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Mexico Rocks

Posted By: elbert

Mexico Rocks - 12/02/12 05:22 PM

Mexico Rocks
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Mexico Rocks is a shallow patch reef complex located off the far northern tip of Ambergris Caye, in the Belizean Barrier Reef. The site consists of approximately 100 Holocene patch reefs, clustered on a ridge of Pleistocene limestone, and is composed predominantly of boulder corals (Montastraea annularis). The reef has accumulated in shallow (about 2.5 to 5 metres) water over the last 420 years, under static sea level conditions.
The Montastraea annularis patch corals that dominate here are unique to Ambergris Caye's northern lagoon and a rare occurrence in Belize; the only other such patch reefs in the country are located at Glover's Reef.[1] In addition, staghorn coral Acropora cervicornis occurs on the ridge's windward and leeward flanks.
The site was recommended for designation as a marine preserve in 1978, and is still under consideration.[1] It is seen as an important addition to the caye's ecotourism attractions,[1] being a popular snorkelling destination. The area is known for conch, banded shrimp, arrow crab, flounders, stingray, yellow tail snappers, and an assortment of butterfly fish and angelfish.

Posted By: elbert

Re: Mexico Rocks - 12/02/12 06:39 PM

I'm 100% behind the making of Mexico Rocks a reserve. It will be a very smart move for the island and Belize Tourism. There are only 29 more days left in 2012, so I'm thinking the rumors and hype about it being a reserve before the end of the year are much like the rumors and hype thats been ongoing since 1978.
Posted By: papashine

Re: Mexico Rocks - 12/02/12 07:10 PM

Why put off today what you can put off tomorrow, procrastination the Belizean way!
Posted By: Tom

Re: Mexico Rocks - 12/02/12 10:12 PM

I love snorekling Mexico Rocks inside the reef and diving the site outside the reef, was fun as well. Sure hope they get it designated soon.
Posted By: elbert

Re: Mexico Rocks - 12/03/12 01:38 AM

Its still a beautiful site but suffering from over fishing. From my experiences I believe this will mend itself quickly when the fishing is controlled. I'm looking forward to to it but a little tired of waiting.

Posted By: Nick Barton

Re: Mexico Rocks - 12/03/12 06:04 PM

Am much in favour but just hope they will not stop me and the Mrs turning up there in our own boat to snorkel!
Posted By: elbert

Re: Mexico Rocks - 01/13/13 05:34 PM

Well, its now 2013 and Mexico Rocks is still being fished, Boat loads of tourist are visiting unsupervised and nothing has changed!
Posted By: Hoover

Re: Mexico Rocks - 01/13/13 11:10 PM

Sounds like a good adventure. Is it a full day project to go there? We will be there in a couple of weeks, and want to take my wife to as many really good snorkling spots as possible in the week we will be around.
Posted By: elbert

Re: Mexico Rocks - 06/09/13 01:12 PM

New rumors have it that this might be the week!
The program has morphed into being an annex to Hol Chan, same rangers and same park ticket. Word on the street is the Cabinet will sign this week.
This will be a major biggie for the islands tourism and future of its environment.
I'm excited and trying to design a trip that will do Hol Chan/ Shark Ray in the morning and Mexico Rocks after lunch.
Maybe a beach BBQ lunch and make it a full day...lots of possibilities.
Posted By: ScubaLdy

Re: Mexico Rocks - 06/09/13 01:58 PM

Great idea Elbert
Posted By: BZ4me

Re: Mexico Rocks - 06/09/13 02:51 PM

Please, Please, I'll do it!!!
Posted By: Banana Beach Resort

Re: Mexico Rocks - 06/09/13 07:53 PM

Agreed with Elbert! Mexico Rocks IS very nice.
Posted By: Bear

Re: Mexico Rocks - 06/09/13 09:05 PM

I'm relieved to say the least and excited for what it means to the lagoon...
Posted By: Tom

Re: Mexico Rocks - 06/10/13 01:35 AM

cool
Definately agree with Elbert and hope the designation comes soon. Love your trip ideas, Elbert. Sounds great. Love the area.
Kat
Posted By: WWIII

Re: Mexico Rocks - 06/11/13 12:40 PM

I agree that this would be great for tourism. A few question. Are the tickets to Hol Chan available to purchase in advance and are they date sensitive? I ask this because, living near the Mexico Rocks, I would hate to have to travel down to San Pedro just to get a ticket to snorkel there.



