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Can mangrove clearing negatively affect San Pedro

In recent years, Belize has become a popular tourist destination with records showing over fifty-five thousand overnight visitors in the month of March 2018.  With tourism comes the need for development which can negatively impact the environment if not managed carefully. Today the media caught up with Manuel Heredia Jr. the Area Representative for Belize Rural South and had the opportunity to ask him about mangrove clearing which has been taking place on the island.
Manuel Heredia – Area Representative for Belize Rural South: “There is one private one that I cannot give you information on that particular one because I do not know if they applied for a permit or if they went through the necessary procedures.  I believe that is for the owner of SP Hardware Ltd. I cannot give you information but I myself was quite amazed when I saw that operation over there. On the other side there is I believe there are fifteen plus seven, twenty-two lots that were surveyed over there. San Pedro is growing, there is not much solid land anymore on the island so we have to make use of whatever is available that is best used for residential that we can find today and hence there were 22 lots that were government lots that were issued over there and yes Sargassum is in abundance throughout the coastal areas of Belize. That is being used as fill to try to build it up to a certain height and that they will put sand or white mall or some other kind of material to make it more liveable.”
The clearing of mangrove on the island can make it more vulnerable to storms.