Reef Week Opens in San Pedro with beach clean up
Thursday, March 16th, 2017
Reef Week is an annual celebration featuring a week-long calendar of national events to promote sustainability within the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef. Under the theme, “Turn the Tide, Respect the Reef”, 2017’s Reef Week began on Friday, March 10th, seeking to create awareness in various environmental issues affecting Belize.
San Pedro Town participated on Sunday, March 12th, with a reef swim cleanup effort. At 7AM, many ocean conservationists dressed in snorkel gear gathered at the Isla Bonita Yacht Club’s dock. The participants swam to Central Park, while cleaning sea beds and picking up debris such as: bottles, engine parts, tires, old anchors, ropes, and other items.
According to Martin John Leslie, Reef Swim organizer, islanders showed their love for the environment by attending the event. “A lot of people came out, and they mainly cleaned the sea grass beds from in front of Belize Yacht Club to the Central Park-parallel to the Barrier Reef. Because many juvenile fish shelter in sea grass beds, cleaning them helps to protect the fish from predators,” said Leslie.
Leslie hopes that individuals become more responsible and dispose of all trash properly. He also calls on parents to educate their kids about throwing trash in its appropriate place, to help keep our beaches clean.
On Monday, March 13th, Oceana in Belize and the Belize Coalition to Save our Natural Heritage acknowledged a mural painted by artist Valentino Caliz at Oasis del Caribe. This ninth and final mural serves to educate the Belizean community about the effects of offshore oil drilling, as well as the impact it has on marine life.
Reef Week continues through Friday, March 17th with many activities, including more beach clean ups, parades, and movie nights. For more information on Reef Week or to view the full calendar of events, please visit Reek Week Belize via Facebook at www.facebook.com/reefweekbelize