Originally Posted by elbert
New rumors have it that this might be the week!
The program has morphed into being an annex to Hol Chan, same rangers and same park ticket. Word on the street is the Cabinet will sign this week.
This will be a major biggie for the islands tourism and future of its environment.
I'm excited and trying to design a trip that will do Hol Chan/ Shark Ray in the morning and Mexico Rocks after lunch.
Maybe a beach BBQ lunch and make it a full day...lots of possibilities.
Posted By: elbert

Re: Mexico Rocks - 06/11/13 08:54 PM

WWIII, you might have a problem, I'm not sure how it will be handled by Hol Chan. Its my understanding that like Hol Chan your not allowed with out a licensed Tour Guide.Someone please correct me if I'm wrong but I have to buy a special permit for each of my boats to go there and can't go with out a licences Tour Guide and not just one. I have to have one for every eight tourist and another for different activities such as diving and snorkeling.
So in theory If I have 12 tourist and 10 are snorkeling with two diving, I'm required to have three licensed tour guides in the water and my personal rule is never leave the boat unattended so I've got 4 paid professionals on a trip like that.
Tickets are sold in Bulk to Tour Operators for people they are sending with Guides.
You may have a problem.
Posted By: WWIII

Re: Mexico Rocks - 06/12/13 01:14 AM

I guessed I should have explained myself better. This is Wes from 18 degrees north, and of course we have Ernesto. I was just worrying about having to go to town each time a guest wanted to snorkel @ Mexico Rocks. I think that you answered my question with the comment about bulk tickets. I was worried that like some parks here in the USA where there are daily limits on visitors and I was thinking that they were day of purchase only tickets.



Originally Posted by elbert
WWIII, you might have a problem, I'm not sure how it will be handled by Hol Chan. Its my understanding that like Hol Chan your not allowed with out a licensed Tour Guide.Someone please correct me if I'm wrong but I have to buy a special permit for each of my boats to go there and can't go with out a licences Tour Guide and not just one. I have to have one for every eight tourist and another for different activities such as diving and snorkeling.
So in theory If I have 12 tourist and 10 are snorkeling with two diving, I'm required to have three licensed tour guides in the water and my personal rule is never leave the boat unattended so I've got 4 paid professionals on a trip like that.
Tickets are sold in Bulk to Tour Operators for people they are sending with Guides.
You may have a problem.
Posted By: elbert

Re: Mexico Rocks - 06/12/13 02:13 AM

They will open you an account and charge you monthly using a voucher system. Your rewarded with a few free tickets for a certain amount of volume.
Posted By: elbert

Re: Mexico Rocks - 06/12/13 02:15 AM

The big win in this act of making a reserve is the mangroves and lagoon (wetlands protection)huge plus for the creatures that live on the island.
Posted By: Phil

Re: Mexico Rocks - 06/12/13 12:44 PM

So can a Belizean with their own boat not enter the Park without a Guide or ticket?
Posted By: elbert

Re: Mexico Rocks - 06/12/13 01:09 PM

That's a question for the Hol Chan folks, but can you go to Hol Chan with out a guide or a ticket in your own boat??
Posted By: elbert

Re: Mexico Rocks - 06/12/13 01:09 PM

[Linked Image]
Posted By: Bear

Re: Mexico Rocks - 06/12/13 01:15 PM

Originally Posted by elbert
The big win in this act of making a reserve is the mangroves and lagoon (wetlands protection)huge plus for the creatures that live on the island.


The reserve extends to the mangroves and wetlands along the shore of private property owners!? I did not know that, Better yet!
Posted By: Bear

Re: Mexico Rocks - 06/12/13 01:16 PM

On another note...Remarkable photo Elbert...clarity and contrast are perfect.
Posted By: elbert

Re: Mexico Rocks - 06/12/13 01:22 PM

One of the YWAM students took this yesterday, Marijke Helfensteijn.
When sites become a reserve the inhabitants stop being afraid.
Posted By: Maya House

Re: Mexico Rocks - 06/12/13 01:47 PM

Fantastic shot, and couldn't be more excited about the Mexico Rocks news!!
Posted By: Phil

Re: Mexico Rocks - 06/12/13 01:48 PM

Originally Posted by elbert
That's a question for the Hol Chan folks, but can you go to Hol Chan with out a guide or a ticket in your own boat??


