Monday, 4 February 2013

Louis Bacon’s charity donates $50,000 to Bahamas National Trust


A charity set up by philanthropist Louis Bacon has donated $50,000 to the Bahamas National Trust (BNT) to help implement its ‘conchservation’ campaign.
The project will undertake research, design and implement measures to protect and manage the local conch populations which are in danger of dying out.
Louis Bacon’s brother, Zack H Bacon III, attended the event on behalf of the charity, the Moore Foundation, which was started in 1994.
He presented BNT President, Neil McKinney, with a cheque for $50,000 as the first instalment of a three year pledge to the Foundation for $150,000.
Neil McKinney praised Louis Bacon, saying he had a “history of caring about the environment behind him and we are really looking forward to working with him.”
The presentation formed the closing part of the BNT’s first Bahamas National Natural History Conference: Four days of research presentations on the queen conch and discussions on conservation techniques.
Zack Bacon said: “We are thrilled to be here. As you have been told, conch resources in the Bahamas are in serious trouble. BNT came to us with a vision to co-ordinate a comprehensive and integrated advocacy campaign for a sustainable conch fishery in the Bahamas.
“We heard this, we liked the vision and we said we would be happy to back that up. So tonight we announce a three-year, $150,000 grant programme to the Bahamas National Trust.
“Ultimately, this will lay the groundwork for a comprehensive plan and a review of marine resource sustainability in the Bahamas.
“Conservation of conch resources is an integral element of Bahamian culture but it’s also essential to the wider Bahamian ecosystem.”
Following the presentation, Mr McKinney added: “This donation is going to give us part of the means to go out nationwide to talk to people, hear their views, give them some of the science we have and try to reach some kind of consensus opinion on the way that we can move forward nationally to preserve our conch stocks.”
Louis Bacon has a long history of supporting conservation projects and has donated approximately $50 million environmental groups in the past. At age 20, he spent a summer working on a fishing boat.
Jared Dillet, Marine Resources Campaign Co-ordinator leading the ‘conchservation’ campaign, said:  “We are going to meet with all the stakeholders and seek to develop ways to preserve the queen conch.
“I imagine a two-pronged campaign of strong publicity - we really have to get the word out about conch, including the science behind it.
 “Second, we have to develop a to-do list of the strategic management measures we plan to use. This is open to evolving as the campaign progresses, because we are still in the early stages of the campaign.”

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