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Court Challenges

STB has vocally challenged more than a dozen unregulated development projects, and we or our Community Partners have championed six of these in court. We have also pursued legal action against the Government of The Bahamas for failing to address pollution from public sector utilities. 


Our efforts to use Bahamian law to protect the environment has met with unprecedented success;  several suspect developments suffered costly extended delays to construction while their record was scrutinized by the courts, and two were ordered to be shut down completely for illegal activity. Meanwhile, the government was persuaded to take action to remedy pollution at a major power station and public landfill. 


The overarching aim of STB's court challenges is to create a culture of transparency, accountability and compliance with environmental regulations. In the end, we want the Bahamas to become a jurisdiction where legal action against new developments is no longer necessary.

Resorts World Bimini, Bimini Island
Save The Bays has represented several community action groups in cases where, in defiance of the law, locals were neither consulted nor in-formed about large-scale developments slated for their communities. One such case was on the tiny island of Bimini, a fabled diving and sport fishing mecca that inspired Ernest Hemingway’s “Islands in the Stream”.

Blackbeard’s Cay, New Providence Island
In 2015, STB, representing our community partner reEarth, won a landmark court case in which the attraction known as Blackbeard’s Cay was ordered shut down by the Supreme Court of The Bahamas because it was developed without the proper permits and approvals.

Bahamas Electricity Corporation, Clifton Bay, New Providence Island
In 2016, Save the Bays launched a $30 million lawsuit against the government of the Bahamas over its failure to address the massive pollution from its Clifton Pier Power Station which has continued to leak oil and other toxic petrochemical substances into the surrounding waters and ground soil for decades. STB sought an injunction against the Bahamas Electricity Corporation, the state-owned operator of the plant and accused senior officials of failing to take appropriate action to regulate, monitor, control, investigate and prevent the ongoing contamination of this ecologically sensitive area.

The New Providence Landfill, New Providence Island
In 2017, STB launched legal proceedings over the repeated fires that raged at the The New Providence Landfill, blanketing the surrounded communities in toxic smoke and leading to a number of serious health problems, particularly for children.

Winding Bay Resort, Little Harbour, Abaco Island
The residents are bravely resisting an attempt by the Winding Bay Resort to construct a large marina and several on-land structures which will completely alter the nature of this small, picturesque settlement of 50 solar powered homes, the only completely carbon-free community in the Bahamas. The project is proceeding without consultation as required by law and without any respect for the locals. 

The Bahamas Government, violation of STB members’ constitutional rights
Beginning in early 2016, Save the Bays members faced a sustained campaign of intimidation, victimization and threats of prosecution at the hands of senior government officials because of our environmental advocacy. Officials gained access to and publicized our private communications and financial information in an effort to discredit our work. 

Baker’s Bay Golf & Ocean Club, Guana Cay, Abaco Island
Locals have been fighting for nearly two decades to protect  this tiny island gem of Guana Cay from the ravages of massive development. From 2004 to 2009, the  Save Guana Cay Reef Association fought what was at the time an unprecedented 5-year legal battle against the Baker’s Bay project, which burned entire forests and tore up extensive mangrove systems to clear the way for their resort and second home complex, while run-off from the golf course caused significant damage to one of the most extensive and pristine reef systems in the Bahamas.

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