Preserving The Rich Gra Gra Lagoon National Park
Gra Gra Lagoon National Park is situated close to the coast just beneath the seaside town of Dangriga, the capital of the Stann Creek District. In Belize, national parks are areas created for the protection and preservation of natural and aesthetic options that come with national significance for the people. Therefore, they are regions of recreation and tourism, in addition to environmental protection. They are administered by the Forest Department and managed through partnership agreements with community-based non-governmental organizations.
Gra Gra Lagoon National Park Covers 1,200 Hectares
The park was established in 2002 and covers almost 1,200 hectares. The shallow brackish lagoon of 300 meters may be the centerpiece of the park however the protected area also contains the higher area of the surrounding mangrove system, excepting that on the seaward shore. The mangrove grades into swamp forest and lowland forest on the inland side. They are patches of tall herbaceous swamp behind the beach-crest close and entering the park boundary and large regions of freshwater reed swamps in the forested swamplands.
Gra Gra Lagoon was established as National Park underneath the National Parks System Act of 1981. The classification of ‘National Park '; suggests that the region is declared for the protection and preservation of natural and scenic values of national significance for the enjoyment and benefit of the overall public. As a result, Gra Gra National Park conforms to IUCN Category II. Based on the National Park Systems Act, allowed activities in the national park are research, tourism and education. As a national park, statutory responsibility for site management lies with the Forest Department. Day-to-day administration has, however, been devolved via a formal co-management agreement to Friends of Gra Gra, an area community group.