Happy Birthday Hol Chan Marine Reserve, Belize
News today of conditions in the marine environment seems mostly something to be dreaded; a litany of decline and morbidity. Whether it be the seemingly intractable force of ocean warming; ocean basin catastrophes like the BP oil spill; the bloody farce called “scientific” whaling by the Japanese; or simply the eerie appearance of lion fish in the Atlantic Basin, the marine conservationist — the enlightened observer, for that matter — can surely be forgiven for having adopted a protective shield of cynicism regarding the future of our planet and our ability to effectively address the challenges of conservation.
So, by way of relief from the weight of these troubles, it was a pleasure to hear of a birthday on July 2nd, happening in Belize, site of the greatest barrier reef in the Western Hemisphere. It was a birthday marking the authorization of the Hol Chan Marine Reserve, 25 years ago. Joining in the commemoration were Belizeans and ex-patriot friends of Belize from around the world. Among those friends, the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS).
The story of Hol Chan is laden with good news and useful guidelines for conservation efforts elsewhere. And there are several positive, encouraging themes in the tale. First, of course, is the marine reserve, itself. Hol Chan is exceedingly popular, heavily visited during the course of a year, yielding massive financial rewards to numerous stakeholders.
Read the full story here: Happy Birthday Hol Chan Marine Reserve, Belize