With Salt, Please

Salt means a great deal to Great Inagua -- not only because of the Morton Salt Company's extensive operations (the company produces more than 1 million tons of salt each year), but also for the unique local wildlife.

First, seawater is pumped into the island's interior and held by dikes. Great Inagua's salt ponds, about 80 of them, cover some 4,856 hectares (11,999 acres). As the water evaporates, it turns into heavy brine. The salt solidifies at night and melts during the heat of the day, and a crystallized bed forms at the bottom of the pond. During the final stage, any remaining water is drained and the salt is bulldozed into bleached-white mountains and then shipped around the world for processing.

As the water evaporates from these salt ponds, brine shrimp concentrate, providing hearty meals for the island's colorful pink flamingos.

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