January 21, 2010

Deep Search Expedition #3 is now underway. Team members Kip and John arrived this morning in Belize to begin filming and researching the natural habitats of this unique Central American nation, as well as to meet a number of Belizeans who are working hard to preserve its vital, fragile environment. Next week, Dr. Sylvia Earle arrives to speak at the launch of the University of Belize’s Environmental Research Institute’s new facility in the capital city of Belmopan. Later, Sylvia and the team will join our energetic conservation partner Birgit Winning of the Oceanic Society for a trip to Blackbird Cay, the Society’s newest PMPA (Private Marine Protected Area) project.
Our mission over the next two weeks will be to highlight the efforts of the people, NGOs and government leaders who are working to preserve the rich, diverse ocean environment off Belize’s shores. Home to earth’s second longest barrier reef—the Mesoamerican Reef system—this country of only 300,000 already plays an important role in protecting the blue heart of the planet.

As with all of our expeditions, we will produce a short video documentary to give viewers an understanding of the challenges and champions in this story. To that end, today Kip and John visited the ancient Mayan ruins of Altun Ha and the incredibly productive lagoons of Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary, home to countless species of migratory birds, fish and reptiles. Gazing at ibis, storks, egrets, herons, we were humbled and amazed…and hoped it was a taste of things to come.

Stay tuned for the next chapters of what we believe will be a very compelling story.

By John Racanelli

Photos by Kip Evans

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