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Department of the Environment calls on everyone to engage in New River restoration efforts 

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Posted: Saturday, April 24, 2021. 1:31 pm CST.

By Zoila Palma: The Department of the Environment (DOE) and the Ministry of Blue Economy have partnered in efforts to restore the New River.

The DOE says that since the New River crisis in 2019, it has been continuously conducting water quality monitoring, monitoring industries, and urban centers to ensure they are complying with the Environmental Laws of Belize.

In addition, the DOE says that it has been working in close collaboration with local authorities and the agricultural sector to implement actions to reduce runoff into the river.

The DOE notes that 40 out of the 79 light industries in Orange Walk Town have improved their wastewater and greywater discharge from their facilities.

“The DOE has also ensured that ASR/BSI do their part by improving their wastewater treatment system and constructing cooling towers,” the Department noted.

In October of 2020, the Integrated New River watershed management plan was finalized.

The plan will present other corrective actions that should be taken to protect the river.

DOE says that it has also secured funding for 2 years of continuous water quality monitoring. The team will be out at the New River every month at the 20 sample points from the in-land Lagoon to the Corozal Bay collecting water samples.

The DOE is also in the process of partnering with international researchers to intensify monitoring and research efforts in the New River.

The Department says that the restoration of the New River ecosystem health must be an integrated and collaborative process.

The DOE has also reconvened the New River Task Force to contribute to these efforts and join in the collaborative approach to addressing this longstanding issue.

The DOE also calls all stakeholders to engage to participate in the restoration.

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