I meant Hol Chan. I always used to. Not sure now.
Posted By: JZB

Re: Mexico Rocks - 06/12/13 04:35 PM

I believe you can Phil but you do need to get a Hol Chan sticker for the boat.
Posted By: collyk

Re: Mexico Rocks - 06/12/13 07:29 PM

Good news for everyone! Beautiful turtle!
Posted By: ACCSD

Re: Mexico Rocks - 06/14/13 05:30 PM

Fingers crossed we will be having the signing of these new protected areas as part of the Dia de San Pedro celebrations at the end of the month.
Posted By: elbert

Re: Mexico Rocks - 06/15/13 03:28 PM

Originally Posted by ACCSD
Fingers crossed we will be having the signing of these new protected areas as part of the Dia de San Pedro celebrations at the end of the month.

I know i saw the maps somewhere on line but can't find it now. Do you have the maps?
Posted By: ACCSD

Re: Mexico Rocks - 06/16/13 01:11 AM

Coqui has them all in the office ( next to san pedro sun). will have her post them on monday.
Posted By: elbert

Re: Mexico Rocks - 06/21/13 07:06 PM

Originally Posted by ACCSD
Coqui has them all in the office ( next to san pedro sun). will have her post them on monday.

bump! :-)
Posted By: Marty

Re: Mexico Rocks - 06/24/13 07:50 PM

Proposed additions to Hol Chan Marine Reserve

Click maps for larger versions.



Posted By: elbert

Re: Mexico Rocks - 06/25/13 12:12 PM

When I compare this with Google Earth it looks like I'm in the Mexico Rocks General use zone.
where are you?
Posted By: SFJeff

Re: Mexico Rocks - 06/25/13 02:12 PM

Looks like the no-take zone starts right at about La Perla actually... use the two inner lagoons as points of reference on Google Maps and you'll see. So don't be fishin' in front of your house Elbert!

RE: the other map, looks like we have a house smack dab in the middle of the Mata/Cayo Francis Wetlands... I hope we don't have to pay a park fee every time we go there wink
Posted By: SFJeff

Re: Mexico Rocks - 06/25/13 02:16 PM

obviously you can still fish from your dock though... just don't wander too far out!
Posted By: elbert

Re: Mexico Rocks - 06/25/13 02:35 PM

I don't fish at all. i make too much showing tourist how they swim around :-0 I'm wondering about the 10. usd park fee. what happens to all these hotels that send out hobbie cats and kayaks to the reef with out tour guides, if it's truly like Hole Chan a lot is going to change.
Posted By: elbert

Re: Mexico Rocks - 07/03/13 05:17 PM

Say it isn't so! rumors are flying around that the Mexico Rocks Reserve is on hold because of a conflict with a developers dredging project in the designated Reserve area.The dredged sea bottom is to be used for fill in a development project, also in the reserve. A government official is involved in the real-estate deal and had clout enough to stop the signing off on the reserve.
If this is true I hope it gets as much international press as the Nohmul mayan pyramid being bull dozed for road fill material.
Someone tell me this is a crazy rumor and not true.
The announcement of the Mexico Rocks Reserve creation was to be on San Pedro Day and just didn't happen.
Posted By: SFJeff

Re: Mexico Rocks - 07/03/13 08:48 PM

I can see how the cost of knocking down say, Altun Ha, then trucking the rubble/barging it to the island would be cost prohibitive.

What development? Not that many currently being built up/down the coast in the reserve area...
Posted By: elbert

Re: Mexico Rocks - 07/03/13 10:22 PM

I heard it's dredging in the back lagoon and the reserve area in the back of the island that it falls into.
Posted By: SFJeff

Re: Mexico Rocks - 07/03/13 10:47 PM

In the Cayo Francis Lagoon or on the back side proper? Who the heck is dredging back there now and for what building/development that will never come to fruition???

