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Storm Surge Workshop opens in New Providence




Bahamas Information Services



#NASSAU, The Bahamas, May 20, 2023 – Meteorologists, climatologists, oceanographers, Geographic Information Services experts, Emergency Managers and Planners, and storm surge experts from the Caribbean, Central America, and the United States of America, have joined their Bahamian counterparts in New Providence for the Bahamas Department of Meteorology’s Storm Surge Workshop.

The workshop, which opened Tuesday (March 16) and will conclude Thursday (March 18), drew participants from the Turks and Caicos Islands, Cayman Islands, Jamaica, St. Maarten, the Dominican Republic, Mexico, Curacao, Belize, Costa Rica, Antigua and Barbuda, Trinidad and Tobago, and The Bahamas.

Included in the activities observing Disaster Preparedness Month throughout the month of May in The Bahamas, the event is facilitated by storm surge experts from the Storm Surge Unit of the National Hurricane Centre in Miami, Florida. The workshop is sponsored by the University for Corporation and Atmospheric Research (UCAR), located in Boulder, Colorado, U.S.A.

UCAR is a US non-profit consortium of more than 100 colleges and universities providing research and training in the atmospheric and related sciences and manages the National Centre for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) on behalf of the National Science Foundation. UCAR is a hub for the Earth system sciences, and a gateway to cutting-edge resources and services. Its community programmes offer essential resources and services to support the Earth system sciences.

Local, regional and global researchers say storm surge associated with tropical storms and hurricanes, when combined with waves, is one of the greatest threats to life, property and the environment — especially for low-lying, coastal areas such as The Bahamas.

Storm surge is primarily caused by the strong winds in a hurricane or tropical storm. Additional impacts of storm surge include extensive property loss, erosion of beaches, damage to coastal habitats, and undermining of the foundations of infrastructure such as roads, docks, bridges and government buildings in the case of The Bahamas. Storm surge also poses a serious threat of death by drowning.

Acting Director of The Bahamas Department of Meteorology, Jeffrey Simmons, said one of the expected outcomes of the workshop is two-fold — the development of a Storm Surge Atlas for The Bahamas, and acquiring the tools to better forecast storm surge.

“At the end of the day we definitely want to be able to have the tools to better forecast storm surge,” Mr. Simmons said. “We are looking at developing a model so that whenever we have a hurricane (or tropical storm) approaching, we can just put in all of the information pertaining to real time information with regards to intensity, size, its movement and then it will actually give us a map of how deep we can expect water in certain areas on certain islands that would be affected. It will also give emergency managers and planners, government decision-makers with more real-time data on a number of matters ranging from possible evacuations to shelter locations.”

Dr. Cody Fritz, PhD., is a Storm Surge expert and the Head of the National Hurricane Centre’s Storm Surge Unit. He spoke of the dangers associated with storm surge.

“We’ve done a lot of studies that have shown historically that storm surge is the leading cause of death on any given day for a hurricane and it has really been the Hurricane Centre’s position to work towards developing scenarios, introducing hypothetical scenarios to kind of understand the true vulnerability from storm surge,” Dr. Fritz said.

“Knowing that storm surge is a serious threat to loss of life and has historically been that leading cause of death in a tropical cyclone, it has been our approach to communicate just how threatening storm surge can be in any given event.

“I would really tell people in The Bahamas to heed those warnings that come as associated with tropical cyclones and hurricanes, and storm surge especially. You are low-lying and you have a lot of vulnerabilities, significant risk to storm surge in this area,” Dr. Fritz added.



