NASSAU, Bahamas — The Bahamas National Trust (BNT) held a brief ceremony to thank the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Works and Urban Development the Hon. Philip Davis and his Ministry for paving the access road leading to Bonefish Pond National Park off Cowpen Road on Wednesday, August 5, 2015.
According to the Deputy Prime Minister, the gift of nearly 2,500 feet of asphalt finished roadway was paved at a cost of $142,246.01 with VAT included.
Deputy Prime Minister Davis said Bonefish Pond is one of New Providence’s best kept secrets. “I am advised though that word is already getting out that this place is open.”
He added, “I am very happy that my Ministry had an opportunity to participate in this venture. I encourage the work of the Bahamas National Trust as you continue your business of preserving essential wetland biodiversity throughout The Bahamas.”
Minister of the Environment and Housing the Hon. Kendred Dorsett; President, BNT, Larry Glinton and Executive Director, BNT, Eric Carey were also in attendance at the ceremony.
Bonefish Pond was designated a national park in 2002 to safeguard one of the largest remaining intact areas of nearshore marine ecosystems around New Providence Island. It is the largest national park on the island covering 1,235 acres of mangrove lined creeks, seagrass meadows, and macroalgal beds.
Bonefish Pond is critical in the juvenile and adult life stages of many ecologically, economically, and culturally important fish and invertebrate species of The Bahamas, including groupers, majorra (Broad Shad), snappers, grunts, bonefish, barracuda, crabs, crawfish, queen conch and many species of shore birds.
Minister Dorsett said he hoped that the new access road signals once again the commitment that this Government administration has to the ongoing work and efforts of the BNT.
He said individuals can experience an ecological Family Island transformation right in the city of Nassau by visiting sites like Bonefish Pond.
However, the Minister also encouraged visitors to keep the Pond clean and pristine by throwing their garbage in the receptacles provided at the park.
Speaking on behalf of the BNT Mr. Glinton said, “They often say that tears of gratitude dry exceedingly quickly, but we want to assure you that we are deeply grateful for all of the effort, the hard work and more importantly, the commitment you have shown by this work to the BNT and indeed, the people of The Bahamas.”
He explained that the Pond’s 600 foot Boardwalk and covered viewing platform were built in 2009 as part of the Government of The Bahamas Economic Stimulus package. “This infrastructure provided excellent access for school groups visiting the park for snorkelling tours and wetland education field trips.
“Bonefish Pond National Park is one of the most requested educational field trips offered by the BNT’s Education Department with over 5,000 students visiting annually.”
Mr. Glinton made sure to highlight that the new access road will allow visitors to arrive at the site much more quickly, with no damage to their vehicle while also providing parking areas.