US Phone: 305-600-2585

Our Partners in Ecology: Research & Education

Long Caye at Lighthouse Reef

A Belize Eco-Development

Itza Lodge is a proud member of the Long Caye at Lighthouse Reef community, visit their site at

Long Caye at Lighthouse Reef is an eco-development company committed to building a sustainable community on Long Caye, and to the preservation and protection of Long Caye and the surrounding Lighthouse Reef Atoll.  

“As stewards in this beautiful Caribbean atoll, we see no value in sacrificing any ecological standards or compromising our core principals as we pursue our community and development goals. We take a long-term, balanced approach to building, conservation and community on Long Caye, through the mindful, yet aggressive, adoption of leading edge technologies and our global eco-guidelines.

We believe that balanced outcomes happen when people, passion and technology team up with nature to create an extraordinary living and visiting experience.”

“Itza Resort is a perfect, true-to-life example of what can happen when people embrace both business and the environment in a great eco-resort in a spectacular location.”

If you are interested in the development project on Long Caye and would like to visit, build a home, or create a legacy for generations to come, inquire at

The Lighthouse Reef Conservation Institute

Itza Lodge partners with Lighthouse Reef Conservation Institute (LRCI) in welcoming academic and research guests to Long Caye.

LRCI has it’s base of operations on Long Caye, and in Vermont, USA.  It is an NGO recognized in both Belize and the US that is dedicated to the preservation and sustainability of Long Caye and the Lighthouse Reef Atoll.

The goal of the oranization is to improve the course of general human impact on this ecologically sensitive, scientifically significant, and economic and culturally important ecosystem.  For LRCI, building sustainability and resilience means helping people work together in harmony more like an ecosystem, and targeting the long-term viability of diverse, natural communities, upon which our mutual survival depends.

Along with education and research, establishing a long-term environmental monitoring program and cultural health index is a priority, with baseline data to track changes to the ecosystems as they occur.

LRCI was established, along with the Long Caye Preserve (210+ acres) to scientifically monitor the Long Caye at Lighthouse Reef environmental plan with a base of enforceable “global” eco-guildelines, and to promote marine and terrenstrial research in the Lighthouse Reef Atoll.

Itza Resort proudly supports the non-profit Lighthouse Reef Conservation Institute by providing open-air thatched roof classroom space for its academic groups. The institute offers the classroom to college and university groups who come to study eco-related topics:

  • Leadership and Sustainability
  • GIS mapping
  • Marine Biology
  • Lighthouse Reef Atoll ecology, coral reef & mangrove systems and human interaction with the enviroment.

The Ocean Foundation

The Lighthouse Reef Conservation Institute partners with The Ocean Foundation in several of its programs, including Green Resort Partnerships and Friends of Lighthouse Reef Conservation Institute services.

The Ocean Foundation (TOF) is a unique community foundation with a mission to support, strengthen, and promote those organizations dedicated to reversing the trend of destruction of ocean environments around the world. Our slogan is…

“Tell Us What You Want To Do For The Ocean, We Will Take Care Of The Rest.”

We work with a community of donors who care about the coasts and oceans. In this manner, we grow the financial resources available to support marine conservation in order to promote healthy ocean ecosystems and benefit the human communities that depend on them.

The Ocean Foundation operates using a well-established business model (the community foundation) to serve donors and partners interested in marine conservation. TOF does this by increasing the capacity of conservation organizations, hosting projects and funds, and supporting those working to improve the health of ocean species globally. To do this, TOF raises millions of dollars each year to support marine conservation. These funds come from individuals, corporate donors, private foundations, and governments. We meet our mission through five lines of business: Fiscal Sponsorship Fund services, Field of Interest Grantmaking Funds, Green Resort Partnerships, Committee and Donor Advised Funds, and Consulting services.

The Belize Audubon Society

The Belize Audubon Society (BAS) is the steward and manager of these spectacular Belize Natural Monuments and UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Since its formation in 1969, the Belize Audubon Society has been Belize’s foremost environmental organization protecting Belize’s precious natural resources while educating the public about their value and sustainable use. BAS has grown from an all-volunteer organization with 55 charter members to a Society of over 1,400 members and a staff of more than 40 dedicated professionals.

The Belize Audubon Society (BAS) is a strategic leader in building a nation in which people in Belize respect, live in harmony with and benefit from the environment.

To read more about birdwatching and birds in Belize, please visit the Belize Audubon Society website.

We Love Research: The Mangrove Rivulus

“We are a team of Canadian and American biologists who visited Itza Lodge and Long Caye for 2.5 fantastic weeks of fieldwork. We work on an amazing little fish called the mangrove rivulus, Kryptolebias marmoratus. As its name suggests, this fish lives in mangroves throughout Belize, Central America and as far north as Florida. It is such fascinating fish because it can survive in environmental extremes of temperature, oxygen, salinity and hydrogen sulphide (toxic to most animals). It is also the only known vertebrate hermaphrodite. It has both male and female bits and can self-fertilize! If that’s not enough, this fish can also breathe air through its skin and will often jump out of water, stuck to exposed mangrove roots. In the dry season, these fish will pack up in damp logs and can be out of water for months!…READ MORE


Watch this Space – more info to come soon!


Many other institutions have participated in research on and around Long Caye.  This space will be updated soon with more information about our ongoing commitment to the Lighthouse Reef Model for Sustainability + Resilience ™, and how it connects Community, Culture and Conservation on the Caye.

Some of our long term partners include Wake Forest University, Stanford University, University of Denver, University of Alabama, Boston University Marine Program and many more.  Look for updates on these partners activities in our emails on on this page.

Below are links to some recent letters of support written about Lighthouse Reef and the work of Sharkology Research Belize.

Infofish Support Letter

Northern Kentucky Support Letter