Salt production has long been Inagua's main industry, and the island is perfect for it because the climate is mostly dry. It began in the late 1930s, when three American brothers, the Ericksons, came to the island and built a mechanized salt operation. Known for seawater salt recovery, the Morton Salt Company bought the facility from the Erickson brothers in 1954. This site, comprising 300,000 acres on Great Inagua, produces about a million pounds of salt per year—the second largest saline operation in North America.
The sun and wind provide the energy that evaporates the water and produces concentrated brine. Impurities are removed by controlled movement of the brine through reservoirs. The process contributes to the growth of an algal mat on the bottom of the reservoirs and prevents the seawater from drying up. Brine shrimp eat the algae, which helps keep the water clean, and flamingos and other shorebirds eat the shrimp, thus producing an ongoing cycle of man and nature working together.
Tours of the facility are available and you will get to see the workings of a modern-day solar salt crystallizing facility up close.