There has been a growing concern by residents of northern Ambergris Caye due to a dredging machine that is situated some 8.5 miles north of San Pedro Town. It is a concern because according to the Ministry of Environment, dredging should not be allowed on the reef side of the island, however, all indications are that dredging is about to start in the San Andres Subdivision Area of the island.
The Deputy Director and Inspector of Mines in the Department of Geology and Petroleum, Craig Moore, confirmed that the permission to dredge is pending. The dredging machine sits in front of George Alamilla’s property located north of Belize Legacy Resort. According to Moore, the applicant seeks to dredge an access channel leading to the property, lot number 6, next to a proposed pier alignment.
Moore went on to explain that the green light for the dredging is pending a recommendation from either the San Pedro Town Council or the Area Representative. In speaking with The San Pedro Sun, Area Representative Honorable Manuel Heredia stated that because it is not a huge project, he had left the Town Council to follow up, specifically both councilors Justinano “Nano” Guerrero and Severo Guerrero. During a telephone interview, Councilor Severo Guerrero commented that there is no dredging taking place. “There should be no dredging,” stated Guerrero, “we are reviewing the application and looking at a number of things before we give a recommendation.”
According to Guerrero, the dredging application is for an area of seabed consisting of 75 feet by 25 feet with a depth of two feet. The main issue with the dredging application is the proximity of proposed dredging area to Mexico Rocks, a popular dive and snorkeling site in Ambergris Caye.