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#237750 - 05/12/07 03:03 PM Dredging alert from the chamber
elbert Offline

Dear Members,

Below are a couple of updates on the dredging for a barge dock across from Hol Chan:

Ambergris Today Newspaper Article

More Concerns Arise of New Barge Sight

More concerns have risen from the Town Council's decision to move the barge docking facilities further south. Strong opinions are now being expressed about the damage to the Hol Chan Marine Reserve, both from the dredging as well as the increase in barge traffic to the area that lies almost immediately in front of the marine reserve.

Concerns are that as the boats move or turn the barges there is a large amount of silt generated especially during low tide. Any silt created during the time that the tide is going out would be drawn right through the Hol Chan channel.

Some discussion has expressed the short-sightedness of just moving the barge problem further down the island and now just affecting a new group of people. There are resorts and private homes all along that area, and everyone knows that the front of the island is rapidly developing beyond a commercial barge enterprise. This would have been an excellent time to make use of the three million dollar port that was built years ago.

Unfortunately at the time the port was built, smaller barges were being used, and the companies insist that it cannot serve the purpose for which it was intended without more docking space and dredging. Hopefully these barges will be moved to the marina at the back of the island some day.

Extract from the South Ambergris Neighborhood Watch Meeting:

There has been dredging far to the south across from the Hol Chan cut that is presumed to be for the Caribbean Depot barge landing. Josh stated that Major Jones, head of the Port Authority, sent someone two days before this meeting to investigate these issues of barge problems in the south. Apparently they had no idea of what was happening. However, ONLY the Port Authority has the authority to move barges.

Another issue of the barge traffic hours involves noise ordinances in residential and resort areas.

Suggestions were:

A petition with all signatures from South End people, Chamber member, other NW members, etc.

Letter to Town Board expressing SENW concerns sptb@btl.net

Letter to ALL newspapers including mainland expressing concerns for tourism

ambertoday@btl.net & spsun@sanpedrosun.net

Letter to Forestry Department

Letter to Ministry of Natural Resources regarding dredging

The Dive Shops Daily Blog

#237754 - 05/12/07 05:21 PM Re: Dredging alert from the chamber [Re: elbert]
TrueLover Offline
Thanks Elbert.

I am not an expert on dredging but I assume that there's a big difference in using the best techniques, tides, distribution order, to reduce the amount of silt that washes out toward the reef and other areas or... just a bunch of workers doing it to make a schedule. That's my first thought. Another is, has there been any complete impact studies with viable options done on the big picture and is that information available? I can't tell if you were serious or not. Are the Dept. of Mines group environmentally serious? This affects fishing too right? Hard to believe any one dept. can be solely responsible to approve this sort of thing without having as part of it's standards of ethics, do diligence being done.
Writer claims no authority, worthwhile knowledge of any kind, and didn't make love to that woman.

#237755 - 05/12/07 05:38 PM Re: Dredging alert from the chamber [Re: TrueLover]
sdh Offline
Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System is one of the WORLD HERITAGE SITE'S
Would the people of Belize ever allow this Barrier Reef System to EVER be put in jeopardy?

#237769 - 05/13/07 03:40 AM Re: Dredging alert from the chamber [Re: sdh]
Laguna Punta Offline
The Barge docking issue is a sore one for me. The then owners of Carribean Villa were much distressed over the dredging near their property (noise and muddy waters) from the Carribean Depot Barge Dock. Inorder to faciliate moving the docking facility to the present location of the lagoon docking facility...the Lala's paid Doc Elmer to build a road from San Pablo to the now unused docking facility. This was prior to the building of the present docking facility. The resistance of the barge operators continue in the face of everyone...excluding themselves. Thank you, Elbert, for keeping a watch out.
Gone fishing!!

#237780 - 05/13/07 10:48 AM Re: Dredging alert from the chamber [Re: Laguna Punta]
elbert Offline
I'm definitely getting edited here. I must have over stepped my boundary's. Sorry Marty
The Dive Shops Daily Blog

#237787 - 05/13/07 02:12 PM Re: Dredging alert from the chamber [Re: elbert]
ScubaLdy Offline
Do everything you can to stop this dredging now!
The barges “made” their own dock here on the north side simply by churning up the sand day after day. Here’s a little history of how it happened:
1. There was a fairly long dock between Bob Kjorlein’s ‘The Cloisters’ and Chris Barenfanger’s ‘Villas @ Del Rio.”
2. In order to get sand and gravel delivered the tug boats pushed the barges in on the south side of the dock and created an unloading place.
3. In one period of a month they rammed the dock three times – virtually destroying it. I do not know who the dock belonged to but was told by an ‘informed source’ that Reef Village was going to replace the dock before the Boogie in Belize people came in. Hasn’t happened yet.
4. As more and more construction goes on up here more and more barges come in every day at all hours of the day and night.
5. The barges bring dump trucks and backhoes with them and use these to transfer the material from the barge to the building site.
6. One of the developers – about a mile and a half north of the bridge – send his ENORMOUS front loader down the cart path (AKA: road) to pickup cement blocks. This piece of equipment is sooo big golf carts have to pull off to one side when they meet it. Imagine what this weight does to the road.
7. One of the tug boat operators seems to understand tides and channels – the other does not. At least once a week the second one gets stuck in the sand and spends hours churning trying to get back afloat.
8. For awhile the tug boat ran his diesel motor all night. When I talked to the person in charge he investigated and found out that the barge had a hole in it and they ran the motors to keep the bilge pumps working. Thank goodness this person told them FIX THE HOLE!
9. There was a period of over a month when the sea in front of our place was so thick with sand you could not see the bottom which was only one foot deep. The diesel fumes gag us! The beep-beep-beep of the equipment backing up – interrupts our sleep. I had one guest leave a week early because of the noise, three nights in a row starting at 2:30 AM I have moved a mile further north in order to have some peace and quiet.

I was the lone voice in the wilderness as only one other person lived in this area full time.
Everyone else was benefiting from the operation.


About dredging the mangroves – GOOD LUCK! I have photographs of the dredger destroying entire areas and the lagoon totally afloat with the red branches. I was chastised for complaining.
Take only pictures leave only bubbles

#237798 - 05/13/07 05:07 PM Re: Dredging alert from the chamber [Re: ScubaLdy]
Barnacle Offline
i truly feel for you folks up north there, and i wish you all the luck! we have similar battles going here in the south and it can be very discouraging when no one listens or cares.
but i am constantly told what a good thing it is for the economy?

#237805 - 05/13/07 09:41 PM Re: Dredging alert from the chamber [Re: Barnacle]
seashell Offline
It might be more like "killing the golden goose, that lays the golden eggs".
A fish and a bird can fall in love, but where will they build their nest?


Click for excellent scuba lessons with Elbert Greer!

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