The Environmental Conservation Organization (ECO) is a charitable company founded in Belize in 1995 whose objectives include:
Environmental Conservation Organization
In June 2007, ECOMAR was adopted as the team name for the group of divers/marine guides/researchers that entered the 2007 PACT Marine Challenge. MAR, Latin for "the sea" was prefixed after ECO since the activities undertaken during the PACT Marine Challenge and the future focus of ECO was the marine environment. Future plans for ECOMAR included:
From 1995-1996 ECO published ECO-Journal of Environmental Information. The Journal was a compilation of current events in conservation that were being undertaken by government and non-governmental organizations.
Our Adopt A School Library Program initiated by ECO in 1995 linked business and personal sponsors with schools and libraries throughout Belize, so that they could become members and receive a copy of the journal for use in the classroom or as reference material. ECO received many reports from teachers expressing their appreciation for this program since it helped keep them abreast of current events in Belize.
From 1996 to 2008 various research activities were conducted in the marine environment including:
The founders of ECOMAR are Linda & John Searle, who reside in Belize and the United States.
Linda is originally from Upstate New York and graduated from the University of Miami in 1990 with a bachelor’s degree in Biology. Immediately after graduating from the University of Miami she enrolled in NOVA’s Southeastern University Oceanographic Center to pursue a Master’s Degree in Marine Biology where her focus became sea turtles.
John Searle graduated from the University of South Florida in 1989 with a degree in Anthropology. Upon graduating he returned home to Belize where he worked in the field as an archaeologist. He also worked in his family’s tour business and organized archaeology trips to Belize for student groups. In 1996 John opened the first full service dive shop in Belize City.
Today John and Linda Searle still run the dive business, ECOMAR and recently opened the St. George's Caye Research Station & Field School.