ACCSD Response to Mangrove Project at Sugar Caye
In regards to project at Sugar Caye http://www.sanpedrosun.com/news/sugar-caye-designs-new-habitat-seawall/
we sent a letter to the local newspapers replying the following:
March 28, 2011
Dear Ambergris Today/San Pedro Sun,
Whilst the ACCSD congratulates and welcomes the move by Dave Mitchell to incorporate mangrove habitat restoration within his developments on the island and their plans to promote a green development, the ACCSD feels it only correct to ask the questions others don't and continue not to ask.
In regards to Sugar Caye why wasn't an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) conducted? The EIA legislation under the laws of Belize should apply for a development of this size on the cayes - An EIA involves studies needed in identifying, predicting, evaluating, mitigating and managing the environmental, and key social and economic impacts of development projects.
This document would have addressed the following unanswered questions:
1. Is this development causing the water problems being experienced by the island and the islands water plant?
2. Are the sink holes located on and around the property a danger to the houses planned in that area?
3. Is it safe to have families living that close to the sewage ponds inside what was classified by WASA as a buffer zone?
4. What harmful chemicals are present in the soil and water in that area due to seepage from the Sewage ponds?
5. Were there any water quality samples taken to identify if faecal coliforms are present in the waterways?
6. Who legally owns the property and how was it acquired?
7. How is this development going to remedy the shortage of land available to sustain our growing population, when it like its sister development is aimed at bringing more second home and vacation owners to the island.
8. Does this new "innovative" seawall design justify clearing healthy mangrove wetland?
9. Is it more logical to preserve our existing healthy mangrove wetland and eliminate having to clear, dredge and fill these ecosystems that are vital to the livelihood of all our island community?
10. What is the hurricane disaster plan for this area?
Sugar Caye and its developers continue to bring innovation to the island, not only in the areas of development but in ways of bypassing our country’s laws, in ways to sell idea's and ways to muzzle our local and national media by spending the most advertising dollars.
Ambergris Caye Citizens for Sustainable Development