Ocean enthusiasts prize Mexico's pristine, multi-hued coral reefs. Hundreds of colorful fish species, sea urchins, starfish, and sea grasses share the reefs with an abundance of other magnificent sea creatures. But coastal development threatens reef destruction. AIDA is advocating for national and international authorities to remediate damage already caused at Veracruz Reef in the Gulf of Mexico, and to preserve the pristine Cabo Pulmo Reef in Baja California Sur.
To expand the Port of Veracruz, the government has modified the Natural Protected Area on a string of 27 reefs between six islands. Construction will damage the reef and the nearby Los Tuxtlas Biosphere Reserve which will be a source of rock for the port. At Cabo Pulmo a proposed resort threatens to bury a pristine reef with sediment, sewage, and industrial waste. Worse, a desalination plant needed to supply water to the complex will change the marine ecosystem by making the ocean too salty.
AIDA is advocating for increased protection of the Veracruz Reef System and remediation of damage caused by construction. We're also appealing for international assessment of the damage caused by the port expansion, and are calling on Mexico to halt the project. At Cabo Pulmo, we're pressing the Ministry to require an Environmental Impact Assessment that analyzes the effects of the 1,000-room hotel, infrastructure, and desalination plant, and to deny a permit if the reef will be damaged.
In Veracruz, the health of the coral reefs will improve and, hopefully, be able to sustain a vibrant and diverse ecosystem. In Cabo Pulmo, we aim to preserve the health, diversity and overall integrity of the coral reefs. We also aim to incentivize Mexico's government to prevent the consideration and approval of future projects that damage coral reefs and ocean health.