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Oct 19, 2017

Water Taxi Has Permission to Dredge in Caye Caulker

Manuel Heredia Jr.

There have been complaints from residents on Caye Caulker that a dredging project may have adverse effects on the surrounding ecosystem and the barrier reef.  Since the beginning of this month, San Pedro Belize Express Water Taxi has been dredging a spot next to its docking pier on the island because its boats have been experiencing various challenges. And even though concerns continue to mount, Belize Rural South area rep and Minister of Tourism Manuel Heredia Junior says that permission was given by the Geology Department to the water taxi for its dredging activities. In fact, Heredia Junior says that residents have been benefiting from the project.

 

Manuel Heredia Jr., Area Rep., Belize Rural South

“A permission was granted by the department, Geology I believe which is the pertinent body, to San Pedro Belize Express to do a dredging on the side of their pier because the water was too shallow and the propellers were breaking every now and then. So after studying that with the pertinent bodies, they decided to grant a permit to them with the condition that all the material will be for the use of the community. And hence you can ask in Caye Caulker, I think three days now that I have been on the streets, for our people – just the cost of the transportation, whatever; that is what they are charging – but the sand will be distributed to all needy people including the three schools that we have. The schools have received a substantial amount of that material. Material is extremely scarce and so this opportunity from this company paying for the dredging and donating all the material; you cannot get a better deal than that.”
Duane Moody

“Sir but does it have any environmental impact?”

 

Manuel Heredia Jr.

“Surely when they give these permits they ensure that you have a curtain that will not spill any silt to the reef. But I must say anything you do has its little negative effects.”

 

Reporter

“But has the department of Environment cleared this project?”

 

Manuel Heredia Jr.

“Well inspection is done by all bodies; Fisheries, Department of the Environment and Geology; that is the procedure. Who went there for the inspection, I cannot tell you because it was somebody privately that was getting over there so he can better answer that.”

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