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#510990 - 01/23/16 03:26 PM BLACKADORE CAYE
ScubaLdy Offline

1848: On Ambergris Caye there were four (4) families of fishermen.
Soon there were 30 houses with 50 people. This was PROGRESSS.
1950: Jim Currie brought the first tourists; more PROGRESS.
1965: First hotel; Holiday Hotel owned and run by the Grief family. PROGRESS.
1976: Coral Beach Hotel opened the first dive shop. PROGRESS continues.
1998: My first dive trip here and evacuated for Hurricane Mitch. My PROGRESS (got me to come back) but setback for island.
2000: Return trip – PROGRESS.
2003: After eight (8) trips I made the permanent move; real PROGRESS.
2004: Bought & occupied condo across the cut with access via pull ferry and sandy cart paths that changed as needed by condition controlled by rain and runoff. PROGRESS continues.
2005 : Jeff Pierce bought 22 acres of lagoon just north of the cut and dredged and filled to partially build Reef Village. Destroyed mangroves that lined cart path, fish and bird life. This was not PROGRESS.
2006: Bridge was inaugurated. Northern resident resisted the building of the bridge that replaced the pull ferry. The Town Council assured everyone that nothing larger than a golf cart would ever be allowed to cross. Sounded like PROGRESS.
2008: Sugar Caye began dredge & fill with government approval. ? PROGRESS.
2010: Taxis allowed to cross bridge but limited to 10 MPH. ha ha ha and This was soon followed by trucks of all sizes. Ah – PROGRESS?
2011: Bridge dedicated and named for Sir Barry Bowen who funded the project.
2012: It was learned that a large portion of lagoon on the western shore in Tres Cocos was platted and may someday be built upon by building sea walls in the water and dredging and filling behind them. Home owners in this section of the island will no longer have waterfront property.
In April it was reported that repairs were needed on Bridge.
2013: Bridge repairs begun in May.
2014: Bridge repairs finished in January.
2014: Sugar Caye changed name to Mahogany Bay Resort.
Paving began north of the bridge. (Many residents the Tres Cocos residential area objected.)
2015: Lina Point built 500’ boardwalk behind Reef Village and across lagoon blocking all water vehicle except kayaks access to that large lagoon.
And they are building structures overwater.
2016: Blackadore Caye held public EIA hearing where fishermen objected (strenuously) to over the water construction.
CONCLUSION: Ambergris Caye has a long history of development that has not always been earth friendly, sometimes destructive and recently challenged. I too am a member of Ambergris Caye Committee for Sustainable Development (ACCSD).
I am impressed with the planning that has gone into this project and the fact that the developers have the funds and desire to see this project through.
A reliable source told me that Blackadore was never a mangrove island; it is a sand spit that could possibly develop into an island. Therefore the word “restored” should not be used. As a friend said “Restored to what/at what period of time?
The fishing guides are concerned for their livelihood as evidently this area is a prime Bone Fish grounds. I contend that this project will not only make fishing better, but bring in more affluent fishermen thereby increasing the number of tour guides needed but also boats, captains, etc.
Unlike Mahogany Bay who used mainland labor, Blackadore has vowed to use Ambergris Caye labor and as much Belize material as is available.
There was a lot of talk about the Queens Way. I also think there is a lot of misinformation about this. As I understand it is “beach front wide enough for a man and his ox to pass.” I may be wrong (I have been once or twice) but it does not permit people to loiter – only pass through.
Personally I want to see new methods of constructions that future builders can make use of and be ready to build an even better structure for me and you in a few years.
I think it is important to have public hearings – we can all profit from them if we listen to each other - politely - with an open mind and not from a selfish point of view.
OR Do you want to continue the old ways?
Harriette Fisher
Birdland – No. Ambergris Caye
Take only pictures leave only bubbles

#511007 - 01/24/16 07:26 AM Re: BLACKADORE CAYE [Re: ScubaLdy]
JaHo Offline
Excellent letter, Harriette! Thanks for taking the time to walk down "memory lane" and to publish a thoughtful opinion of the Blackadore Caye development. Seeking public opinion is the right thing to do, and listening to each other is even more important!

#511010 - 01/24/16 05:22 PM Re: BLACKADORE CAYE [Re: ScubaLdy]
BelizeAdventure Offline
I think the guest editorial gives another well documented side to this..


