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SPTC Declares Sargassum Beaching A Natural Disaster

SPTC Declares Sargassum Beaching A Natural Disaster – a collective effort is needed to address the issue – The San Pedro Town Council recognizes the massive natural disaster caused by the significant amount of sargassum that has been washing up on our beaches.

-Press Release – While we have experienced this phenomenon in the past, this has been the worst we have seen over recent years. Over the past months, the council has used all its resources available to ensure that our beaches are clean to an acceptable level. Nonetheless, this is now something that requires more than just efforts of the local government and as such the council is declaring this issue a natural disaster. We urge our residents, as well as the business sector, the tourism sector, non-governmental organizations, government agencies and our national government to join our collective efforts in addressing this issue, both in the short and long terms.

In the short term plan, the San Pedro Town Council has secured the assistance of well-respected Belizean Marine Biologist and Consultant, Mr. Miguel Alamilla. He will guide our efforts in finding ways to mitigate against tons of sargassum that is beaching on Ambergris Caye. The SPTC has mapped out both a short and long term plan.

Continuing the short term plan, the SPTC is organizing a massive community clean-up campaign of our beach from Boca del Rio to the Mosquito Coast area.  This event will take place on the 27th & 28 of September. We are encouraging all residents, businesses and organizations that have trucks, bobcat loaders, excavators and even manpower, to register their participation by Wednesday, September 26th at the offices of the SPTC.

It is our plan that all the sargassum will be removed from the beach, to be taken to a specified location where there is less human contact. The meeting point for the community clean-up campaign will be at the San Pedro Central Park at 6AM on both days.

On an initiative being led by Councilor Gary Greif; who has the portfolio responsible of the environment, the San Pedro Town Council and other stakeholders are also looking at several options as a long term plan that will minimize the sargassum from beaching on the island. These options include the possible acquisition of water deflection booms that would be placed at a 2/3 distance between the island and the reef. Both local and international technicians have visited San Pedro to conduct bathymetric and current flow studies. It is their belief that the placement of these water deflecting booms will prevent the sargassum from making landfall and instead current will take it pass the southern end of Ambergris Caye. Councilor Greif has been dialoguing with resort owners whom are in the process of purchasing similar type of booms, which in the future will be able to be part of the larger project.

It will take a collective effort to ensure that we keep our island clean, for both our locals and tourists to enjoy. – END RELEASE

SPTC Declares Sargassum Beaching A Natural Disaster

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