The Belize Sea Goddess is latest Living Sculpture in the Sea project by The Marine Foundation and is their first for Belize and in the Western Hemisphere. The Eco art reef is created in collaboration with Roberts Grove Beach Resort, Placencia and local environmental group, SEA, Southern Environment Agency and will be installed during National Reef Week in Silk Caye Marine Reserve on March, Saturday 12th.
Designed by esteemed artist and Foundation’s founder, Celia Gregory and inspired by the ancient feminine symbol of fertility; the Sea Goddess was created with a local team. The artificial reef sculpture will become a living artwork, evolving over time, providing habitat for fish and coral and an emblem of nurturing and protection. This Collaborative project represents a positive and creative step in the protection of Belize’s marine habitat.
Belize is blessed with nature’s bounty perhaps the best being the Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System part of the Meso-American Barrier Reef System encompassing three coral Atolls and extensive back reef formations providing refuge for some of the last remaining spawning aggregations of endangered/threatened finfish such as the last remaining spawning aggregations of Nassau Grouper in the Caribbean. Local fisherfolk communities have utilized these areas for hundreds of years. The Marine Foundation takes great consideration in working closely with local expertise and infrastructure and ensures the artworks are positioned carefully to ensure no damage occurs to existing habitat and provides visibility to both guests & locals alike. SEA has successfully completed permission processes and we are thrilled the Sea Goddess will be placed within the Silk Caye Marine Reserve.
Our work and the installation of underwater Eco art helps communities and Local environment groups like SEA manage their marine resources at the same time support the marine garden sanctuary that is both an Eco-tourism destination and a marine protected area. Further sculptures can involve local artists creating further economic growth and local ownership. The implementation of community-led marine management strategies including no-take /replenishment zones, sustainable tourism and effective resource management around natural resources such as the Belize Barrier Reef is at the heart of all TMF projects.
Seas & Oceans have been a vital food source since the birth of mankind, we depend on their health, well-being and bounty; yet marine eco-systems all over the world are in rapid decline as trawling, construction, agricultural ‘run-off’, overfishing; Illegal, unreported & unregulated, all continue to deplete & degrade the Belizean Marine ecosystem affecting the health & fecundity of all species not ‘just’ commercially important ones. If we do not reverse these trends we will all suffer the consequences of our neglect.
The Marine Foundation’s creative, innovative approach to habitat restoration enables highly effective localized marine sustainability, engaging an international audience & galvanizing people from a wide variety of backgrounds & disciplines towards community based restoration and preservation initiatives & can only benefit species & stakeholders. We can all be part of the solution to marine habitat loss empowering local primary stakeholder’s ownership in restoration initiatives ensuring a healthy ocean for all future generations.