The Lands and Surveys Department, through the Ministry of Natural Resources, advises the general public that in Pursuant to Section 2 of the National Lands Act, National Land includes the seabed and the 66 feet reserve, which may include riparian forests, beaches, littoral forests and shoals.

The general public is also advised that the Lands and Surveys Department, by powers of the National Lands Act (Revised Edition 2003), has jurisdiction over the 66 feet reserve and the seabed (National Land). Although the use of the seabed and the 66 feet reserve are regulated under the National Lands Act, Section 6 Clause 1, the construction of over-water structures on the seabed falls under the Belize Building Act, Chapter 131 of the Laws of Belize Revised Edition 2003, which is implemented by the Central Building Authority. The Minister responsible for lands must, therefore, issue approval in writing prior to occupation or use of the 66ft. reserve and erection/construction or placement of any permanent or semi-permanent structures on the seabed.

Therefore, occupation within the above mentioned spaces without permission from the Minister of Natural Resources constitutes an offense of unlawful occupation of National Land.

In light of the recent Hurricane Earl the lands and Surveys Department advises the general public that permission needs to be obtained, from the Lands and Surveys Department, before reconstructing, building or refurbishing any of the piers, docks and other over-water structures. It is important to follow the official process for obtaining permission to utilize the seabed or 66 feet reserve; therefore the department takes this opportunity to invite the general public to visit its headquarters in Belmopan.

From the Commissioner of Lands and Surveys