Sunday, November 23, 2008

Mangroves,, what Mangroves??? I don't see no Mangroves,,,

This morning I added a new blog to the growing list of interesting blogs. Our buddy Tim Smith has been busy. Tim is a biologist who is passionate about the lagoon. He teams up with Friends of Nature, World Wildlife Fund folks and I believe some others and they do what they can to monitor and help preserve the Placencia lagoon for its own good. They study the water conditions, the plant life, the condition and abundance of fish species just to mention a few. It was these folks who allowed me to go along when they tagged some manatees a few months ago. They check the plants on the bottom that the manatees eat and try to determine if they will keep visiting. They even gather manatee poop and see if those plants are in it.
Yesterday we got an email saying how a group of concerned citizens went out and planted 3,000 mangrove seeds. Everyone felt real good about giving something back to the ‘earth’. I thought it seemed like a very worthwhile gesture as well. But, as I was reading the e-mail, I heard that all too familiar rumbling racket as I looked out the window and saw a truck with a trailer hauling a huge dredger, mangrove remover heading south. Those baby mangroves have as much of a chance of surviving this development explosion as a cold Belikin would if it was placed in front of me! Fuckin slim!
A lot of people are very concerned about the preservation of the peninsula. Trouble is, a lot of people are very concerned about stuffing their bank accounts too! Every inch of Belize is looked at as a possible money machine. And a lagoon don’t generate no money. You need to use it, exploit it.
Not too long ago you didn’t see any dredgers out in the lagoon. Today, I bet there are between 10 and 15 of them going to town out there. Not only are they filling in areas for buildings, they are using it as a quarry to mine sand and haul it elsewhere.
A rep from the DOE told us that ‘the fish love it’! OK,, how can you argue that?
The GOB is changing the face of Belize, the reputation it has as an eco-destination, everything that has attracted visitors for years, trade all that for the complete opposite type of visitor. The ones who want all inclusive, casinos’s, malls, and golf.
Don’t get me started,,,,,

I’ve put a dozen vampires into A.A.


Anonymous said...

NO! Don't get him started!
I want more pictures.

sandy A. said...

YEah, more pics.
Does TIm's organization that is directly involved with the lagoon preservation have a website? If so, please post the link, or send it to me.

Rabbitmoon said...

sandy A. said...

Thnx Rabbitmoon

Anonymous said...

The destruction of the Mangroves and the mining for sand in the lagoon is going to destroy the viabilty of the pensinsula, the lagoon and the supply of fish.


bananavida said...

RIGHT ON BARN!!! You should send that into the Amandala.

T. Brook Smith said...

So this is where all the troublemakers hang out!

Bill, there are a lot of people in high places who agree with the idea of making the lagoon a protected area. The reef has gotten bad enough now that the need for better conservation is irrefutable. The reef has been beaten into hamburger and now everyone knows it.

When you have 53% of something that earns over 500 million dollars a year in POOR condition and only 6% of it in GOOD condition and NONE of it in VERY GOOD condition, things have gotten dire.

Eyes in very high places are popping at how bad things have gotten...

...and I'd like to borrow some of your photos if you don't mind.

Lola said...

Oh gawd Barn that flag got me so depressed...