What’s New

Author: Summit Foundation

Cozumel beach

The island of Cozumel has no shortage of attractions. About 20 miles from the northeastern coastline of the Mexican state of Quintana Roo, Cozumel is surrounded by coral reefs, rimmed by ivory beaches, and covered with forests and wetlands that are home to endemic species. The problem is that Cozumel is visited by more than… Read More »

MAR Leadership 2015 cohort

José Domingo Caal, a native of Izabal on Guatemala’s vibrant Caribbean coast, has dedicated his work to improving the local livelihoods and conserving the natural resources of his home region. A founding member of the Mayan Association for Rural Wellbeing in the Sarstun Region, José Domingo works to raise awareness of the link between environmental… Read More »

Mayan workers monitor shrimp in Belize.

In the Mesoamerican Reef (MAR) countries of Belize, Honduras, and Guatemala, agriculture is vital to the national economy. While less important in Mexico, it still accounts for 4% of the gross domestic product. Yet commercial agriculture (“agribusinesses”), located in the watersheds that drain into the Caribbean, present a dire threat to the health of the… Read More »

Whale shark

Central America has banned shark finning—the practice of removing a shark’s fins and discarding the animal in the sea—but the consumption of shark and ray meat continues. In Honduras, shark fishing is banned throughout most of the country, and in Belize there is limited consumption of shark meat. However, demand for shark fillet across the… Read More »

Coral transplantation in Akumal, Mexico

The Mesoamerican Reef Fund (MAR Fund) was established in 2004 to ensure long-term financial support for conservation of the Mesoamerican Reef. It has since become a catalyst of innovative local conservation initiatives and regional partnerships in Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, and Mexico. The MAR Fund was created by the leaders of national conservation funds in the four MAR… Read More »

A local guide's boat on the beach in Puerto Morelos, Mexico.

The same tropical climate and clear water that facilitated the development of the Mesoamerican Reef over the course of millennia have helped make the eastern coast of the Yucatan Peninsula one of the world’s most popular tourism destinations in a matter of decades. Ivory beaches, turquoise sea, and multicolored marine life draw close to ten… Read More »

On the northeastern coast of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, between Cancun and Tulum, lies the idyllic Riviera Maya, with more than 70,000 hotel rooms spread along its beaches. Developers continue to build new resorts, homes, and condos there, and because of the way those projects are sited and built, they often pose significant threats to nearby… Read More »

Divemaster and tourists in Cozumel

Though the top attractions in the Riviera Maya, Mexico are sun, sea, and sand, many vacationers spend time on the nearby Mesoamerican Reef, from experienced scuba divers to cruise ship passengers snorkeling for the first time. During the high season, the reefs may receive thousands of visitors every day who bring with them the potential… Read More »