Visitors will get a chance to learn about the ecology, animal species, and plant life of this marine paradise.

NEW YORK (June 9, 2010) – The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) announced today the opening of The Beck Interpretive Trail located at WCS’s Glover’s Reef Research Station, Middle Cay, Belize.  The Trail offers information about the ecology, wildlife, and plant life on and around the 14-acre island. Through strategically placed graphics, visitors can gain insight into how the island was formed by the surrounding coral reefs, and the importance of protecting this seascape.  

The Beck Interpretive Trail has been realized thanks to the generosity of Melinda Beck Frost in recognition of her parents, Joyce and Robert Beck It was designed by WCS’s Exhibition and Graphic Arts Department in collaboration with the WCS marine conservation program.

“The Beck Interpretive Trail teaches visitors that it is essential to preserve Glover Reef, all while looking out at spectacular views of the ocean, wildlife, reef crest, and native vegetation,” said Caleb McClennen, director of the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Marine Programs. “This seascape is home to hundreds of marine species and the trail will help us promote long-term conservation through training and education.”

Glover’s Reef lies 28 miles off the coast of Belize.  It is the largest coral reef in the western hemisphere and home to sea turtles, sharks, rays, and many fish species.  In 1993, WCS established Glover’s Reef Marine Reserve, partnering with the government of Belize to protect the area.  Facing problems of overfishing, pollution and unregulated tourism, in 1996 the Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is now protected.   The WCS research station opened in 1997.

WCS has worked to improve conservation and protect the biodiversity of the reef system by promoting eco-tourism to the area.  Researchers, students, and members of the public can stay at the research station to study and explore this richly diverse seascape.  

Additional support was provided by Claude Kinnoull. 

Stephen Sautner: (1-718-220-3682;
John Delaney: (1-718-220-3275;
Sophie Bass: (1-718-220-6853;

The Wildlife Conservation Society saves wildlife and wild places worldwide.  We do so through science, global conservation, education and the management of the world's largest system of urban wildlife parks, led by the flagship Bronx Zoo.  Together these activities change attitudes toward nature and help people imagine wildlife and humans living in harmony.  WCS is committed to this mission because it is essential to the integrity of life on Earth.

Special Note to the Media: If you would like to guide your readers or viewers to a web link where they can make donations in support of helping save wildlife and wild places, please direct them to: