One of the questions our reservations team gets asked most frequently is “Do you have white sandy walk-in beaches at your resort?” Our answer is always “No”.
We then proceed to give a bit more details explaining why we, along with the majority of beachfront resorts and hotels in Belize, don’t have any plans to change that anytime soon.
Are you curious as to why we don’t have walk-in and clear-water beaches in Belize? It’s all about our ecosystem.
Seagrass is a vital part of a marine life’s ecosystem. Not only does it act alongside the Belize Barrier Reef as a buffer of protection from harsh weather and storms, it acts as a natural defense against erosion. The seagrass that lines the coast of Belize is also a nursery to millions of sea creatures that you’ve come to love about the waters in the Caribbean!
Ocean floors that do not have seagrass are extremely vulnerable to wave action from currents and storms, which cause beach erosion at a much faster rate than ocean floors that are covered with seagrass. This stabilization is important for the safety of beachfront establishments along the coastline.
More importantly, the seagrass provides an ecosystem support system that is quite complex. The seagrass is not only food for sea life like manatees and sea turtles, but it also houses organisms and also provides that are consumed by dolphins, fish, sharks, crabs, lobsters, conchs, rays, and so much more! What about when these creatures aren’t feeding on seagrass; what are they doing? Relaxing and growing! The relative safety provided by the seagrass provides an ideal home for young sea creatures to hide themselves from their predators! Eggs and larvae can also easily attach to the blades of seagrass, which provide natural safety until they hatch.
Not only for young creatures, you’ll often find many other creatures that live within the seagrass, such as conchs, crabs, lobsters, starfish, and sea urchins.
Finally, seagrass acts as a natural filter for a better water quality. Believe it or not, the seagrass is the reason why our waters are filled with greens and blue hues, rather than brown and muddy ones. With the types of currents and winds we have in Belize, the sea would be filled with sediment and particles floating around if not for the seagrass… In other words, our photos would be much different than what you currently capture while on the water!
All in all, the reason why our seagrass is so important is that many industries in Belize rely on the benefits that it provides for our country; more so than if resorts were to start dredging it to provide you with a walk-in beach with white sandy beaches.
Before you base your vacation on whether or not we have beautiful beaches like you’re used to in Mexico, the Bahamas, and Jamaica, stop to remember that our advantages for keeping the seagrass intact far outweigh the consequences of if we were to dredge it. Diving, snorkeling, and fishing in such beautiful waters are only possible because of the seagrass. Can you imagine Belize without those activities?
Educate yourself on why most resorts don’t focus on creating white sandy beaches. It’s not because we can’t do it. It’s because we simply don’t want to.