Wouldn't it be easier to just knock down all the rookeries and use that as fill???
Posted By: SFJeff

Re: Mexico Rocks - 07/04/13 12:50 AM

Looks like the word is the MX Rocks part will be passed this month... the Cayo Francis/Mata Lagoon part they're shelving for a bit as they have a dialogue w/ entities that own prop within the proposed bounds.
Posted By: elbert

Re: Mexico Rocks - 07/04/13 01:15 PM

I'm anxious to hear what the San Pedro Sun says, they usually publish the truth of issues like this one and not just chewed bones politicians throw at them.
Posted By: elbert

Re: Mexico Rocks - 07/25/13 07:10 PM

San Pedro Sun, front page story, 'Proposed Ambergris Caye Wetlands Project to Include Dredging Areas.
Today's headlines plus more maps.
Posted By: Marty

Re: Mexico Rocks - 07/25/13 07:46 PM

Proposed Ambergris Caye Wetlands project to include dredging areas

In 2011 an environmental advocacy group was formed called the Ambergris Caye Wetlands Committee (ACWC). ACWS was composed of members of the Ambergris Caye Citizens for Sustainable Development (ACCSD) Executive Committee, Hol Chan Marine Reserve, San Pedro Tour Guide Association, Belize Tourism Industry Association, San Pedro Business Association and Green Reef. The group developed a proposal for three areas in north Ambergris Caye to become protected areas: Mexico Rock’s Marine Reserve, Bajos Proposed Marine Reserve and Cayo Frances/ Mata Frances Lagoons. The proposal is part of the Ambergris Caye Conservation Initiative of 2011.

The proposal outlines the use for all three areas. Mexico Rock’s Marine Reserve would be used exclusively as a recreational area that will include a “NO Take Zone” and a “General Use Zone”. The Bajos Proposed Marine Reserve would be designed as a marine reserve with a zone for catch and release sport fishing. The Bajos area includes nine small islands and five shoals which are vital habitats for the island’s fisheries for schooling tarpon, permit and bonefish. Finally the Cayo Frances/Mata Frances Lagoon was proposed to be a National Park which will include catch and release sport fishing. The proposal would have been managed as a National Park and would be established under the National Park System Act of the laws of Belize. This would mean that nothing would be allowed to be extracted from the area.

ACWC initially stated that the concept paper was presented to Honorable Manuel Heredia Jr. on December 15, 2011 and he gave his full support to the project. Two public consultations were also held on January 5th and August 21, 2012. The local government seemed to be onboard with the project.

However, it has been over a year now since the project commenced and there has not yet been official approval. According to Elito Arceo, President of ACCSD and Miguel Alamilla, Manager of Hol Chan Marine Reserve, the proposal has passed the Cabinet and is currently in the Solicitor General’s Office. “The set back is technical issues involved with completing the draft before it is taken to the minister to be signed. Over the past few weeks we have been working along with the Solicitor General making changes and ensuring that the amendments are in proper legal format,” stated Alamilla. The changes that are being worked on are to enlarge the proposal that was made two years ago. Other portions of the proposal are also being reviewed to ensure its legitimacy.

It appears that the primary concern for the proposal is the private land owned within the proposed protected reserve, and the regulations that need to be outlined on what can and cannot be done on that land. “We are not including or excluding anything that was mentioned in the consultation. The boundaries remain the same. The concerns with dredging are that people who own property within the parameters may need to fill their land. The Bajos area is a general use zone therefore dredging will be allowed but with a proper permit. Monitoring of dredging from the local authorities will also be increased,” said Alamilla.

According to Minister Heredia, the proposed protected reserve should be handled in sections with a primary focus on Mexico Rock’s Marine Reserve. “We need to have as much space reserved to benefit the tourism industry but certain factors need to be addressed. These factors include the allocation of dredging areas,” said Heredia. “Mexico Rocks is ready and we need to move ahead with that, then we can move with the less controversial Cayo Frances/ Mata Frances Lagoons and finally we can tackle the Bajos area which is the most problematic because of dredging. The community has to remember that once this is legalized this will be the largest Marine Reserve in the country,” continue Heredia, “Once the proposal allocates areas for dredging for persons that own property within the area, the project has my full support.”

Alamilla and Arceo emphasize the revision of a proposed protected reserve is a lengthy process that must be scrutinized meticulously. To learn more about the north Ambergris Caye proposed Reserve visit https://sites.google.com/site/accsdbze/proposed-marine-protected-areas or the ACCSD at https://sites.google.com/site/accsdbze/.




