Louis Bacon’s foundation completes its million-dollar pledge for Hurricane Dorian relief, environmental and humanitarian needs in The Bahamas
NASSAU, The Bahamas (December 21, 2020) – The Moore Bahamas Foundation (“Moore Bahamas”) today announced its fourth and final $300,000 grant for Hurricane Dorian relief and recovery. Today’s announcement brings Moore Bahamas’ total contributions to $1 million, and completes its pledge on behalf of conservation philanthropist Louis Bacon to support hurricane recovery.
Initially focused on emergency aid and community rebuilding in some of the hardest hit areas of The Bahamas, Moore Bahamas’ Hurricane Dorian recovery grants quickly expanded to meet essential needs exacerbated by the onset of COVID-19. This final round of Dorian donations builds on Moore Bahamas’ mission to support sustainability by fostering environmental restoration and promoting economic diversification. In addition to ongoing food aid in Grand Bahama, the grants focus on building back better for the Bahamas’ people and ecology.
Moore Bahamas has also joined with local partners such as inner-city community service organization, Lend A Hand Bahamas, to conduct job-skills training in New Providence. Training is aimed at diversifying student skill sets for jobs outside of today’s heavily impacted tourism market.
“Tourism always will be foundational to The Bahamas’ economy, but both Dorian and the coronavirus pandemic have made it clear that a resilient economic future depends on the next generation of Bahamians being ready to captain new industries less reliant on foreign visitors,” said Lucas Metropulus, Chair of Lend a Hand. “The generous support from Moore Bahamas launches an enterprising program to upskill talented young people in topics ranging from web and graphic design to aquaponic farming to call-center etiquette.”
In an effort to bolster environmental resilience against future storms, and working with partners such as the Bahamas National Trust, Friends of the Environment, and local bone fishing guides, the Bonefish & Tarpon Trust (BTT) will replant mangrove forests on both Grand Bahama and Abaco. Hurricane Dorian destroyed nearly 74% of mangrove cover on Grand Bahama and 40% on Abaco.
Other programs will work to build long-term island resilience with a focus on renewable energy and sustainable food systems. In partnership with the Bahamian government, the Rocky Mountain Institute seeks to advance plans to create a solar-powered “green-grid” at East End Grand Bahama. ADRA Bahamas will provide aquaponic farming equipment to several Grand Bahama farmers whose equipment was lost to Dorian, as well as kits and training for at-home farming and community greenhouses to more than 700 households. SPB Bahamas, focused on ongoing household rebuilding, received a challenge grant to solarize a piece of critical infrastructure on the island.
“Working with the people of The Bahamas this year has underscored their incredible resilience in the face of Hurricane Dorian and now a global pandemic,” said Mr. Bacon, chairman of The Moore Charitable Foundation and Moore Bahamas, its local affiliate. “The humanity and passion of our local organizational partners is inspiring. We are proud to support their efforts to lessen the compounding economic stresses of this year and remain committed to driving growth and recovery in the Bahamas.”
Additional Dorian relief grant recipients included the Bain Grant’s Town Advancement Association, Friends of the Environment (Abaco), the Government’s Grand Bahama Food Task Force, the Grand Bahama Rotary Disaster Relief Committee, Ranfurly Homes for Children, and Waterkeeper Bahamas. A complete list of the Hurricane Dorian Relief and Rebuilding grants made by Moore Bahamas as part of the $1 million pledge is available here.