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dredging #53044
06/06/02 02:52 PM
06/06/02 02:52 PM
Joined: Mar 2001
Posts: 2,691
Illinois, Arkansas,South Dakot...
bywarren Offline OP
bywarren  Offline OP
Thumbs up to the San Pedro Sun. Check out this weeks editorial on dredging.

Re: dredging #53045
06/06/02 03:20 PM
06/06/02 03:20 PM
Joined: Sep 2000
Posts: 139
You right, a very good article.But what I don't understand is why the city does not enforce the no dredging laws.It's not like the dredgers are sneeking around, they are doing it right out in the open.

Re: dredging #53046
06/06/02 04:55 PM
06/06/02 04:55 PM
Joined: Mar 2001
Posts: 2,691
Illinois, Arkansas,South Dakot...
bywarren Offline OP
bywarren  Offline OP
The simple answer to your question SEAWINGS,is greed, greed and more greed. Sadly, there are too many people here that are more concerned with how much money can be made how fast without consideration to the long term consequences. The important thing is that tourists who visit here are made aware of the consequences of "manufacturing" beaches and land to attract their tourist dollar and hopefully more will come and visit and accept what Belize has to offer naturally and not create the demand for more dredging to create what nature did not intend. Let's be content with the reef and the marine environment Belize has to offer. If you want miles of sand beaches, go to Cancun or other places like that where they had to create that to attract tourists. Let's offer what nature put here and not what man can create here at the expense of nature.

Re: dredging #53047
06/06/02 06:26 PM
06/06/02 06:26 PM
Joined: Apr 2000
Posts: 4,262
St Louis, Mo., USA/San Pedro
Laguna Punta Offline
Laguna Punta  Offline
Its a very difficult nut to crack, this dredging. I'm retired and I would selfishly want zero growth here. Trouble is: San Pedro is 99% tourist supported. While I really agree with you, Warren, I realize that people here need to support themselves. Tourist want beaches. If the tourist go, it would probably be good for us. Everyone else here would really suffer. I was here this last year in early November with ZERO tourist. This was one sad, bleak island. I read the "Sun" today and while they have taken a noble stand, all their revenues comes from tourist, too. I wonder if they would feel strong enough about this issue to join us in retirement.

Gone fishing!!
Re: dredging #53048
06/06/02 08:11 PM
06/06/02 08:11 PM
Joined: Mar 2001
Posts: 2,691
Illinois, Arkansas,South Dakot...
bywarren Offline OP
bywarren  Offline OP
Bill, with respect for your position, please do not missinterpret mine. I am not suggesting "all or nothing". I would only like to see growth that is not at the long term expense of the environment and growth that can be sustained with the infrastructure, ie. roads, water, sewage and garbage disposal that the communtity is willing and able to provide. Ambergris Caye attracted tourists for many years without the need to dredge. I would much prefer a smaller volume of tourism that would continue for a long time as opposed to a higher volume in the short term that will, because of it's strain on the environment, equate to less overall prosperity in the years to come. I truely believe there is a happy medium if people do not put short term greed as the number one priority.

Re: dredging #53049
06/07/02 10:13 AM
06/07/02 10:13 AM
Joined: Sep 2000
Posts: 139
I understand the greed part Warren and I see your point Bill.I own property up north and would like to see my area unchanged but I know that is not possible.No growth is good for some and bad for others.Growth up north would mean the needed power and roads but with that "they" would come.Which would mean an end to the solitude we have up there.
But back to the dredging issue,please educate me on this.Permits are issued for a particular dredging activity(at that point a legal dredge)then when dredging starts the dredging actions change it to an illegal dredge.And no one follows up from the permit department(whoever that is)So is it the failure of the city to not enforce the illegal dredging?
Does the same thing happen when a building permit is issued...the plans are reviewed fees are paid and that's it? No follow up by permit see that plans are followed and built to code.Does the city choose(for a reason) to ignore the violations or they have no enforcement power.
Help me out here as I will be building in the future.

