MSC Cruises, Premier of the Bahamas Ocean Cay Conservation Center



Davis, Vago and other Bahamian leaders and MSC officials have thrown shovels in the sand at the future site of a center that will serve as the focal point for Ocean Cay’s mission as a marine reserve.

Urgent and ambitious super coral project

An urgent and ambitious “super coral” project under the auspices of the MSC Foundation in collaboration with the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science at the University of Miami and Nova Southeastern University aims to develop expertise in coral resilience for rebuild the depleted reefs of the Bahamas and develop a model that could be emulated around the world.

When MSC Executive Chairman Vago first set foot on the future Ocean Cay in 2014, it was a decimated former industrial site. Today, thanks to his vision and the Herculean efforts of MSC, it is showing signs of becoming a thriving nature reserve, with loggerhead turtles, birds, fish and lobsters nesting and plantations thriving.

Cutting-edge science

The super coral project will use “cutting edge science to find solutions” to coral depletion, Vago said.

The effort is in partnership with the Bahamas, which are bearing the brunt of the impacts of global warming, including more severe hurricanes and sea level rise. Prime Minister Davis recently issued a call to action during of the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow which underlined the fragility of the Bahamas.

“Our country is an ocean state,” he said today at the opening of the Ocean Cay Marine Conservation Center. “If we take care of the oceans, they will take care of us.

Partnership

Obie Wilchcombe, Minister of Social Services and Urban Development, told the assembly that “the incredible work” of MSC Cruises “has defined what partnership means”. He recounted how authorities thought Vago was “a little bit crazy” when he first came to them with his dream of creating the private island and marine reserve from a devastated cayenne.

“You lived up to everything you said you would do,” he told Vago.

The Ocean Cay project combines development and sustainability, added Tourism Minister Chester Cooper.

Thursday’s event took place during the MSC Seashore stopover in Ocean Cay ahead of the ship’s christening ceremony later today.


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