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Mar 14, 2016

Siltation at the Belize City Harbor, a Plan to Address the Buildup

News Five also took the opportunity to ask B.T.B. reps about the extreme case of siltation in the Belize City Harbor, particularly in front of the Bliss Center for the Performing Arts. The accumulating silt is reducing the channel used by water taxis and tenders in the area. Now traditionally, the Fort Street Tourism Village would apply for a permit from the Mining Unit of the Department of Environment to dredge the area every two to three years. Residents in the area say that it is the worst they’ve seen the silt accumulation in years. So what’s the next step? That’s what we asked B.T.B.’s Director of Special Projects, Kevin Gonzalez.

 

Kevin Gonzalez, Director for Special Projects, B.T.B.

“It’s not something that’s in my department, but I am familiar with it a little bit. Certainly FSTV to my knowledge have acquired their own dredge and they’ll be able to carry out the functions of keeping the channel open. I’m not sure when the next dredging is scheduled, but I think pretty soon because it is really low. Originally they used to contract out private dredges, but I think they have their own. That’s normally done in partnership with FSTV and the Government of Belize. Certainly the B.T.B. and I think the D.O.E. won’t have any problem in helping to get the permits accelerated and that kind of thing.”

 

Kevin Gonzalez

Duane Moody

“But is there any concern there given the fact that in terms of the tourism product, it really looks bad. And the filth and garbage that is within that sand that is accumulating. It’s not a pretty sight for the cruise ship tourists that are coming off on these tenders or people traversing within San Pedro, Caye Caulker and Belize City.”

 

Kevin Gonzalez

“No, I agree and that’s why I said there is a schedule that they use to dredge and I think one should be coming up shortly. I know they have had meetings with FSTV so I anticipate that something will be done pretty soon. Also we have been experiencing a lot of low tide with the northern breeze that is coming in. but again, that area also needs a study because there is speculation that up towards the Haulover Creek, it is really blocked at that end; not having enough current flow to keep things out. So they will have to look at that also.”

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