Re: dredging #53050
06/07/02 02:07 PM
06/07/02 02:07 PM
Joined: Sep 2000
Posts: 713
Fremont, CA, USA
susangg Offline
susangg  Offline
ByWarren and the San Pedro Sun are absolutely right.
The problem appears to be rooted in lack of a democratic political structure. There are two sets of "rules" -- one set for the ordinary guy (group #1) and another for big shots, those who hobnob with the big shots, and those who display the requisite "gratitude" towards the big shots (group #2). For the latter group, the rules seem to be that there are none; since they are free to ignore them with impunity because if a group #2 person breaks the rules there are no consequences. Or they get a note that says "I hereby exercise minister's discretion and you don't have to comply." Since there is no independent judiciary, there is no way to enfore the regulations in court and on those rare occasions when a court order is obtained, they just ignore it and nothing happens. The remedy for this problem, like so many of the others that have been discussed in this board, is democracy.

As far as the argument that dredging is needed in order for tourists to come, I disagree. Carried to its ultimate conclusion, that argument is basically: "in order to compete with Cancun we must become Cancun." But the fact is, AC will never be able to compete with Cancun (even if it wanted to, which most of the people who live there don't).
Mass tourism depends on crowded infrastructure, low wage labor, and mechanized everything to be profitable. Belize will never be able to compete with Cancun and should not even try.
Belize, and particularly Ambergris Caye, can compete in the sustainable ectourism market, however. There are tourists who want crowded high rise hotels, big white sand beaches and servile waiters. Let those people go to Cancun. But, there are tourists who want live, healthy reefs, beautiful clear and clean water, undisturbed wildlife, uncrowded beaches, lowrise structures, and a local community they can mingle with and get to know. Why not compete for those tourists, they are the natural market, and there are plenty of them?

Nor are dredging and ruination of the nearby reefs and those areas of AC that are still relatively unspoiled required for the people who have bought property to be able to build homes to live on or to rent out when they are not there. It is not necessary to dredge to build an island home, or to build a dock and pier. We are doing that on an island now, and we are not dredging anything. You cut down only what is necessary to put up your home and make sure coconuts don't fall on your head. It is not necessary to cut down everything you see and ruin the reef and the environment to live on an island. There are sustainable ways to build infrasture (toilet systems, power, etc.) In fact, Belize is blessed with an almost constant supply of two of the best ways to make power: Sun and wind.
Of course, the ruinous import duties imposed on people who want to build sustainable living systems do not encourage such things, and that is, once again, a political problem.

Susan Guberman-Garcia, Attorney at Law. Phone: 510-792-2639
Fax/Voicemail:: 510-405-2016 Email: [email protected]
Re: dredging #53051
06/07/02 02:30 PM
06/07/02 02:30 PM
Joined: May 2002
Posts: 137
Enigma Offline
Enigma  Offline
Why can't a department be appointed to ASSESS requests for dredging? Why is that so difficult? Why can't there be rules for dredging that only allow you to dredge around where you need to install a dock so your boat can come in or maybe a small area at the end of your dock for swimming purposes? Set a measurement, say a 30' x 30' area only? There are actually areas along the coast, especially as you go farther north that are so shallow you couldn't get a boat in there unless you dredge some of it out. Unless you plan on doing a lot of walking from town to your property, you may not have a choice but to dredge at least a strip wide enough for your dock.

I personally don't see anything wrong with dredging a small area to form a small beachfront so kids can play safely at the waters edge. It's not very pleasant to swim in 2 inches of water loaded with grass that has all kinds of little critters lurking in it.

As long as the practice is controlled and controlled the same for all in question then I don't see where the damage is.
A lot of people harp on this because they are afraid of damaging the turtle population and other small marine life that live in the grass.
I've yet to see a turtle come ashore and I would venture to say a turtle wouldn't stay for long in 2" of water perched on a grass bed. It would get a little dry after a while.
I think the marine life will find a home in all the grass you DON'T dredge.

It's all about using common sense and reaching a happy medium between satisfying your bread & butter and still maintaining a good environment for wildlife, be it land or sea.

Maybe I'm wrong, but that's just my humble opinion.

Re: dredging #53052
06/07/02 02:56 PM
06/07/02 02:56 PM
Joined: Sep 2000
Posts: 139
The Robles area is where the turtles come ashore.We saw two come up and lay their eggs one night.Very shallow up there with lots of grass.I'm not sure where the little ones go after they hatch,out to sea or do they hang in the grass for a while?
When we put our dock we will dredge some if it is allowed.

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