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Mesoamerican Reefs

The Mesoamerican Reef region lies in the Caribbean Sea, extending from Isla Contoy on the north of the Yucatan Peninsula to the Bay Islands of Honduras. It is the second-largest barrier reef on Earth and is home to more than 350 species of mollusk, 65 species of stony coral and 500 species of fish including the whale shark. It is also home to one of the world's largest population of manatees! This barrier reef in combination with coastal seagrass beds and mangrove forests provide protection from coastal storm erosion. Coastal development, rising water temperatures due to climate change, unregulated tourism, pollution and overfishing threaten the reef system, but the NGO's have been working with local coastal communities to find actionable solutions to these ongoing threats.

Protected Species

Mangrove forests Mollusks Seagrass beds Stony Coral Whale Sharks
Mesoamerican Reefs
"The photographs seen on this page were obtained by the Mission Blue Expeditions team. They have visited Hope Spots around the world, documenting these vibrant marine environments and engaging local stakeholders to protect them. Led by Dr. Sylvia Earle and Expeditions Director Kip Evans, these voyages explore our most critical ocean habitats and are designed to create awareness, foster partnerships and build broad public support for the creation of marine protected areas across the globe."

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