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Dec 8, 2004

Reef project began as Goff’s Caye study

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Proponents of a project to manage tourism on the Belize Barrier Reef say they will hold a press conference sometime this week to explain their plans to the public…although no time or date has been set. Today, however, representatives of the Coastal Zone Management Authority and Institute have clarified their organisation’s role in the initiative. Apparently, after the imposition of a ten U.S. dollar fee for tourists at Goff’s Caye resulted in a tour operator boycott, the cash strapped CZMAI asked various tourism organisations to make suggestions for a “tourism development plan” for the island. That response, taken up by Tom Greenwood, David Gegg and other investors, seems to have been broadened into a much larger project that would include a long stretch of barrier reef and cayes. According to Coastal Zone Chairman Dr. Michael Tewes, details of that project have not yet been finalised, but as far as he is concerned, the Authority “will never give up its mandate to safeguard the reef.” In related news last week, Tewes accepted an award from the United States Coral Reef Task Force in recognition of the Coastal Zone Authority’s efforts at conservation management. The fee for Goff’s Caye, by the way, has now been dropped to five U.S. dollars and word is that the tour operators and tourists are returning in large numbers.

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