Br-Island Responsible Development
To preserve the unique cultural, historic, and environmental assets of Harbour Island (Briland) while promoting a strong and sustainable economy for the benefit of all island residents, now and for generations to come.
Who We Are
A large association of property owners, businesses, and residents of Harbour Island who are concerned with irresponsible development on the island.
The coronavirus pandemic has devastated Harbour Island’s tourism-based economy. Virtually all of the island’s main sources of employment—hotels, restaurants, marinas, and many other businesses—have been closed to prevent the spread of the disease. Almost overnight, hundreds have been thrown out of work, losing paychecks that they and their families depended on for basic needs, including food. No one knows when they will be able to get back to their jobs.
To help in the meantime, Br-Island Responsible Development (B-I-R-D) is raising funds to help provide food and other essential household products for those in need in conjunction with a number of Harbour Island businesses, organizations and individuals, including Member of Parliament Ricky Mackey; longstanding Harbour Island resident, philanthropist and businesswoman India Hicks; attorney and businessman Paul King; Captain Bob's; Ocean View; and the Green School, to name a few. We're asking you to please step up, by making a generous financial contribution for this purpose.
B-I-R-D was established to promote responsible development on Harbour Island. We care deeply about the island and would like to assist in preventing hardship during these uncertain on Harbour Island and North Eleuthera. Our initial goal of raising $100,000 was met and has been raised because the need has increased. We want to ensure that all ‘at risk’ families have food security over these next difficult months while the tourist-based economy is at a standstill. Please consider donating through our go-fund-me.
** If you are aware of someone organizing a community food program who could benefit from this fundraising, please email B-I-R-D at email@example.com **
A planned community called the Briland Club would change irrevocably the character of the island we know and love. The scale of this threat has only recently become clear. As originally proposed by its California-based developer, the project on the grounds of the old Harbour Island Marina was to have consisted of a 28-room hotel, ten villas, and a large dock screened by mangrove trees. It was on this basis that the developer secured government approval in 2017. But the development has since grown massively in scope. Briland Club is now being marketed as a community of 83 private residences that would span the entire width of the island, from bay to beach, on 27 acres. The expanded plan (as advertised in the Spring of 2019) would include two clubhouses, a wellness center and spa, three restaurants, swimming pools, a 300-foot manmade canal, and a massive, breakwater-protected marina with docking space for 250-foot “mega yachts”—and far fewer mangroves. Even if yachts of that size did not require dredging a new channel in the harbor—an open question at this point —the marina inevitably would degrade water quality and sea grasses that are essential habitat for turtles and fish.
Moreover, the project would further strain the infrastructure of an island already suffering from acute shortages of water, power, and affordable housing (to say nothing of parking spaces in Dunmore Town). Though the government has yet to give final approval to the new plan, the developer appears to have confidence that it will do so, since he already is marketing the project as a fait accompli while touting its purported benefits to the local economy.
We understand as well as anyone the importance of jobs. But the economic benefits of short-term construction work will quickly fade, while the very qualities that make the island so attractive to visitors—and thus critical to its long-term economic health—will be irreparably harmed. We support smart, low-impact development that respects its surroundings and the environment. The Briland Club in its current form does neither.
Harbour Island is a special place, famous the world over for its pristine ocean beach, sparkling bay, and historic charm. Visitors flock here for the simple reason that it is NOT the mainland. They are drawn by its human scale and the breathtaking beauty of its natural environment. But now the same qualities that make the island so attractive as a tourist destination—and thus vital to the local economy—are under grave threat.
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