Unfortunately there is little info released by the govt except latitudes and longitudes of large areas. I dont want to get into semantics as we tend to speak simply here. When we say the reef often we are revering to all the coral formations and adjoining ares including the atolls. Thats what we call the reef, we tend to see it as a whole. I have heard repeated reports of both glovers reef and north ambergris caye. We call all that the reef.
We have already had our world heritage site status put on the endangered list due to the GOB not controlling development. We have now been given another letter of caution stating that we could not have both the world heritage status and off shore drilling in the area, again we use area in a more general term than perhaps do you.
Everything to the east of the reef comes onto the reef and then to the shore. Although there is current going north bound our prevailing north east wind controls the surface. I know this to be fact as I pick up trash from the beach daily and attempt to identify the source as I am afraid there are places still dumping direct into the sea and they should be held responsible for their economic impact on others. Anyway much of the trash comes from Jamaica which is east, far away.
I am trying to locate a map of the PSA's and over lay them on the Habitat maps, Marine Reserve maps and World Heritage maps. I really dont know the details and they are critical in this issue.
Unfortunately the GOB granted a PSA to a Guatemala company. Now resolution of the whole issue may hinge around sovereignty issues rather than risk/reward. As you know Guatemala has a territorial claim against Belize and we dont think they should be allowed to benefit from our national heritage, its crazy to even consider, that may not be your international view (which I dont know) buts it is most definitely the Belize view.
Also please understand I think there is zero chance of the gulf blowout being repeated off shore Belize but do believe there are a variety of things that COULD happen. Think of it as if it were your family, would you accept ANY risk to their life and or health for any amount of profit. I am sure you would never risk your family for any amount of money. To me the way I believe about the relationships of all the parts of the earth is that they are my family. If I hurt them I hurt myself. All things have their place, when we start moving things around we risk upsetting balances we dont really understand all that well and almost always do.
Most definitely tourism has a huge negative impact on the environment worldwide that needs to be addressed on a national and individual level. I would like to see Belize world famous for its environmental enlightenment and conservation of our heritage. We can become a show case for environmental consciousness and follow through with meaningful plans that are effectively implemented and enforced. I think there are huge income down that road that goes all over the country and zero risk. The tourism industry must be made more environmentally sensitive and be protected and prioritized.
And possibly people need to think of themselves as being part of the earth rather than just living on it. Glad you are feeling better.