BIS Photos/Anthon Thompson


Header: Robbie Berg, NOAA/NWS/National Hurricane Center; Cody Fritz, NOAA/NWS/National Hurricane Center; Kathryn Payne, University Corporation for Atmospheric Research; Katie Chapman, University Corporation for Atmospheric Research; Raegan Kerfoot, University Corporation for Atmospheric Research; Jeffrey Simmons, Acting Director/Bahamas Department of Meteorology

1st insert: Members of the Bahamian delegation attending the Storm Surge Workshop which opened in New Providence Tuesday, May 16 at the Margaritaville Resort. The workshop is sponsored by the University for Corporation and Atmospheric Research located in Boulder, Colorado, United States of America. Pictured (from left) are: Dr. Brandon Bethel, University of The Bahamas; Jade Pearce, National GIS Centre, Ministry of the Environment; Suzanne Russell-Dorsett, NEMA/GIS Specialist, Grand Bahama; Jeffrey Simmons, Acting Director, Bahamas Department of Meteorology; Geoffrey Greene, Chief Meteorologist, Bahamas Department of Meteorology; Shayvonne Moxey-Bonamy

Chief Meteorologist/OIC, Bahamas Department of Meteorology, Grand Bahama Office; and Mary Butler, Chief Meteorologist, Bahamas Department of Meteorology.

2nd insert: Meteorologists, Hazard and Disaster Management Specialists, and Storm Surge Specialists from around the Caribbean for the 2023 Storm Surge Workshop.

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Bahamas Prime Minister Philip Davis’ Remarks at the COP28 Green Climate Blue Co Launch



#TheBahamas, December 7, 2023 – We are here today because we are short on time and even shorter on the resources needed to empower every nation in the world to respond to an increasingly dire climate crisis.

We are approaching the tipping point from which there will be no return. At our current rate, the world will cross the 1.5 degrees Celsius threshold sometime within the next two decades.

The window of opportunity is closing.

But it is not closed yet.

And as long as there is even a small opening, just a sliver of time left for us to take action, there is still hope that we can save the world from the worst-case climate change scenarios.

I’ve travelled the globe representing Small Island Developing States like mine which have contributed the least to global carbon emissions but are already experiencing the worst effects of climate change.

Global inaction will soon threaten our continued existence as nations, but we will do everything within our power to avoid this outcome.

The Bahamas is here this week at COP 28 to invite the people of the world to partner with us and all vulnerable states to face this existential threat together.

As a region, the Caribbean has seen the results of our advocacy take shape in the form of the Loss and Damage fund to help us recover from the destruction already wrought on our nations. And we will continue to push for greater access to financing opportunities as we seek to protect our shorelines, build climate-resilient infrastructure, and invest in a renewable and sustainable future.

Through collaborative action, we will also create new industries and generate demand for novel solutions. Solving the world’s most pressing problems has always been good for business. We are entering an era of socially responsible investments, regenerative financing, and ESG finance. And the Caribbean is prepared to lead the way. In fact, if we want to continue to thrive as a region, we have no choice but to lead the way.

My country has been hit by four major hurricanes over the past few years. Over a third of our national debt is directly linked to the impact of storms, causing billions in damages that threaten the economic and fiscal health of our nation and people. With the situation projected to worsen at its current rate, we have gone all-in on making the necessary investments to solve our climate woes. Our future as a nation depends on it.

So, today, I applaud the Green Climate Fund for its efforts to support the developing world in creating climate-resilient pathways to a sustainable future. This is life-saving work.

With the approval of the application for preparation funds to finance the development of the Blue Co Caribbean Umbrella Coordination Programme, we fully expect to see new, effective solutions emerge for the people of the Caribbean.

The Blue Co  Caribbean project will provide the foundation for strategic investments at a scale not possible without embracing the spirit of cooperation and co-investment through this Caribbean-targeted, climate-focused investment opportunity.

Through this platform, Caribbean nations will be empowered to strengthen their blue economy frameworks and develop data-backed projects that can then be replicated and scaled across the region. My nation, as one of the world leaders in the research and development of blue carbon credits as a viable source of revenue generation, looks forward to the ways that Blue Co will strengthen The Bahamas’ mission to develop home-grown solutions that can fund a climate-resilient future for our people.

It turns out that saving the world isn’t just good for people, it’s also good for business.

Just yesterday, we were privileged to host a discussion on the Bahamas Sustainable Investment Programme, which will generate up to $500 million for climate-related investments. This is a testament to our commitment and resolve to generate our own innovative solutions to the climate crisis. And we are by no means standing alone.

Within the Caribbean, we have the passion, motivation, and expertise to drive the success of this initiative. There is no doubt in my mind that Blue Co can and will serve as a model for other regions to follow.

