...a proprietary proposal from linkedin
Belize has the largest barrier reef in the western hemisphere – a marine area rich in biodiversity, and a
strong attraction for tourists from around the world. Belize’s rainforests also support amazing creatures
and are an exciting destination for Belizeans and visitors.
For fifty years Belize has been establishing protected areas. The designation of these protected areas has
made Belize one of the most environmentally advanced countries in the world, with extensive areas of
the national territory now designated as protected areas.
A conservation fee of BZ $7.50 paid by visitors to Belize upon their departure and a 20% commission
from cruise ship passenger fees are administered by the Protected Areas Conservation Trust (PACT.)
PACT has grant money available for Environmental Education and Awareness of these protected areas.
In Australia there is the Reef HQ Great Barrier Reef Aquarium which functions as the National
Education Centre for the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority.
The Wild Center is a museum which interprets the Adirondacks – a six million acre wilderness area in
New York. This interpretive center is a combination of museum, aquarium, and science center.
The proposal is to develop a Coral Reef Interpretive Center to educate both tourists and native Belizeans
about the amazing diversity of life that is found here, modeled upon similar institutions.
The Wild Center was established on a 31 acre campus which was donated by the local school district.
The 51,000 square foot building cost US $30 Million to construct and attracts 80,000 visitors annually.
The Wild Center was the first LEED certified museum in New York and is a model for sustainable
The visitor experience starts in a
panoramic theater which features stunning photography of the “Wild Adirondacks.” The exhibit hall
takes visitors on a virtual trek uphill from the adjacent marsh on the Raquette River to the top of one of
the local mountains. Guests encounter live trout, frogs, snakes, turtles and otters along their journey.
The National Aquarium of Belize experience could start with a 50 foot, 360 degree, digital dome theater
which would virtually transport passengers to many of the natural wonders of Belize. This experience is
modeled after a new exhibit that just opened at Sea World;
Imagine being in the forest with howler monkeys in the canopy or encountering a
whale shark as it swims overhead! The exhibit experience then could follow a drop of water from the
Rainforests, down streams and rivers, through seagrasses and mangroves, out to the coral reefs and
beyond. Guests would meet red-eye tree frogs, neotropical otters and crocodiles. The finale would be a
large, tunnel aquarium where visitors could get up close with sharks and large game fish.
There are four roles that aquariums play; Education, Conservation, Research and Entertainment. The
goal is to interpret the protected areas; these national treasures of Belize. Though many people come to
Belize to scuba dive or snorkel the reefs, not everyone is comfortable engaging in these activities, and
there is so much to see. Those who do scuba dive the reefs like to learn more about what they have seen.
This Aquarium would serve to connect people with nature in a safe and sustainable manner. Aquariums
are powerful tourist magnets, often have significant economic impacts, and generate jobs.
Please support this proposal and invite others to help build an environmental learning center for Belize.
Join the “Belize Aquarium Supporter” group on LinkedIn to comment on this proposal and to keep
updated on progress.