Monday, January 21, 2013
Keeping Bimini Blue
Just 50 miles from the hustle and bustle of Miami, the islands of Bimini sit surrounded by some of the bluest water in the world. Bimini has an eclectic history constructed with rum running, Hemingway and the Bermuda Triangle. Big game fishermen have chased records, tourists have sipped tropical libations on the white sand beaches and film crews, researchers and conservationists have slipped beneath the surface with some amazing sharks. For two tiny little islands; Bimini has big personality and a lot to be proud of.
Over the years the draw to Bimini has remained consistent; the gorgeous blue water. I have traveled throughout the Bahamas, Caribbean and the world and I have never encountered the shades of blue one can find off the shores of Bimini. From above it is abstract of bold and brilliant color. From below there is no end to the life and adventure you may find; dolphins, plane wrecks and the Road to Atlantis.
Almost 400 unique animal species have been documented within the North Bimini Marine Reserve. Several of these species are listed as threatened or endangered (IUCN or CITES) including the smalltooth sawfish (Pristis pectinata), green Sea turtle (Chelonia mydas) and the Bimini boa (Epicrates striatus fosteri).
Those who don a snorkel or scuba gear might find Atlantic spotted dolphins, eagle rays or one of over a dozen species of sharks that have been studied in these waters. The diversity under the water is remarkable and will definitely leave you wanting more, wondering what you might find around the next bend. It is not just coral reefs worth exploring, but the mangroves are a unique world of their own. Juvenile fish, conch, lobster and even baby lemon sharks use the roots of the mangroves as a nursery area. If you look close enough you might even find a seahorse.
Diving, snorkeling, kayaking, bonefishing,island tours and stand up paddleboarding; Bimini offers amazing ways to experience this beautiful blue.
Bimini, despite its beauty, is not sheltered from the negative environmental impacts that are affecting our planet. Development, habitat destruction, overfishing, illegal fishing and pollution have all found their way to these tiny little islands. There is hope though, and there are people who care and want to see Bimini retain its beauty. Biminites, local businesses, homeowners and visitors alike are working together to protect Bimini as much as possible and to share with people how they can help.
Check out the new Bimini Blue Coalition Facebook and Twitter pages and share your love for Bimini. Help us keep Bimini Blue. Not visited Bimini yet? What are you waiting for?