#511011 - 01/24/16 05:23 PM Re: BLACKADORE CAYE [Re: ScubaLdy]
BelizeAdventure Offline
Guest Editorial by Alyssa Arceo

It’s a crime that Leonardo DiCaprio doesn’t have an Oscar yet, because he has done a great job acting like an environmentalist. His acting is so insanely good that you might not know he travels by private jet (in each trip racking up the carbon footprint left by the average American in one year), or spends his vacations on gas-guzzling yachts. You might have listened to his most recent Golden Globes acceptance speech – one where he dedicates his award to indigenous peoples and declares the importance of protecting indigenous lands – and mistakenly thought that’s what he actually believes. I thought so too. Until more detailed plans for his development of Blackadore Caye in Belize were revealed. See, his line in the speech that we have to protect native lands for native people seems kind of incongruous with his plan to turn Blackadore Caye into a resort island lined with $15 million villas. Can’t afford the villas? Don’t worry, maybe you can afford the $3,000+ a night stay in one of the overwater buildings. You can’t? Me neither. I wonder how many of the local people DiCaprio wants to save the island for actually can afford a stay in those overwater structures. The same overwater structures that are placed in the newly expanded Conservation Zone V. What kind of environmentalist advocates for more protection, and then disregards that protection because to respect it would make his venture less profitable? Not a real one, that’s for sure.
Here are a few key issues with the project that I think will convince you Leonardo’s greatest role so far has been as an “environmentalist.”
1. Legal Issues
In Belize, all land up to 66 feet from the high water mark is considered “Queen’s Land,” or public land. This means that it is to be kept accessible to the public and free from development. The proposal for the establishment of private beaches on the island and for the construction of private villas clearly violates this provision of the 1837 Crown Lands Ordinance. Even if, as may be the case for Blackadore, the geography is such that a 66-foot reserve cannot be accommodated, the owner is not precluded from a practical application of the law (as is made clear in the 2000 State of the Coast).
In addition, although Mr. DiCaprio owns the island, he does not own the surrounding water and thus his private, overwater structures are again apparent violations of Belizean law. However, even if this weren’t true, his overwater structures are cause for environmental concern.
2. Overwater Structures
In the proposal for the development of Blackadore Caye, overwater structures are established as one of the main attractions. They are apparently justified environmentally by the claim that artificial reefs will be built underneath and around the structures. However, with overwater structures come issues of shading. The shade from the overwater structures affects light penetration, which would impede the survival of any artificial reefs given that photosynthesis is essential to the growth of autotrophs.
Finally, the placement of these structures is of serious concern. The ACCSD spent years rallying public support and lobbying public officials in order to expand the Hol Chan Marine Reserve in the interest of protecting more of our environment. As a result, Blackadore Caye is now contained within conservation Zone V (I have attached a map). Conservation Zone V was set up specifically to protect fly-fishing species. The director of Hol Chan, Miguel Alamilla, made the following statement regarding the intrusion into Zone C: “The infringement of over the water structures in a conservation Zone undermines the over three years process that we undertook to establish these as part of a protected area including many meetings and public consultations.”
3. Economic Impact/Fly-fishing
Fly fishing is a major part of the Belizean tourism industry, which is more than 16% of the country’s GDP. It is in the best economic and environmental interest of the country to make sure developments do not affect fly fishing. However, only one line of the entire 300-page plus Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for the development of Blackadore Caye makes any mention of fly fishing, despite the fact that Blackadore is in a conservation zone designated specifically for the protection of fly fishing species. That line is: “A few fisher-folk and fly-fishing guides utilize the area for several fishing activities, both recreational and commercial.” The economic value and social importance of fly fishing is completely ignored in the EIA.
In the EIA, the “crucial question” is established: Does the intended use of the site offer the most advantageous option in social, economic and environmental returns?
I think the obvious answer here is no.

#511030 - 01/25/16 12:54 PM Re: BLACKADORE CAYE [Re: BelizeAdventure]
Decompression Offline
I am VERY much against this development for a variety of reasons, but I do have one question.

Does " The Queens Land" pertain even on privately owned islands?


#511038 - 01/25/16 02:59 PM Re: BLACKADORE CAYE [Re: Decompression]
bywarren Offline
Maybe of he dredges and piles up some mud and sand to manufacture land like Mahogany Bay did, or build them over the water like Reef Village did, then all will be well.
For all you who still think "Queens Land" is uniformly enforced, try going uninvited and walk around Caye Chappel, Cayo Espanto, or numerous other privately owned islands

#511072 - 01/26/16 09:44 AM Re: BLACKADORE CAYE [Re: bywarren]
cracked up Offline
Very little public objections to the 100's of acres of mangrove and wet lands that have been destroyed right here on Ambergris Caye. The real flats fishing on the south AC lagoon is finished due the mass dredging of pristine flats and mangroves, going on right now. Blackador is nothing compared to what has already happened right here on AC.

Cayo Espanto was a sand bar, probably the first large scale dredge operation.


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