[Coral-List] Size of Guana

Erik Gauger erik at notesfromtheroad.com
Fri Mar 17 12:26:39 EST 2006

Dear Leslie and all - I do not intend to flood this coral list
with Guana Cay discussion, so my apologies again, but I must
answer Leslie's question.  Leslie has assumed that the entire
island is the developers.  No, the islanders live in the middle
third of the island and have lived there as a community since the
US revolutionary war, some before that.  The southern end of the
island is currently being developed by another developer.

The island is 6.5 miles long, some say it is 7.  Here is an
accurate map of the entire island:


The Discovery Land Company paints the end of their land (and the
crown land which they have been building on and allegely
illegally so) as water.  In fact, the island stretches out 3/5
longer than the map shows.

Earlier, someone mentioned that the developers EIA mostly focuses
on issues like cleaning up Disneys mess and picking up litter and
saving orchids.  I have illustrated two maps - one shows what
that part of the island looked like when Disney was there (and
dredged a hole that silted the corals for two years)


And the next map shows what that portion of the island will look
like based on their development, for comparison:


Additionally, here is a text snapshot of Guana Cay taken from a
court room affidavit of Troy Albury:

5.	 I am a land owner and a resident of Guana Cay. I live there
with my wife and 2 children. I own a scuba, snorkelling and
boating business called Dive Guana, located on the south shore of
Guana Cay. I have operated it for almost 7 years.  I operate
daily dives and excursions to the reefs, beaches and other marine
attractions around Guana Cay. Like many other residents and land
owners in Guana Cay, such as fishermen, boaters, sailors, second
home owners, bed and breakfasts, and tourist business owners, we
rely on the cleanliness and beauty of the land and marine
environment for our livelihood. It is also a matter of quality of
life for us. It is part of our local culture and heritage that we
live a simple, calm, quiet, crime-free life on a small island
that has preserved its unique heritage, culture, environment and
way of life by slow; sustained and almost imperceptible growth
which has given prosperity and jobs to many of the residents of
Guana Cay.  There is virtually 100% employment on the island. The
Development hereinafter described, threatens to completely change
and disrupt the quality of life which we have all enjoyed and
benefited from.

8.	The community of Guana Cay has approximately 150 Bahamian
residents, landowners and a further 150 non-citizen home owners
and periodic residents. Of the Bahamians there are many
fishermen. In fact Guana Cay traditionally has had a small fleet
of fishing vessels and enterprises of approximately 15 vessels
and approximately 30 fishermen. These vessels and the fishermen
fish for lobster, conch and fish throughout the year during the
relevant seasons for the catch. In addition, these fishermen are
landowners and residents of Guana Cay, and they are also
mechanics, craftsmen, carpenters, joiners and persons employed in
the boat maintenance and fishing trade, in addition to the actual
fishermen themselves. This continues to be an economy and
traditional way of life in the community. Many of the families of
the fishermen are involved in selling and marketing the catch.

9.	In addition to the fishing industry, the community of Guana
Cay is very heavily involved in the hosting of tourists, second
home residents and visitors throughout the year. In this respect,
the community of Guana Cay and the Bahamian residents and
landowners have many homes and rental properties which are
periodically rented as guest houses, bed and breakfasts or
tourist facilities.

10.	In addition, approximately 150 non Bahamian landowners have
for many years owned and quietly and slowly developed homes,
houses and guest houses for rental and sale in Guana Cay.

11.	Most of the Bahamians who are residents in Guana Cay have
almost full time employment in caretaking, fishing, maintenance
of homes, restaurants, bars, dive shops, boat rentals and
repairs, and other similar  activities.

12.	A culture has developed on Great Guana Cay as between the
Bahamian landowners and residents and the non-Bahamians of mutual
respect, accommodation and cooperation in respect of almost all
facets of our daily existence in the small community. Crime is
almost non existent and happens rarely, if at all. For the most
part we sleep with our windows open and doors unlocked. At times
many homes are unattended for weeks and unlocked. I can
personally say that I do not even know where the keys for my home
are as they have never been used.

13.	As a person whose business requires him to go into the water
daily, I am able to say that the marine environment around Great
Guana Cay is healthy and thriving.

14.	The settlement, its economy and culture rely on a healthy
surrounding marine environment. In fact, throughout the year,
thousands of boaters visit the environs of Great Guana Cay where
they sometimes live on their sail boats or yachts and interact
cooperatively with the local residents. In this respect,   both
local residents and visitors respect the marine environment and
avoid over fishing or in any way directly harming the marine
environment. This is not to say that there are no issues with
respect to the environment, but the general approach of anyone
who has been living or visiting Great Guana Cay is to try and
maintain it so that it continues to provide an environment which
attracts further visitors successfully. Residents and the
fishermen rely on the pristine marine wetland, reef and water
environment. That is why the local economy of Great Guana Cay has
for decades continued to thrive. For instance, the local
fishermen and visitors do not over fish the conch, lobster and
fish stock in and around the Island and the fishing fleet
generally travels great distances to other fishing grounds for
any large commercial catch.  This has all resulted in a very
attractive and desirable community , environment, and  sustained
a marine and land resource on, in and around Guana Cay. I note
that Recital (J) of the Heads of Agreement states that the
Government was "satisfied that the Development will positively
and significantly impact upon the economy of the said
Commonwealth and the Island of Abaco in particular". Noticeably
it does not mention Great Guana Cay.

15.	The wetlands, mangroves, bone fish flats, and other pristine
national environments in and around the Crown and Treasury Land
and private 450 acres which is intended to be developed by the
Developers, is extremely important to maintain in a healthy
environmental state so that the flora and fauna can continue to
provide nature's bounty for the residents and visitors of Great
Guana Cay.

16.	In the Crown and Treasury lands, the residents of Guana Cay
have traditionally hunted for crabs, used the areas for
recreation, picked fruits, accessed beaches and have otherwise
used the lands for public purposes such as picnics and community
retreats and parties. They have also traditionally fished as



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