He has shown himself to be quite a philanthropist. And Leonardo DiCaprio is planning to improve the ecosystem of an entire island in his latest crusade as an environmental activist.
The 40-year-old actor is launching a project that will transform a small island off the coast of Belize into an eco-resort and conservation area.
According to a report in the New York Times, the Wolf of Wall Street star and a partner bought the 42-hectare Blackadore Caye nearly a decade ago for $1.75 million.
He recently teamed up with Paul Scialla, chief executive of New York development firm Delos, to create the eco-conscious resort, with plans to open in 2018.
“It was like heaven on earth,” DiCaprio said of his visit in 2005. “And almost immediately, I found this opportunity to buy an island there.”
The ambitious project they will call “Blackadore Caye, a Restorative Island,” will be much like many other luxury resorts and include sprawling villas, infinity pools and beautiful views.
Not only will the island revitalise its visitors, but also help restore the land itself, as it has endured deterioration from over-fishing, deforestation and an eroding coastline. DiCaprio and his partners aim to rehabilitate the ecosystem of the area.
Renderings of the ambitious project show an arc-shaped platform with villas over the water with artificial reefs and fish shelters underneath.
Other features will include a nursery that will grow indigenous marine grass to support a manatee conservation area and mangrove trees replanted to replace invasive species.
The plan is to build 68 resort villas and 48 private houses. Some are expected to sell privately, for $5m to $15m (R59m to R177m) each. Others will be available to guests.Daily Mail