Belize Association of
Coalition to Save
A checkered development history has followed Hatchet
Caye, a small caye located 18 miles east of Placencia
and a few miles northwest of the Silk Cayes.
The Environmental Compliance Plan (ECP) for the development is signed by DOE and Doug Ingersoll, as Director of Hatchet Caye Limited.
Dredging to be done around the island involves dredging of areas in which coral reef is located, ostensibly to obtain enough fill to raise the low lying areas of Hatchet Caye to 3-5 feet above mean sea level and for filling of geo-tubes for use as shore protection.
Also, Section 3.03.4 of the ECP requires siltation curtains to be installed around the dredge site to limit sediment plume development to 100 meters from the point of excavation. No siltation curtains are evident in the picture below.
DOE also approved a helipad for the resort, which doesn't bode well for permit and bonefish currently found around the caye. (Permit are spooky - and anglers on the prowl for one when a helicopter starts its engines are liable to be more than annoyed - and not likely to come back again for more ruined fishing.) However, a person close to the development does not think a helipad will ever be built.
Section 3.03.6 of the ECP requires the developer to ensure that appropriate shore protection measures are implemented, including the use of geo tubes. Section 3.01.2 requires leaving all vegetation on the perimeter of the island in its natural state.
Section 3.03.3(c) requires the developer to minimize impacts to the coral reef structures surrounding the Caye, and, where possible, to relocate corals to areas outside the defined dredge area.
ECP Section 3.03.7 requires the developer to install a dewatering area on Hatchet Caye with geotextile berms around the perimeter of the dewatering area to mitigate siltation from run-off.
The ECP states that trash will be transported to the mainland for disposal, most probably in the Placencia landfill. Sewage will be treated by a package sewage system, but the ECP fails completely to regulate disposal of sludge from the system, not even to extent of prohibiting its disposal in the Caribbean Sea.
Electricity will come from a solar system and two back-up generators. Hazardous waste (including the batteries for the solar system) are to be transported to the mainland for disposal by a certified or approved contractor, of which Belize has none, meaning hazardous waste most likely will be dumped in the Placencia landfill.
DOE did not require an EIA or any public consultation before approval of the expansion of Harvest Caye. Peninsula communities received no notice of the proposed development.
Peninsula Citizens for Sustainable Development