The island of Andros, The Bahamas - is home to the world’s third-largest barrier reef, the greatest concentration of blue holes in the world and the largest storage of fresh water in The Bahamas. The saltwater flats surrounding the island are covered in mangroves that protect coastal communities from storms and sea level rise, while also providing critical habitat for species that support important subsistence, small-scale commercial, and recreational fisheries.
Today, Andros is at risk. Special interests have proposed a 5,000-acre limestone mine that would have severe impacts on the nearby ecosystems and communities. Mining for limestone has been associated with water contamination and scarcity, soil degradation, air pollution and sinkhole collapses.
Environmental Defense Fund works alongside communities in The Bahamas to co-develop and advance solutions that work for people and nature. Bahamian fishing guides, like our partners at the Bahamas Sportfishing Conservation Association, are the backbone of grass-roots conservation efforts and local economies across the country. We partner with these local experts to protect natural resources and the local livelihoods they support.
In 2022, EDF, the Bahamas Sportfishing Conservation Association and other conservation groups wrote a letter to the prime minister voicing our concerns on the potentially catastrophic impact of the mine. These efforts combined with grassroots community advocacy, led to the Bahamas Investment Authority rejecting the mining proposal. However, a new proposal is under development and help is needed to provide long-term protections.
To prepare communities for future threats, EDF has been working with local and international partners to better understand the risks of limestone mining. This includes partnering with the non-profit Community and College Partners Program and the Thriving Earth Exchange to create an environmental impact report and provide informational sessions for community members, local decision makers, and national officials. The results of that study will soon be released.
We will continue to work directly in The Bahamas to lift up critical community voices, prevent destructive limestone mining, and strengthen long-term sustainability. Together with your support, we will partner with local communities in The Bahamas to co-develop and advance solutions that work for people and nature. Sign up for our newsletter to receive the latest updates on Andros and EDF's impact there.