- Known for its natural wonders. Inagua is
located in the southernmost area of The Bahamas archipelago.
The most southerly and the
third-largest island of The Bahamas, flat Great Inagua, some 40
miles long and 20 miles wide, is home to 1,200 people. It lies 325
miles southeast of Nassau. Henri Christophe, the self-proclaimed
Haitian king, is supposed to have had a summer palace built for
himself here in the very early part of the 19th century, but no
traces of it can be found today. This island is much closer to
Haiti than it is to Nassau.
In 1687, long before the coming of
Henri Christoph, a Captain Phipps recovered 26 tons of Spanish
treasure from sunken galleons off these shores.
Inagua is an anagram for the
herbivorous animal common to its shores: the iguana. It is
actually two separate islands, Great and Little Inagua, which
together are referred to as The Inaguas.
a million pounds of salt is produced from the Salinas of Inagua by
the Morton Salt Company. The process of producing salt is
another fascinating testament to how resourceful and ingenious
man, combined with nature, can be. Sea water is pumped into the
interior of the island and held in dikes. There are 80 salt ponds,
covering over 12,000 acres.
As the water evaporates, it turns
into heavy brine. A continual process of the salt solidifying at
night and melting during the heat of the day, forms a crystallized
bed at the bottom of the pond. In the final stage, any remaining
water is drained and the salt is bulldozed into bleached white
mountains and shipped around the world for processing.
The world’s largest colonies of
flamingoes call Inagua their home at Inagua National Park. There,
on 287 square miles, lives the world's largest colony of West
Indian Flamingos. Driven almost to the point of extinction, our
flamingo "fine feathered friends" now number in the
thousands, more than 60,000 in fact.
Caribbean Flamingos love the lagoons created by the Morton Salt
Company. They feed primarily on tiny aquatic invertebrates like
brine shrimp, which thrive in the salt lagoons because they
don’t have much seaweed or vegetation in them. The flamingos
help out the salt company by keeping the evaporation ponds
relatively free of algae and other impurities. And the salt
company helps out the flamingos by adding brine shrimp to the
lagoons. This is called a mutually beneficial relationship.
In Bahamian dialect
these birds are called "fillymingos" and/or "flamingas".