It isn’t just in Belize that we face these sorts of tough questions about dredging. There are plans to further dredge around Key West to accommodate Mega Cruise Ships. Here’s a fantastic video by Will Benson.
The Lower Keys Guide Association has this to say:
Harbor dredging: The cruise ship industry, and segments of Key West business support a new dredging project to widen the shipping channel in Key West Harbor so that the city can accommodate the arrival of “mega cruise ships”.
We stand adamantly opposed to this idea. Such a dredging project would negatively impact the health of the area’s ecosystem in ways that cannot be anticipated. This project could devastate our fishery; one that has yet to fully recover from the last such event in 2004. The area to be dredged is located in one of Key West’s prime tarpon staging areas off Ft Zachary Taylor. As tarpon fishing communities in Texas and Homosassa have learned, you can negatively affect the fishery to such a degree that the tarpon no longer frequent the area.
We believe that dredging Key West Harbor could very well be just such an event and the repercussions could be permanent and devastating.