Leonardo DiCaprio has slammed Belize resort program worth over $1.75 million by activists who say it is “disgusting and disastrous”.

LEONARDO DiCaprio’s proposed eco-resort on an island he bought off the coast of Belize would be an ecological “disaster,” activists have warned.

Scientists at leading fisheries conservation organization Bonefish & Tarpon Trust are begging the Oscar winner to save the wild, uninhabited 104-hectare Blackadore Caye sandbar.

Leonardo DiCaprio (pictured) has been accused of plotting to allow a

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Leonardo DiCaprio (pictured) has been accused of plotting to allow a “catastrophic” development on a tropical islandPhoto credit: Getty
The movie star bought the island off the coast of Belize

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The movie star bought the island off the coast of BelizeCredit: Coleman-Rayner

The 48-year-old Wolf of Wall Street star and environmental activist acquired the land with a partner for $1.75 million in 2005 after a diving trip to Belize’s coral reefs.

Initial plans to open a luxury “eco-resort” there in 2018 and again in 2020 have been postponed and a source told The US Sun that no development is currently underway or planned.

But activists have fought back claims that the program’s planned attractions — villas, world-class restaurants and a Deepak Chopra center for renewal and anti-aging — are “restorative” and will “heal” the island.

They say if the extravagant project goes ahead, it will be a disaster for marine life in the waters around the Caye, which attracts fly fishermen who bring in Belize $55 million annually.

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dr Aaron Adams, director of science and conservation for the Miami-based Bonefish & Tarpon Trust, angrily told The US Sun in an exclusive interview: “To call this a ‘restorative’ is greenwashing.

“It will be a disaster – the destruction of habitat that is an attack on fisheries.”

dr Adams warned of problems ranging from dredging, which he says is planned to build sandy beaches on the island’s shores, to pollution and noise from boat traffic when the resort is complete.

He said: “The fish are being driven away and the waters are being contaminated.

“The responsibility is to donate the island as a marine sanctuary so it’s protected forever.”

Aerial photos from last year show empty land with just a few dilapidated wooden structures.

The images show the island lined with dying palm trees and the shoreline covered in green algae.

“TOTAL HYPOCKER”

One activist explained how a local-led campaign tried to get DiCaprio to abandon the project.

They told The US Sun: “We ran a Defend Blackadore Caye page on Facebook with a photo showing him being effigy hung.

“People were angry. They were really thrown out of shape by the idea that he would ‘cure’ us by building an over-the-top resort for rich people.

A leader of the protest, tour operator Rebecca Arceo, added, “For DiCaprio, calling this plan green is just a selling point.

“In my opinion, he is a complete hypocrite. Fly fishing is big business for the tourism industry in Belize. Calling his plan green is absolutely disgusting.”

With no sign of bulldozers advancing, opponents were satisfied that the island had been saved.

However, a source close to the developers told The US Sun that the project is not dead, and a travel industry website reported in August that it should now be completed by the end of 2023.

Website Top Hotel News reported that Covid lockdowns had caused construction to pause, but claimed the project “now has a Q4 2023 completion window”.

According to the website, Blackadore Caye will now have 116 rooms, including 68 villas, 48 ​​off-grid properties and a private clubhouse.

It says half the island has been designated as a nature reserve and intends to replant mangroves and replace invasive species with native species, while the development will be “entirely” powered by renewable energy.

DiCaprio told the New York Times when the development in partnership with New York City-based developer Delos was announced in 2015: “The main focus is on doing something that will change the world.

“I couldn’t have gone to Belize and built an island and done something like that if it wasn’t for the idea that it could be a game changer in the environmental movement.”

A website for the program states: “Originally acquired by Leonardo DiCaprio with a vision to create the future home of the greenest luxury development ever built – that vision is now a reality.

“Blackadore Caye is the world’s first truly restorative island development – a development powered entirely by renewable energy and designed to improve the biological health of species on the island and the waters around it.”

Activists claim the resort will be a disaster for marine life in the waters around the Caye

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Activists claim the resort will be a disaster for marine life in the waters around the CayeCredit: Coleman-Rayner
Aerial photos from last year show empty land with only a few dilapidated wooden structures

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Aerial photos from last year show empty land with just a few dilapidated wooden structuresCredit: Coleman-Rayner

https://www.the-sun.com/news/6888348/leonardo-dicaprio-belize-resort-scheme-endangers-wildlife/ Leonardo DiCaprio has slammed Belize resort program worth over $1.75 million by activists who say it is “disgusting and disastrous”.

DevanCole

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