The mangroves at Sittee Point have been identified by scientists
as being the tallest in the entire Neotropics and to me that puts
them at an interest level rivaling nearby Victoria Peak and the
Cockscomb Jaguar Preserve. In Belize, it seems nearly impossible
for a tourist to see any primary growth jungle, yet it is still
easy to see some magnificent and globally significant mangroves
at Sittee Point.
The entire area is under development pressure. I have been
Anderson Lagoon, until recently one of the most quiet, peaceful,
remote places in Belize, will be the site of a large marina.
The boat channel that has been
dredged on the north side of Sittee Point is one of the less
eye-pleasing places this side of Newark, New Jersey. Giant houses
continue to go up near Sittee Point, and the mangroves continue
to come down. Up the Sittee River, clearing of the riverbanks
seems entirely unregulated, and a massive new development is
being built along the river a few miles from the coast. All
of these issues facing one of Belize's few navigable rivers,
so close to the cayes. The jungle alongside the river is, and
should remain, an important tourist attraction in its own right.
We own a home along the river and are most willing to abide
applicable regulations, and more.
The south side of Sittee Point is, I have heard (without verification)
by the wife of a local government official - perhaps a local
development. This sounds very much like a conflict of interest.
I know Belize
needs economic growth, but developing (and thereby destroying)
world-class mangroves would be a classic case of killing the
goose that lays the
Belize is deservedly famous for having better environmental
environmental consciousness than its neighbors. Sittee Point,
with its world-class mangroves, should not be developed. If
there is any area that should be
saved by your laws against wholesale destruction of the mangroves,
this is it.
The area should be kept as a tourist and scientific attraction,
and left to
provide protection for the shore and the coral reefs. I hope
that someone in
Belize Government will step forward and help protect this treasure.
Sherborn, MA, USA