Disney Cruise Line has brought in Enco International, a local Bahamian company, to begin environmental work at Lighthouse Point.
Lighthouse Point on the south end of Eleuthera is set to become Disney's second private port (in addition to Castaway Cay).
Enco will begin geotechnical investigations to help determine what building techniques will be used during the project, once the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and Environmental Management Plan (EMP) have been approved.
The Bahamas Environment, Science & Technology (BEST) Commission has already reviewed Enco's plan and work should begin within two weeks.
Jeff Vahle, President of Disney Cruise Line, said of Enco's hiring:
We are committed to maximising Bahamian participation in this project, and our selection of Enco for this significant work through a competitive bid process is the result of our ongoing efforts to build relationships with Bahamian companies.
To date, we have met with more than 70 companies that have expressed interest in assisting with our construction needs and we will continue to build relationships with them. We look forward to working with Enco to move this important work forward in a way that is consistent with our long-standing commitment to the environment.
The geological investigations including taking samples of sand rock where Disney plans on building structures, both on land and over the water.
Carlos Palacious, Managing Principal for Enco International, shared his thoughts about the project:
Our team has worked on many complex projects over the years with a number of global companies, and we are particularly excited to be working with Disney, a brand we've grown up to know and love, and that also loves the environment.
They are extremely focused on the details and, above all, dedicated to approaching the Lighthouse Point project with the best intentions and the utmost respect for preserving the environment and celebrating the natural beauty of the site.
Enco says that about half of the workers needed to complete the project will come directly from Eleuthera, and that the four-month contract will also generate economic activity on the island in the form of accommodations and supplies for workers brought in from other parts of the Bahamas.
Following the geological work, the EIA and EMP will still need to be reviewed and accepted by the government, plus public consultation will need to happen before Disney can begin construction.
Disney Cruise Line officials added:
Disney has committed to develop less than 20 percent of the property; employ sustainable building practices, including an open-trestle pier that eliminates the need to dredge a ship channel; establish environmental monitoring programs during construction and operation; donate more than 190 acres of privately owned land to the people of The Bahamas; and provide conservation education to employees, guests and vendors to ensure they know their role in protecting the site, among other commitments.
Through the Disney Conservation Fund, Disney has provided more than $13 million to marine conservation programs around the globe, including several in The Bahamas.
Since 2007, Disney has been directly involved in leading a multiyear initiative to protect and rehabilitate coral reefs in The Bahamas and will continue to work with leading conservation organizations and communities to protect special places there.