Brand new backhoe donated to San Pedro Town Council to combat Sargassum

Friday, July 5th, 2019

To combat the high influx of sargassum on Ambergris Caye, the Belize Tourism Board, Belize Rural South Area Representative Honorable Manuel Heredia Jr and the Government of Belize donated a backhoe to the San Pedro Town Council. The brand-new backhoe is estimated to have cost $150,000 and is expected to assist the SPTC in removing the tons of sargassum that accumulates on the shorelines of the island.
This phenomenon, which affects the entire Caribbean, has been attributed to the overabundance of high nutrient levels in the ocean and the increased temperature of the water. It has been traced to the inappropriate disposal of industrial waste and agricultural runoff by developed countries, which causes the seaweed to thrive. The sargassum that continues to plague Belize is believed to originate from South America, where nutrient-rich run-off from industries and agricultural fertilizers into the sea is taking place due to heavy deforestation. All this flow of nutrients into the sea makes it ideal for the rapid amassing of sargassum. As the mats grow larger, currents take the seaweed to the Caribbean region, where the warm waters add to an even better environment for its expedient growth. This increase in bloom has been recorded since 2014.

The SPTC is grateful for the donation and gives special thanks to the GOB in waiving all taxes, such as environmental tax, general sales tax, and import taxes.

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