November 30, 2015
Re: Working Together to Help the Less Fortunate and to Clean Up Clifton Bay
Over the past several years, millions of dollars and countless hours have been expended by the
Bahamian government, some local groups and several individuals, including myself and Louis
Bacon, on disputes about property rights, environmental claims and cultural differences. The
litigation has taken on a life of its own and could last for years to come because—if we are all
being honest with ourselves—in addition to the legal issues that we all feel strongly about, this is
at least partially fueled by pride and a clash of egos.
Whether or not there are outcomes that could justify the enormous expense, this time and effort
could be put to far better use. What’s more, none of this is good for the image of The Bahamas,
its tourist economy or its people—who need help now more than ever in the wake of the
devastating hurricane and the Baha Mar situation.
Crime and poverty are reeling out of control. According to an article published in The Nassau
Guardian on June 11, 2014, 12.8% of the population in The Bahamas are living in poverty. An
article in The Tribune appearing that same day stated that children under the age of 14 have the
highest poverty rate and that national statistics revealed a poverty line of less than $5,000 per
While everyone involved, on all sides of our disputes, believes their cause is just and their
position correct, I would like to suggest that we work to find a solution to our differences and
contribute our time and efforts to addressing problems like poverty that are hurting people on the
islands we all love so deeply. Imagine the difference we could make if just a fraction of what is
being spent on this litigation were contributed to the health and welfare of the Bahamian people.
That is what I would like to see happen.
As 2015 draws to a close and we approach the holiday season, let us bring this fighting to an end
and reach a global resolution under which Mr. Bacon and I will each contribute a significant and
mutually agreed upon sum of money to aid the disadvantaged and better the islands. In this
spirit, I am writing to invite all of you and/or your representatives to participate in a settlement
conference to explore a resolution to all outstanding disputes, including legal actions, to take
place as soon as possible in Nassau or wherever is most convenient.
I am personally committed to immersing myself in the settlement process. While all reasonable
suggestions will assuredly be welcome, there are certain pillars that I foresee being a part of a
global resolution. These include:
- Public commitments by all involved to stop bickering, fighting and suing and instead to
work together to resolve the pressing environmental issues at Clifton Bay for the benefit of the
local community. In particular, equal financial contributions would be made by myself and Mr.
Bacon to clean up oil and industrial pollution at Clifton Point that has gone unchecked for years.
- Dismissal of all litigation in The Bahamas and the United States relating to land use on the
western tip of New Providence, and more broadly, relating to any disputes whatsoever between
Mr. Bacon and myself, including dismissal of lawsuits involving others because they support
either Mr. Bacon or me.
- Financial contributions to aid the less fortunate, including funding to summer camps and
scholarship, education, sports and music programs for the underprivileged.
- Efforts to raise further monies for the Clifton clean-up and for the disadvantaged.
- Financial contributions to further the development of Clifton Heritage National Park so
that the park can be enjoyed as an educational, entertainment and historical resource for local
Bahamians and tourists and its rising attendance can help it become financially sustainable and
- Agreement on a solution for Nygård Cay that accounts for both what is best for the
environment and my rights as property owner.
With the Summer Olympic Games and other terrific events and milestones to look forward to,
2016 should be an incredible year for The Bahamas and all Bahamians. Let’s all help get the
year started the right way by burying our differences and finding a way forward that helps lift up
the Bahamian people.
Peter J. Nygård