Posted: Wednesday, September 25, 2019. 9:07 am CST.
By BBN Staff: Alongside the Friends of New River group, Oceana in Belize continues to closely monitor the condition of the New River.
“We commend the citizen led action that has garnered national attention of this long-standing issue. Oceana is committed to supporting the right of residents to embrace their role in ensuring that the health of the river continues to be a national priority given the importance of clean, safe water to residents of Orange Walk and Corozal districts, especially those who depend daily on the New River and Corozal Bay,” a statement from Oceana expressed.
Oceana’s Corozal Field Representative, Ryan Rivera urges all residents to immediately report any incident such as fish or mammal mortalities to all relevant authorities.
In addition, Rivera said that as a community, we need to prepare for potential impacts so that appropriate mitigation measures can be planned and deployed if necessary.
Oceana says that it is committed to ensuring the health and integrity of Belize’s marine resources. Several rivers flow directly into the Caribbean Sea, highlighting the impact that inland activities pose to marine resources.
In the context of multiple non-governmental groups working on these issues, Oceana calls on the Department of the Environment to publicly disclose a list of the technical and professional resources required to adequately execute their responsibilities.
Oceana endorses the call for increased budgetary allowance to the Department of the Environment given the importance of their role in safeguarding the health of the country’s natural resources.
“It is clear that water quality testing is required in multiple locations. We should see the situation of the New River as a flashing neon sign, a preview of coming attractions to other parts of the country. Mother Nature is not happy. And if we aren’t proactive in taking the necessary steps to address those situations, we will move from environmental crisis to environmental crisis. And the economic price tag will always be costly given the dependence of tens of thousands of Belizeans on our natural resources, ” Oceana’s Vice President, Janelle Chanona said.
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