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Apr 21, 2017

OCEANA reminds G.O.B. of plans for reef on anniversary of Deepwater disaster

On Thursday marked seven years since the massive “Deepwater Horizon” oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. In light of this day remembered largely by conservationists and those whose lives were affected, the Belize Coalition to save our Natural Heritage took the opportunity to remind the public that Belize’s Barrier Reef System is still largely unprotected from eventualities like oil spills. Today we spoke with Oceana Belize’s Alyssa Carnegie about the barrier reef system the need for the buffer – which they say – a one kilometer buffer is no kinda of buffer at all.

 

Alyssa Carnegie, Communications Director, OCEANA Belize

Alyssa Carnegie

“Yesterday was the seventh anniversary of the Deep Water Horizon oil spill. I think everybody could recall what that was about and the impact of devastation it had. I think it if not the largest, it is definitely one of the largest environmental disasters in history. In that regard the Coalition wants to remind the Belizean public and the Government. That back in December 2015, the Government did declare its intention to stop or to ban offshore oil activity along the Belize Barrier Reef system under one kilometer buffer. Justification needs to be put forward before any moves or attempts are made to legislate that ban. UNESCO has Belize’s world heritage site as listed “in danger” – the Belize Barrier Reef Reserve system and one of the request that they are asking is for a better justification for the one kilometer buffer as well. Some of the science that we have seen said that at minimum a 50 kilometer buffer, which, I think, is a 31 mile buffer should be required or requested based on how oil would travel in the marine environment.”

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