Saving the Underwater Wonder World of Belize's Reef
Astonishingly, although coral reefs form just one percent of the world's oceans, they are home to a staggering one-quarter of all marine life. But this incredible marine diversity belies a simple fact: coral reefs are also very fragile ecosystems. Pollution, destructive fishing practices, agricultural runoff, and climate change can easily devastate coral reefs, threatening the delicate balance of marine life as well as wreaking havoc on the local economy.
The good news is that the government of Belize is taking strong measures to preserve the beauty of this underwater wonder world. At the end of 2017, the government imposed a complete ban on all oil exploration and extraction on the reef, a measure that resulted from a 2012 referendum in which 96% of Belizeans voted to freeze all offshore drilling and exploration activities despite the potential to provide a steady source of revenue for the developing nation.
"Along with the majority of the people in Belize, we strongly support conservation measures to protect the beauty and majesty of the reef," said Melanie Nicholson, general manager of the Belize Boutique Resort and Spa. "We not only offer a wide variety of tours of the reef for our guests but have sponsored several measures to help protect this vital natural resource."
The Belize Boutique Resort and Spa sponsors the "It's Cool to Be Smart!" program that helps travelers support the educational needs of pre-schoolers, elementary students, and high school students in the country. The program encourages incoming visitors from abroad to take advantage of extra space in their luggage to pack books, pens, pencils, flash cards, and other much-needed educational supplies which are then donated to local schools in Belize.
The resort has paired with the Maskall Preschool, Zion Park Elementary School, and King's College (a high school) in the nearby villages of Maskall and Santana to provide these vital school supplies and materials. The educational initiative helps local children learn more about the importance of the environment, including the wonder world of the reef, in order to appreciate and protect it for generations yet to come.