As Oceana brought together island residents to show their objection to offshore oil exploration, The Hol Chan Marine Reserve office created awareness on the importance of the reef by hosting week-long activited during Reef Week last week. The Week served as a part of the environmental education program where the primary objective is to have students learn about Belize's coastal and marine resources in a fun and rewarding manner.
The week's activities were celebrated under the theme "Protect our Belizean Sea; Keep the Reef Alive and Free" and included a trivia competition that tested island student's knowledge of the reef and marine resources, Marine Fair at Central Parkfor students to learn more about Hol Chan Marine Reserve, Bacalar Chico Reserve, Belize Wildlife Conservation Network and other protected areas in Belize and a Sunday Activity Day that included a triathlon competition and fun activties for the entire family.
For their part, the Hol Chan Marine staff and volunteers conduted beach cleanups, installed mooring bouys at Mexico Rocks Reserve and conducted an in-water cleanup at Hol Chan Marine Reserve throughout the entire week. An amateur Lionfish Culling competition had to be cancelled due to rough sea conditions that persisted the entire week.
The Hol Chan Marine Reserve Office has hosted Reef Week since 2005 with the help of the business community and other non-profit organizations. Activities in the past have included Beach Clean Ups, Lion Fish round up/Cook Off, Educational Tours, Trivia Competitions, Skit competitions and Movie nights.
Below are highlights of Reef Week 2015 (May 11-17) in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize:
Trivia Cometition Winners - 2nd Place Faith Noel of Island Academy, 1st Place Janellie Mas of Caye Caulker R.C. School and 3rd Place Nin Li of New Horizon Academy
Marine Fair held at Central Park
Mooring buoys that were installed at Mexico Rocks Reserve
Beach Cleanups held at various locations on Ambergris Caye