FLIBS 2019
Varadero's Coral Reef
Varadero's Coral Reef

Varadero's Coral Reef

Varadero's Coral Reef off the coast of Colombia has what many consider to be a paradoxical existence, harboring high coral cover and rich biodiversity despite having poor water quality and sediments discharged during the last 500 years by the Canal del Dique, a 118 square kilometer canal connecting Cartagena Bay to the Magdalena River. The persistence of Varadero's Reef is currently threatened by a project to modernize Cartagena’s port, not only by the direct damage produced by the dredging of a new shipping lane through the reef, but also by the deterioration of water conditions associated with the operation and maintenance of the channel. The local scientific community has been studying these reefs, and recent international attention brings conservationists hope that action can be taken to protect what is perhaps the only surviving ecosystem in the now-polluted Bay of Cartagena.
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