Leonardo DiCaprio to Open Eco-Tourism Island

Leonardo DiCaprio to Open Eco-Tourism Island in Belize

World-renowned actor Leonardo DiCaprio is set to open an eco-tourism island on a private island in Belize. The 104-acre island is set to open in 2018 and will focus on manatees and restoring the natural species both on land and in the water.

The island will be a resort for tourists and a conservation center for scientists. “The main focus is to do something that will change the world,” DiCaprio noted to the New York Times. “I couldn’t have gone to Belize and built on an island and done something like this, if it weren’t for the idea that it could be groundbreaking in the environmental movement.”

The empty island, called Blackadore Caye, cost DiCaprio US $1.75 million dollars and was severely damaged from over-fishing and tree-cutting by local fisherman.

DiCaprio spent 10 years finding partners to help him build the eco-tourism island and finally found architect Jason McLennan of McLennan Design, who is the founder of the Living Building Challenge.

The first step in the process of transforming the island is to remove the invasive species and add back the native mangrove trees. Next marine grass will be planted to support the manatees.

For tourists looking to have a stay on the island there will be 68 villas built on special platforms on the water in addition to 48 houses constructed on the beach.

The goal is to heal the local habitat while including tourists while keeping up to 45% of the island reserved for conservation and growth of local plants and animals.

This is a great example of how celebrities can use their status and wealth to make a difference on the planet.

Photo: McLennan Design

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