The National Parks of The Bahamas

Peterson Cay National Park

Established: 1968
Size: 1.5 Acres

A one and half acre geological wonder, being the only cay off Grand Bahama's leeward shore. This beautiful park is one of Grand Bahamas most heavily used getaway spots. The surrounding marine area is ideal for snorkeling.













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Established: 1968 
Size: 1.5 Acres

 

Description 
Peterson Cay is a one-and-a-half-acre geological wonder. This beautiful park is the only cay on Grand Bahama’s leeward shore. Peterson Cay is a low-lying aeolian limestone cay, of Pleistocene origin. There is a back-reef lagoon, which is less than five meters deep. Coral reefs occur 1-2 km offshore, and there are four distinct reef zones present. Peterson Cay was established on April 1, 1968. It comprises the cay and the marine area within ¼ mile of the land. 

History 
In 1966, the Grand Bahama Port Authority requested of the Premier, Sir Roland Symonette, to approve a transfer of the Port Authority’s least rights to Peterson Cay to the Bahamas National Trust. They wanted the island to be preserved and held for public use. Volunteers from the Bahamas National Trust began creating facilities in 1985. 

Peterson Cay was leased to the Port Authority’s Grand Bahama Development Company in 1962 on condition that “approximately $7,000 would be spent on improvement or construction on the Cay by February 1967”. 

Importance to Biodiversity
Nesting Birds: Peterson Cay is a nesting site for terns and other sea birds and is fine location for studying coastal plant communities and adaptations. 

Native Flora: Peterson Cay itself is a harsh environment. However, about 20 different plants have been able to survive there. Despite the salty wind and the lack of soil or fresh water, Spider Lily, Sea Ox-eye and Sea grape are able to thrive. In order to reduce evaporation of vital water, many of the Cay’s plants grow low to the ground and have small, fleshy leaves. Marine Resources: This Park can serve as a replenishment area for commercially valuable species such as crawfish, grouper, and conch. 

Importance to Recreation 
This inviting Cay is perfect for picnics and relaxation. 

Importance to History 
The Hermitage is at the west end of the Park and may be the oldest building on Grand Bahama, and is a popular picnic spot.

 

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