Belize Association of
Seems everyone on the coast or at the cayes has an itch to dredge.
Need fill for your low-lying lot on the Placencia Lagoon? Why, just apply to dredge a marina - easy to get your fill that way (unscrupulous real estate agents are even advertising property using the marina/fill scheme as a hook to get potential buyers).
Own a small caye you want to make into a bigger caye - why, just dredge! (Bigger caye, bigger asking price. Bigger caye - more money from your brand new caye resort!)
Building a concrete house - well cement needs sand, so you order some sand, meaning someone needs to dredge that sand up from somewhere.
So, what's the problem with dredging? Unfortunately, there are many of them:
A dredging/ mining permit is required to dredge any body of water in Belize. However, permits are easy to obtain, especially for lagoons and rivers, and no environmental review is needed unless permission is requested to dredge more than 50,000 cubic yards. As might be imagined, dredging permits applications routinely ask for permission to dredge 45,000 - 49,000 cubic yards, but never 50,000 or more except for very large projects.
Further, no one keeps track of how much is actually dredged once dredging begins. PCSD has been trying to over a year to find out how much has been dredged from the Lagoon at the Peninsula Club site, but Geology just ignores the requests. A request for information about dredging at a number of sites in the Placencia area has recently been made under the Belize Freedom of Information Act.
In the Placencia area, dredging is becoming a very sensitive issue and the Placencia Village Council recently refused to endorse a project that would have involved dredging to fill in a portion of the Placencia Lagoon for a residential subdivision.
Peninsula Citizens for Sustainable Development