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00 MESOAMERICAN BARRIER REEF. Kirsten MacMillan . What is the Mesoamerican R eef?. Along the coast of Mexico, Honduras, Guatemala, and Belize. Largest coral reef in the western hemisphere - PowerPoint PPT Presentation




Along the coast of Mexico, Honduras, Guatemala, and Belize. Largest coral reef in the western hemisphereAmazing display of bio diversity, which is home to 65 species of stony coral, 350 species of mollusk and more than 500 species of fishMore than 724 km longWhat is the Mesoamerican Reef?

Farming and mining practices

Introduction of unwanted speciesTHREATS TO THE REEF

Pesticides used in farming cause immense damage to the Mesoamerican Reef.Pesticides reach the reef due to poor infrastructure and slopes and inclines near the waterCoral needs very special conditions to thrive, and clean water is crucialChemicals cause irreversible damage

FarmingAlong with its beautiful appearance, coral has many wasteful uses includingConcreteCalciumSouvenirs and jewelleryMedical uses

Coral souvenirs common in gift shops

Coral Mining

Coral mining is extremely damaging to the Mesoamerican reefReefs are built over thousands of years, and cannot grow back quicklyOther damage, like sand erosion and sedimentation occursThe loss of coral has huge economic factors, and has been determined to lose between $137,000 to $1.2 million dollars over 25 years per kilometer squared.Habitats for fish and other creatures are destroyedCoral Mining

Health of CoralThe after math of the BP oil spill had a huge affect on ecosystem in the surrounding area145 million barrels of oil has leaked since the spill, more than 2.5 million per dayMore than 8.300 species have been affected by the oil spillToxic chemicals were used to disperse the spill, resulting in even more damageCoral reefs rely on clean water, and the oil began to contaminate these, destroying portionsOil SpillVisualization of oil spill

When organisms are introduced to an area, it can cause devastation. This has occurred in the Mesoamerican reef, with things like the lion fish and crown of thorns.Introduction of unwanted species

Introduced in the 1990s after an aquarium was destroyed during a hurricaneExtremely evasive as it has no natural predatorsEfforts to reduce population were mainly ineffectiveThe lionfish breeds extremely quickly, and can release Studies have shown lionfish reduce the amount of coral fish by an estimated 80%

LionfishThe crown of thorns is the second largest sea star in the worldOutbreaks of crown of thorns cause devastating and unchangeable destruction when introduced to coral reefs, as they grow rapidly and stop other coral from being able to growSodium bisulphate can be injected to prevent over populationCrown of thornsDespite many terribly destructive influences to the Mesoamerican coral reef, there is a strong movement trying to keep the reefs alive.

Protective measures

Organizations like Healthy Reefs for healthy people work to educate, fundraise, and help protect the coral reefsAnnual report cards are produced which give detailed information on how the reefs are decliningCoral nurseries have been set up around Belize and Mexico that grow extremely endangered coral and have been very effectiveMexico, Guatemala, Belize and Honduras have all made agreements to protect the coral reefs and speciesProtective measures14Protected areas have been established that have made a huge impact on the health of the reef. In these areas, there are many protective features, including Maintaining endangered speciesProtecting habitatBanning excessive fishingLowering the rate of dangerous introduced species, like the lionfishProtective measuresThere has been seemingly irreversible damage done to the Mesoamerican reef, however with support we can keep this beautiful, bio diverse and crucial part of our ecosystem alive.Protective measures

Control of Lionfish in the Mesoamerican Reef - GlobalGiving. (n.d.). GlobalGiving: donate to projects in the developing world supporting education, health, women and children, and more. Retrieved June 27, 2011, from http://www.globalgiving.org/projects/control-of-invasive-lionfish-in-the-mar-reef/Healthy Reefs Healthy People - Healthy Reefs. (n.d.). Healthy Reefs Healthy People - Healthy Reefs. Retrieved June 27, 2011, from http://healthyreefs.orgICRAN. (n.d.). ICRAN. Retrieved June 27, 2011, from http://www.icran.org/Mayan riviera: Dive in the Mesoamerican Reef System. (n.d.). Riviera Maya Travel reservations rivieramaya playa del carmen cozumel tulum yucatan mayan location. Retrieved June 27, 2011, from http://www.rivieramaya.info/news/2008/02/dive-in-mesoamerican-reef-system.html

ReferencesNOAA Says Invasive Species Prevention and Control Focus Needed on Non-native Lionfish. (n.d.). NOAA Public, Constituent and Intergovernmental Affairs - HOME. Retrieved June 27, 2011, from http://www.publicaffairs.noaa.gov/releases2006/nov06/noaa06-r499-4.htmlNational Geographic Mesoamerican Reef: Animals, Photos, Video. (n.d.). National Geographic - Inspiring People to Care About the Planet Since 1888. Retrieved June 27, 2011, from http://www.nationalgeographic.com/wildworld/reef/reef.htmlPhysOrg Mobile: Efforts to spear invasive lionfish not likely to curb population, researchers say. (n.d.). PhysOrg Mobile: latest science and technology news. Retrieved June 27, 2011, from http://pda.physorg.com/news/2011-06-efforts-spear-invasive-lionfish-curb.htmlVisualizing the BP Oil Spill. (n.d.). IfItWereMyHome.com. Retrieved June 27, 2011, from http://www.ifitweremyhome.com/disasters/bp