The Residents of Windermere have been attracted to the Island because of its natural beauty, peaceful environment and open spaces. All of us want to maintain these attributes even as the population of the Island continues to grow.
All construction should respect the sand dunes to minimize damage to the dunes and other physical features. In addition, care should be taken in positioning houses so as not to block the views of neighbours. The ‘footprint’ of the house and associated infrastructures should allow substantial ‘green space’ to minimize the ‘concrete palaces’ effect often found on the U.S. beach areas (e.g. California and Florida), thus preserving the natural look of Windermere island.
Please do not remove any mangroves, which are natural habitats for so many ocean species. Mangroves are a critical component of the shallow water marine ecosystem in the Caribbean, providing nursery habitat for coral reef fishes, a home for threatened and endangered species, and a natural filter for nutrients and pollutants running downstream and out to sea. They also act as a buffer, protecting people from the impact of storms and associated erosion.
The Beach is a common area for all of us. Regular beach cleaning is carried out by WIOA to remove plastic, bottles, and other man-created trash. The seaweed should be left (or buried) on the beach as it helps to build up the beach and nourishes the dune. When the wind changes, debris will inevitably be deposited on the beach. When this occurs, it is helpful for the owners/beach walkers to pick up the worst bits. The use of 4 x 4 all terrain vehicles (ATVs) and dune buggies on the beach is discouraged. In addition, dogs should always be accompanied by an adult and any mess gathered up by the owner.
Savannah Sound and the Atlantic Ocean
Water sports are an essential feature and benefit of Windermere. Swimming, boating, snorkeling, windsurfing, fishing are enjoyed by all of us at West Beach, Savannah Sound, and on the Atlantic Ocean. However, for noise, safety and ecological reasons (e.g. protection of Mangroves), high power boats/jet skis are discouraged.
Fire Prevention is critical on Windermere Island because so much of the island is covered in highly inflammable plants – dry palm fronds and casuarina trees. The strong winds that prevail most of the season can cause small fires to spread rapidly, as we have already experienced. Consequently, garden trash should not be burned but removed from the Island. Similarly, builders’ trash should be taken away by contractors and contractors should be informed during building contract negotiations. Even with the prospect of improved fire protection, we must continue to be extremely careful in dealing with fires or fireworks. (Note that fireworks must be approved by the local Police.) Ideally WIOA residents prefer not to have fires/fireworks on the beach – and never in high winds. Even on a still night there is a danger from sparks. An adult should supervise and ensure that the fire is completely out.
Windermere Island’s tropical climate encourages a wide variety of native plants and trees. Many of these (e.g. Sea Oats) are helpful in building and holding the sand dunes. Everyone is encouraged to plant and care for the natural Bahamian flora and fauna.