Coral Reef Degradation

"Turneffe Atoll is one of the true gems of the Caribbean. Its combination of healthy coral reef, back reef flats, extensive sea grass beds and mangrove stands identify it as the largest and most biologically diverse atoll in the Caribbean. Interactions between coral reefs, seagrass beds and mangroves are fundamental to the continued existence of these three interconnected ecosystems "
(Catterall et al. 1996).

Such coral reef environments are very fragile and are currently declining across the world primarily due to improper development, over fishing and pollution.

The Atoll contains an extensive and very diverse array of marine life including a number of threatened or endangered species.

Although there are early signs of environmental damage and the trend is worrisome, these impacts can be reversed with appropriate action in the very near future.