San Pedro Sun

Posted By: elbert

Re: Mexico Rocks - 07/27/13 05:05 PM

When you read this quickly, skim reading as most people do,all the sugar and flowers make it sound like an announcement of a wonderful thing for tourism creating largest Marine Reserve in the country but its saying the Minister of Tourism Heredia will not sign off on its creation until it's changed to allow a developer to dredge.
If you asking yourself why would the Minister of Tourism want to allow a developer dredging rights in a marine reserve your asking the right question.
The article leaves out the name of the development and developer.
Who is in bed with government enough to put a halt to the 'Largest Marine Reserve in the Country'? It surely must be a powerful entity to have the Minister of Tourism act against all that he's elected to protect and promote.
Posted By: Maya House

Re: Mexico Rocks - 07/27/13 05:48 PM

That's exactly the way I read it, Elbert!!
Posted By: Nick Barton

Re: Mexico Rocks - 07/27/13 06:01 PM

I was up doing a little snorkelling today at MRocks and the fish were getting very excited about the new reserve plans! It was all they were talking about!
Posted By: ScubaLdy

Re: Mexico Rocks - 07/28/13 02:25 AM

Are we starting a list of our guesses? Let's see who gets the most votes.
Posted By: elbert

Re: Mexico Rocks - 07/28/13 12:05 PM

The usual suspects list. The Bird Islands are in that Area or Tourism Representative refers to as 'the most problematic'. Problem being in order to make condos out of all the natural bird sanctuary in the back the developer needs to pump the sea bed to fill the islands low areas and this isn't an approved activity in marine Reserves.
Posted By: ScubaLdy

Re: Mexico Rocks - 07/28/13 04:53 PM

We need to start a movement to save the bird islands.
Posted By: Maya House

Re: Mexico Rocks - 07/28/13 05:52 PM

I feel like I need to quit my job, just so I can put all of my time and attention to fighting all of the attacks being made to the environment of Belize. It's just coming so fast and furious from every direction, here, the mainland, everywhere. Including those stupid cruise ships that won't leave Placencia alone. If we don't do something now, it won't be able to be reversed.
Posted By: elbert

Re: Mexico Rocks - 02/18/14 12:47 PM

Today is February 18th 2014.
No Marine Reserve has been approved,
Posted By: elbert

Re: Mexico Rocks - 03/20/14 12:33 PM

March 20th, Lots of rumors but no announcements.
Posted By: elbert

Re: Mexico Rocks - 02/16/15 06:35 PM

Today is February 16th 2015.
An election is coming in March. Politicians are kissing Babies and asses all over the jewel. A Marine Reserve for the island of this magnitude would boost tourism and protect the future of the islands industry.
https://sites.google.com/site/accsdbze/proposed-marine-protected-areas
How about it guys, sometime before I die of old age?
Posted By: Katie Valk

Re: Mexico Rocks - 02/16/15 09:41 PM

Perhaps is can be a done deal before your local area rep's end of term-same time frame for the school he says will be built. Until its not.
Posted By: elbert

Re: Mexico Rocks - 02/17/15 09:22 AM

[Linked Image]
When the fishing stops these come back quick.
Posted By: elbert

Re: Mexico Rocks - 02/18/15 05:46 PM

From:
Tour Guide Association <[email protected]>
To:
[email protected]
Date:
Wed, 18 Feb 2015 10:04 AM (1 hour 38 minutes ago)
View as text - Show Raw MessageShow full header

Important News

The Extension of the Hol-Chan Marin Reserve has been approved and signed. Great news
Inauguration on the 25th of February 2015.


Thank you
S.P.T.G.A
Posted By: Marty

Re: Mexico Rocks - 02/01/16 06:37 PM

The Hydrous Belize 2016

In January 2016, The Listwin Family Foundation hosted our team to conduct preliminary analysis of coral reefs in Mexico Rocks marine reserve in Ambergris Caye, Belize.

The Caribbean was once home to the most pristine coral reefs in the world, but unfortunately local stressors such as pollution combined with global climate change has changed many of these reefs to a shadow of its former beauty. Later this year, we hope to empower local stakeholders with design thinking and technology to help them monitor and manage their own resources.

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