I have had several tourists ask why the water is so much nicer North Ambergris as compared to in front of the town. In some of my research I recently became aware of the obvious fact that runoff from streets and roads contains all kinds of environmental pollutants including oil and gasoline and all kinds of stuff. The article I was reading was talking about how they polluted a particular lagoon (not here) by discharging the runoff from the streets directly into the lagoon. Of course I realized that we direct all our runoff directly into the sea where it undoubtedly reaches the reef and is probably one of the primary stressors responsible for the environmental decline in front of the town core.
The street projects were done without an EIA or evidently adequate environmental review. In the planning stages the runoff issue should have come out. We could have made a different plan that did not dump the waste straight into the sea in front of town. This is a critical problem and needs to be addressed. If left as is we will continue to see worsening conditions in front of the town.
This is a very difficult and expensive problem but we cannot leave it as it is or we will pay a terrible price. Every time I walk along the beach in town I see all the culverts going into the sea and think about how ugly it is and go on my way. Now I realize it is much more than ugly. We must reengineer the drains to enter the sewer system or a separate system.
We must find a way to stop this toxic runoff, and toxic it is, from entering the sea or lagoon. The changes have mostly happened in the last five years. It probably started when we did the first cobble stone project and let the runoff go into the sea. It has now compounded and become obvious as the environment is constantly subjected to the toxic runoff. Before, when we had sand streets, there was a natural filtration process happening and we went for years and years with little change to the sea in front of town, then we started dredging the front and directing toxic runoff into the sea and now we have a BIG problem which we must address. The situation will continue to deteriorate until we do something about it.