I invite all interested parties to reach out, get involved, and together we will save countless lives and livelihoods on our way to building a more resilient, renewable, and prosperous future for all nations.

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Bahamas Joins U.S. Embassy Test of Emergency Response  



#TheBahamas, December 5, 2023 – On Tuesday, November 21, U.S. Embassy Nassau conducted a successful emergency preparedness exercise with Bahamian security partners.

The exercise illustrated excellent coordination between the Embassy, Royal Bahamas Police Force, and Royal Bahamas Defence Force.  During the exercise, the security partners practiced responding to a hostile attack on the Embassy.  In addition to testing communications between partners, the exercise included mock arrests, the evacuation of Embassy staff, and emergency medical services to “injured” civilians.

These emergency preparedness exercises help evaluate the Embassy’s ability to protect its staff and installations during an emergency.  We want to thank our Bahamian partners for participating in the exercise and supporting emergency preparedness.  As our American founding father Benjamin Franklin once said, “If you fail to prepare, you prepare to fail.”



Photo Captions

Header: U.S. and Bahamian law enforcement officers participated in a joint emergency response drill on Tuesday, November 21.

1st insert: The Royal Bahamas Police Force’s Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) team joins the RBDF as it searches for suspects along Queen Street in an emergency preparedness exercise held on Tuesday, November 21.

2nd insert: The Royal Bahamas Defence Force conducts a sweep of Queen Street as a part of the U.S. Embassy emergency response drill.

3rd insert: A U.S. marine detains a gunman in a mock exercise held on Tuesday, November 21.

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Ashley Albury Marks A World YWCA First  



#TheBahamas, December 5, 2023 – For the first time in the global movement’s 168-year-old history, a Bahamian will serve on the World YWCA Board headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland. Ashley Albury, 25, was elected as a board member during the 30th World YWCA Council Meeting held this week.

Executive Director of the Young Women’s Christian Association of The Bahamas (YWCA Bahamas), Rosalie Fawkes, described the occasion as a “red-letter day” for the organization.

“I sincerely thank all of the YWCA women who have played a role in mentoring and supporting Ashley’s candidacy and we wish her well as she embraces this new opportunity for growth and development. May this occasion mark a renewed effort to continue building the membership and participation of our youthful population,” said Ms. Fawkes.

On the World YWCA Board as the second Caribbean representative is Adrianna Sosa from Haiti. Adrianna also made history four years ago when at the age of 19, she became the youngest member ever to be elected to the World Board.  Today she is running as a candidate for World YWCA Vice President.

It was in 2015 that Ashley wrote via Facebook to YWCA Bahamas inquiring about its program offerings.  That simple act eventually led to an active involvement in the life of the YWCA.

Ms. Fawkes added, “Ashley has successfully navigated the world of technology for the association; constructed our website –; established a YWCA Collegiate Chapter at the Bahamas Agriculture and Marine Science Institute (BAMSI); used her graphic design skills in newsletter preparation; served on the YWCA’s Board of Management;  built an archives and storage drop box in the clouds; became a faithful member of the YWCA’s Bible Study and Fellowship Group and recently joined the finance team at the YWCA – and all of this while continuing to further her education.”

Ashley said, “Being elected to the YWCA World Board as a Caribbean representative from The Bahamas fills me with immense pride and a deep sense of duty. This role is more than a position; it is a pledge to elevate and empower women and girls not just in the region but across the world. The unique perspectives and vibrant cultures of elected members will contribute significantly to the achievement of the YWCA’s mission and vision.”

She continued, “I appreciate YWCA Bahamas for nominating me and voting delegates for seeing me as a well-suited nominee. This is an opportunity to make a meaningful impact and to represent the vibrant spirit and resilience of the Young Women’s Christian Association of The Bahamas.”


Photo Captions

Header: Ashley Albury, 25, is the first Bahamian elected to serve on the World YWCA Board.

Insert: Pictured are past and current board members of the Young Women’s Christian Association of The Bahamas (YWCA Bahamas). YWCA Bahamas Executive Director Rosalie Fawkes is seated in the center and Ashley Albury is standing at the far right.

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