A new disaster relief fund will focus on areas of the Bahamas hit hardest by Hurricane Dorian, in order to drive relief and recovery efforts on the ground in Sweetings Cay, Grand Bahama — an island that was left completely devastated after a 40-hour pummeling by the monster Category 5 storm.

The fund is being formed through a partnership between GlobalGiving, a global crowdfunding platform for grassroots charitable projects, and the Bahamas Sportfishing and Conservation Association — a nonprofit fostering the development of sportfishing and conservation in the Bahamas. The fund is being created with the goal of raising $100,000 to support recovery and relief efforts in Sweetings Cay. Initially, the fund will help with pressing and immediate needs such as food, fuel, clean water, hygiene products and shelter. The fund will eventually transition to support longer-term recovery and rebuilding efforts. This partnership was coordinated by Environmental Defense Fund (EDF).

“Donations to this disaster relief fund will be used to stimulate regional fishing communities,” said Prescott Smith, BSCA president. “Special attention is being paid to supporting areas of greatest need as we work to rebuild infrastructure, including fisheries and other key sources of food and income, in a sustainable manner. By engaging with our communities in this way, we are building healthy, resilient economies that can bounce back faster after catastrophic events like Hurricane Dorian.”

BSCA has a long-standing commitment to conserving habitats and marine ecosystems through sustainable fishing practices. As part of its work on the ground, BSCA is closely working with EDF to empower local fishing communities to become champions for conservation for the sake of their livelihoods and the natural resources they depend upon.

“Climate-fueled storms are posing ever-greater threats to livelihoods and natural resources in our coastal communities, and it is up to all of us to take action. The Bahamas is a world class fishing destination and like many countries in the tropics, it is predicted to lose more fish and experience more devastation in the face of climate change,” said Sepp Haukebo, manager of private angler management reform at EDF. “All donations made to BSCA’s disaster relief fund will help Sweetings Cay rebuild forward to be better positioned in the future.”

Dorian first stuck the Bahamas on Aug. 24, 2019 as a Category 3 storm. Between Friday and Sunday, the hurricane grew into a Category 5 storm, unleashing 220 mph wind gusts. Considered one of the most destructive storms ever seen in the region, residents are still recovering from the sweeping damage. At least 60 people have died and several hundred others are still missing.

To donate to the disaster relief fund, please visit BSCA’s GlobalGiving Fund page.

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