Seawall construction at Cayo Rosario halted via stop order
Friday, October 16th, 2020
A stop order has been issued against the construction of a seawall on the west side of Cayo Rosario. Developers were also ordered to cease filling the area behind the seawall using material from outside the immediate area. The discovery was made by personnel of the Hol Chan Marine Reserve (HCMR), who acted on behalf of the Fisheries Department. They were accompanied by staff from the Physical Planning Unit when they investigated the issue on Wednesday, October 14th.
According to a post from Hol Chan, their team visited Cayo Rosario on Friday, October 9th, after receiving reports of activity taken place on the mangrove island. They confirmed that a seawall was under construction, and people were observed working in the area. Although dredging within the Conservation Zone of the HCMR was not observed at the time, the workers were immediately asked to cease all activities.
Following the inspection on Wednesday, it was established that the relevant authorities issued no permits, and as such, these activities are illegal. According to HCMR, they will monitor the area to ensure that the unauthorized works do not resume. Meanwhile, an investigation is being conducted to see if further actions will be taken.
Lately, similar illegal activities have been reported along the northwest coast of Ambergris Caye. Another project currently halted by a stop order is a construction site, which is an alleged subdivision comprising of several lots along the coast. The management team at HCMR found no permits from relevant authorities, including the Mining Unit, which authorizes dredging, nor was the project approved by the Department of Environment (DOE) to do anything on the ground. Following a recent inspection involving DOE, Mining Unit, Fisheries Department and HCMR, each entity is yet to release their own assessments or establish a case.
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