Celebrating our Ocean Hero 2017

October 03 14:49 2017 Print This Article

The Ocean Hero award began as a way for Oceana to recognize and celebrate exceptional accomplishments in ocean conservation, advocacy and education. Past Belizean recipients include Lionel “Chocolate” Heredia of Swallow Caye Wildlife Sanctuary, Dr. Melanie Dotherow McFieldLisa Barbara Carne, Jamal GalvesMiguel Alamilla, Captain Romi Badillo, Janet Gibson and Wil Maheia.

Career tour guide and conservation educator, Luz Hunter has been exploring the wilds of Belize most of her life. Her youthful awareness of respect for wildlife and the importance of the sustainable use for the marine environment led her to a career in the tourism industry. Over the last three decades, Luz has earned the respect of both local and international university professors and industry regulators who rely on her encyclopedic knowledge of the local flora and fauna to educate students as well as fellow Belizeans working towards tour guides licenses. Hunter is also a tireless advocate for turtles and manatees, often dedicating much of her personal time and resources to clean-up initiatives on nesting beaches and fearlessly calling out speeding boats for their role in an increasing number of manatee deaths. Hunter shared the award with her faithful volunteers and said, “I am using my voice to speak for creatures like the turtle and the manatee. My goal is to have people understand how we can affect the environment less, their home less, than to have them adjust to us. That’s what visitors to this country are attracted to, so whatever we do to those creatures, we do to ourselves.”