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Increased dredging in South Ambergris Caye raises concerns #538610
10/06/19 05:52 AM
10/06/19 05:52 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 72,113
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP
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Dredging for sand in southern Ambergris Caye has been ongoing under the consent of The San Pedro Town Council (SPTC). In a previous interview, Mayor Daniel Guerrero stated that the sand extracted was not for business purposes, but the benefit of the community. According to concerned residents living nearby, the dredging operation has ramped up considerably with the addition of a second site. It’s believed that such sand extraction is now commercial and not just for community projects. The San Pedro Sun caught up with Mayor Guerrero who said he is aware of the second dredging site and stated that the sand is for commercial and community purposes.

Regarding the community projects, Guerrero said the sand would continue to be used for filling school compounds and for beach reclamation purposes. He said that the sand for the beach reclamation project at Boca del Rio Park came from southern Ambergris Caye. “We are also using some of that to combat the effects of erosion the beaches near downtown are experiencing,” said Guerrero. As for the business side, the sand extracted is by a private company. Some of this sand is commercialized for various construction and development projects, while some are available for community projects whenever the SPTC makes a request.

The Mayor acknowledged that the second dredging site coincides with a new development project taking place near an area known as Boca Ciega. Guerrero also acknowledged that a large pipe had been installed directly under the road to facilitate the delivery of sand for the development. Guerrero said that he needs to visit the area to find out how that activity is going and would not elaborate on the project that is taking place in the said area. Residents near Boca Ciega are not happy with the dredging and are concerned about the impacts it can have on the surrounding environment. Guerrero stated that they do not want to be dredging all over the place, but they strategically choose the area by Boca Ciega. “All the sand found there comes from the central and northern side of the island, so eventually it will naturally be replaced,” said Guerrero. He mentioned that such activity could not affect the nearby Hol Chan Marine Reserve (HCMR) or alter the surrounding eco-system.

Click here to read the rest of the article in the San Pedro Sun

Re: Increased dredging in South Ambergris Caye raises concerns [Re: Marty] #538660
10/09/19 08:35 AM
10/09/19 08:35 AM
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 84
San Pedro
1bzman Offline
1bzman  Offline
I would like to know from the Mayor and others that have approved this dredging operation, whom I should get restitution from when our piers and seawall are damaged after a storm because of the severe dredging of sand? This has been going on for three years with the deafening noise, oil and fuel in the water, loss of privacy, inability to swim, boat or fish in peace. My pier has been damaged because of this dredge. No matter who we complain to the concerns go unanswered. It begs the question as to who has been paid "under the table".
This does not begin to raise the concerns of the destruction of all of the seagrass, coral beds, the thousands of immature conch that are being sucked up or the loss of fishing in the area. The displaced sand that was supposed to be negated by booms during the dredging has not been done. The booms were bought and used for less than 1 week and not again over the last 3 years. During dredging, the sand plumes drift south of the area which also destroys sea life.
There is no way the town board is getting any kind of fair share of the sand being dredged. The Mayor was quoted as saying "All the sand found there comes from the central and northern side of the island, so eventually it will naturally be replaced". Then please explain why the residents in this area have had to install over 1300 feet of seawall due to erosion of our beaches. Where is all that sand from the central and northern side? It is not on our beaches. Anytime land touches sea there will be natural shifting of the sands due to tides and winds over time.
The Mayor also stated that they do no want to be dredging all over the place, but they strategically chose the area by Boca Ciega. The residents were never consulted, never notified, nor been able to get any government official to discuss this on going problem. There is no end in site for the residents.

Re: Increased dredging in South Ambergris Caye raises concerns [Re: Marty] #538689
10/10/19 06:18 PM
10/10/19 06:18 PM
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 359
Salt Lake City, Utah
kathyw Offline
kathyw  Offline
This private sand company has been dredging now for 3 years. Originally they were only to dredge for 6 months, with the sand going to the town. Most of the sand that has been dredged is going to the private sand company's projects. It's evident by the conch shells on the dredging site, that the conch beds are being destroyed and conch being left to die on the beach. The sea grass is now gone. The 100's of fish that were under the docks are now gone. When did the Mayor get his degree in Oceanography? Something sounds fishy here!!!

We've also been in contact and a meeting with the dept. of Environment and the Mining unit. They told us there is nothing we can do because the permit for dredging is in the Town Board's name.

Last edited by kathyw; 10/10/19 06:19 PM.

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