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The Calabash Caye Field Station (CCFS) was established on September 27, 1995 and is Belize’s first nationally owned and managed marine research facility. Since 2009, the University of Belize Environmental Research Institute (UB ERI) has been in charge of the field station providing marine science education to both Belizean students and foreign students and continues to host numerous visiting groups and researchers.

The ERI has also developed various monitoring and research programs which feed directly into management of the Turneffe Atoll Marine Reserve.



The CCFS is located in the Turneffe Atoll. Turneffe is the largest of three offshore atolls within the Belize Barrier Reef system, the world's second longest barrier reef, which stretches 280 km. The Atoll is approximately 33 miles east of Belize City and covers approximately 850 sq. km.

The field station sits on a 5 acre plot on Calabash Caye in the south eastern portion of Turneffe. Travel time from Belize City to the field station varies from 1-3 hours depending on the vessel and weather conditions.


Calabash Caye has a dense cover of coconut trees, Mature palm forest and littoral forest and is fringed by red, black, and white mangroves.  On the eastern, exposed side, there is a well-developed fringing reef separated from the shore by shallow seagrass beds. The mangrove, seagrass and reef habitats within the atoll are still relatively healthy and intact.

The atoll provides habitat for a number of threatened and endangered species including the American crocodile, Hawksbill sea turtle, Antillean manatee and Nassau grouper. It also has endemic species such as the White Spotted toadfish found nowhere else in Belize or the world.


The CCFS facilities consists of a large kitchen and dining room, lecture hall, a dorm and 2 cabanas which can accommodate 26 persons, a small dry and wet lab with a constant water flow, a shower house, a composting toilet facility, a dive locker, and tool and compressor sheds.

There is also a 100-foot pier and docking space for up to eight boats. A small reference library and multimedia equipment, including a LCD projector, are also available. It is advisable that visiting researchers bring their own specialized equipment. The station has a 24 hour power supply system produced by solar panels, wind turbine and a backup generator. Existing nature trails provide access to the mangroves and lagoon.

Calabash Caye has a dense cover of coconut trees, Mature palm forest and littoral forest and is fringed by red, black, and white mangroves.  - See more at: http://eriub.org/calabash-caye-field-station/environment.html#sthash.DNwaGULA.dpuf
The CCFS is located in the Turneffe Atoll, the largest of thre offshore atolls of the Belize Barrier Reef which stretches 280 km and is the second largest barrier reef in the world. - See more at: http://eriub.org/calabash-caye-field-station/location.html#sthash.S5boEktJ.dpuf

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