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Protected area reportedly mapped out for house lots

Martin Alegria

Martin Alegria

Martin Alegria

Tuesday, September 16, 2014. AARON HUMES Reporting: Government authorities have been tight-lipped about a proposed housing project in North Ambergris Caye – forty acres for house lots to residents of the island.

The trouble is, that the area in question known as Sunset Cove, was supposed to have been part of an expanded Hol Chan Marine Reserve. A proposal for the Ambergris Caye Wetlands Project Expansion is awaiting Government approval but has yet to receive it.

Hol Chan Marine Reserve

Hol Chan Marine Reserve

The expansion was to have been folded into the Reserve, whose managers had received a grant from the Protected Areas Conservation Trust (PACT) last October.

It has now been taken back because they were not able to get the project off the ground. There is evidence of survey pegs in the area, some buried under three feet of water.

The mangroves and fish living in the area contribute to the health of the coral reef and the lagoons are an important incubator for marine and other species.

Environmentalists are up in arms but no one in the Government has anything to say.

Manuel Heredia, Jr.

Manuel Heredia, Jr.

Today Chief Environmental Officer in the Department of the Environment Martin Alegria declined immediate comment, deferring us to tomorrow as he is planning an investigation with his office.

He did suggest that the pegs may have been part of the surveying for the planned expanded protected area. But no one knows for sure. Mayor of San Pedro Town Daniel Guerrero denied to reporters yesterday knowing anything about the project.

Area representative Manuel Heredia Jr was not available but he is believed to be the mastermind of the planned project.

We will continue to follow the story.

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