Eleuthera this couldn’t be truer. Franchesca Hanna, 16, Kristman Moss, 15 and Wadainya Weinburger – all students of the Central Eleuthera High School recently gave their strong endorsement of, and lent their voices to, the Campaign to Save Lighthouse Point joining their adult counterparts from the One Eleuthera Foundation and the Bahamas National Trust on a media tour to raise awareness about the need for sustainable – and not commercial development of the area.
For more than a decade, the One Eleuthera Foundation has advocated for area to be converted to a legacy park, protected from the kind of commercial development being proposed by Disney. The organization recently joined forces with 8 other environmental advocacy groups to launch a public campaign and immediately began making the rounds to various talk and radio programs to voice their concerns about the proposed development. With the help of partners like Sam Duncombe of Re-Earth and many others the initiative is now gaining major traction.
While its intent has always been the preservation of the pristine area for future generations of Bahamians, the group shifted its focus this week allowing the high schoolers to have their say.
“Lighthouse Beach is beautiful and picturesque, and we want to speak out in order to save the habitat surrounding it” said 16-year-old Franchesca. “We don’t want to destroy what is there, we want to protect it” she explained during an appearance on ‘Let’s Talk Live’ with host Carlton Smith.
The students were recently afforded the opportunity to visit the famed Lighthouse Point along with their classmates from the Central Eleuthera High School and created a video presentation which highlighted the unspoiled beauty of the area taking their viewers on a guided tour of the various pathways and the pink sandy beaches. With more than ten thousand views on Facebook, these young activists expressed their desire to preserve and protect the natural beauty.“Changing the beach is a no-no for me” said Wadainya Weinburger. It’s perfect the way it is, why would we want to change it?” she questioned.
Already, more than twenty thousand signatures signed on the petition to save the world-famous Lighthouse Point, with some three thousand additional signings since the students began contributing to the efforts. Through his involvement in the campaign, 15-year-old Kristman Moss hopes to encourage even more persons to sign.
“If we keep it, and maintain it, it’ll always be this beautiful” he noted, “we have to protect it and so we’re asking for everyone’s help to save this beautiful monument on our beautiful island”.
To stand with One Eleuthera Foundation, The Bahamas National Trust and all the youth of Eleuthera, the public is asked to sign the ongoing petition on Change.org (https://www.change.org/p/dr-hon-hubert-alexander-minnis-save-lighthouse-point) or to call their MP, or Cabinet Minister and ask them to consider an alternative to the Disney plan and to save Lighthouse Point for all.
(Photos courtesy of Ronnie Archer for Barefoot Marketing)