North Shore - The Gap National Park
From Bahamas Weekly website:
The Hon. Kenred Dorsett, Minister of the Environment and Housing's Announcement of New Marine Protected Areas made on August 31s, 2015:
The Bahamas in 2008 announced its acceptance of the Caribbean Challenge Initiative (CCI) and reaffirmed the country’s commitment to protect 20% of its near shore and marine environment. The Bahamas is part of a group of 10 Caribbean nations that have joined the CCI committing to protecting at least 20% of their marine environments by 2020. Today, as the current Co-Chair of the CCI Council and Minister responsible for the Environment, I am here to announce with great pride and a sense of accomplishment that we are progressing steadily towards this target.
In recent years, the government of The Bahamas, through my Ministry, the Bahamas Environment Science & Technology Commission and a dedicated team of conservation professionals from the Bahamas National Trust, The Nature Conservancy, and the Bahamas Department of Marine Resources, supported by funding from the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Global Environmental Facility (GEF) have been implementing a full sized project that includes as its final goal, the expansion of the marine protected area system of The Bahamas. The project sets as its target the protection of 2.5 million hectares. These new areas have undergone scientific assessment and extensive community outreach.
The new additions to our protected areas system are:
The Marls of Abaco National Park
East Abaco Creeks National Park
Cross Harbour National Park
South Abaco Blue Holes National Park
In Crooked Island / Acklins:
Southeast Bahamas Marine Managed Area
Bight of Acklins National Park
Andros Green Cay National Park
The Joulter Cays National Park
The Cay Sal Marine Managed Area
In Grand Bahama:
The North Shore - The Gap National Park
East Grand Bahama National Park
Lucayan National Park Expansion
Peterson Cay National Park expansion (further consultations are being held with the key Grand Bahama Stakeholders)
(All Grand Bahama Parks exclude Grand Bahama Development Company holdings)
Hogsty Reef Protected Area
Booby Cay National Park
In New Providence:
Southwest New Providence Marine Managed Area
Perpall Tract National Park
In Great Exuma:
Expansion of Moriah Harbour Cay National Park.
These new areas will conserve and protect habitat for Grouper and Bonefish spawning aggregations, coral reefs, sea grass meadows, mangrove nurseries, and important bird areas.
As well as the creation of these new protected areas, the government of The Bahamas realizing the cost of managing protected areas increased its subvention to the Bahamas National Trust in the 2015 budget. Additionally as part of the Global Environmental Facility Full – Sized Project “Building a sustainable network of marine protected areas for The Bahamas “ a mechanism for sustainable financing, the Bahamas Protected Area Fund, has been legislated and implemented. I am advised that The Bahamas is the first country to enact legislation establishing a legal trust fund dedicated specifically to financing protected areas management.
The Ministry will now work with and consult our partners, stakeholders and local communities to develop the management plans associated with these declared areas. Some areas may be "managed conservation areas" and others may be "no take zones". There is much work to be done in this regard and simultaneously we will set in motion, efforts to achieve our 20% commitment. All of these efforts are a part of our goal of developing the green and blue economies of The Bahamas.