Coral reefs are very delicate environments that are currently becoming increasingly threatened all over the world, especially the mesoamerican barrier reef system, due to coastal developments, pollution & hurricanes. The federal government is undertaking an ambitious coral reef aquaculture program to restore the reef ecosystem, which, done alongside the preservation work conducted by local NGOs will be vital to the reefs sustainability as well as marine life it supports.
The Yucatan peninsula has a rich biodiversity that is threatened by the expanding development of the tourist industry. In only 35 years, the population grew 1220%! Development in most of the areas surrounding the reefs are having negative effects on the ecosystems and freshwater supplies, this is due to the lack of updated data regarding the marine ecosystems that can be integrated into the management plans. This negatively impacts the health of the reef as there are more coral diseases etc.
There are a number of different programs being conducted around the Yucatan peninsula such as; creating no-fishing zones, developing integrative coral reef stress response, monitoring the reefs, coral restoration and creating policies that will help the marine environment. This project aims to assist these programs by conducting research and gathering data around these areas as well as helping to rebuild and restore these incredible reefs.
Working with local partners, together we intend to identify, protect and preserve areas with high biodiversity, as well as those ones that are essential to maintain the ecological processes of the species. Restore areas of the reef that have been negatively impacted by placing coral nurseries and monitoring their evolution. Developing management plans for the region, to work on capacity building and environmental education with the locals to ensure the protection and survival of these ecosystems