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Sep 26, 2019

OCEANA Supports Efforts to Ensure Health of New River and Corozal Bay

With all that is going on with the New River, OCEANA in Belize has been keeping a close eye on the environmental situation and has commended the citizen-led initiative that has captured national attention.  Since the tributary empties out into Corozal Bay, the environmental N.G.O. has pledged its commitment to supporting the right of residents to embrace their role in ensuring that the health of the river remains a national priority.  This is to highlight the importance of clean, safe water to residents of Orange Walk and Corozal districts, particularly those who depend daily on the New River and Corozal Bay.

 

Janelle Chanona

Janelle Chanona, Vice President, OCEANA Belize

“As you know, Oceana has a field representative program and through that program our representative for the north, Mr. Ryan Rivera has been participating in the conversations with the Friends for New River grouping, as well as with the Corozal community and we’ve been monitoring the situation in New River because obviously that’s not just an important trade route in this country but also because it feeds directly into Corozal Bay.  For some time we have been noticing and making record of the stressors that are already impacting Corozal Bay over the last five years in particular and we are asking residents along the river and certainly in the bay to immediately report any type of incident, fish mortality, mammal stranding or anything of that nature because obviously, given that the bay is already under significant stress from multiple factors, you know, what’s coming downstream could have real repercussions.  So we certainly, we’re glad to hear that the department of the environment will be doing water quality testing and we are asking residents, again, to stay very involved and vigilant on that process to look at what those results mean and help to prepare collectively for any type of mitigation measures that may be warranted because we simply don’t know yet how that will play when it reaches the Corozal Bay area.”


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