The Belize Barrier Reef Essay
The Belize Barrier Reef
The Belize Barrier Reef Andrea G. Milbourne SCI 230 June 20, 2010 The Belize Barrier Reef is the second largest barrier reef in the world next to one found in Australia. The reef is Belize’s number one tourist attraction. It is home to many different ocean life forms. The reef is in danger of being destroyed. Humans and the rising temperature of the ocean are factors of the reefs danger. There are many conservation groups that are trying to help preserve the reef and its habitants.
The barrier reef is 186 miles in length and is 1,000 ft off-shore in the north and 25 iles to the south of the country of Belize. The Belize reef has particularly high species diversity for the region, with about 65 coral species and over 300 fish species. The fish species include sharks, sea turtles, finfish, sponges, tuna, and many more Just to name a few. These species coincide together to produce the reef. Many of the species need one another for food to survive. Larger species tend to feed of smaller ones and the left over materials from the fish are ingested by the smaller species.
The Reef is still yet to be fully explored by humans. It is said that there is still ninety percent of the Belize Barrier reef that has yet to be explored by humans. The greatest damage comes from sedimentation, agrochemical run-off, coastal development, tourism and overfishing. Humans destroy the natural habitat of the reef by disturbing it and leaving trash and toxic materials in and around the reef. The reef also sustains damage from overfishing and large commercial fishing boats that try to fish in the shallow parts of the reef.
Some large corporations dump oxic chemicals near the reef threatening the wildlife of the reef. There are banana farms near the reef that are quite large. They use fertilizer that helps the bananas to grow. The run off of fertilizer used to grow these bananas is going to the reef and killing the species in it, as well as, the reef itself. The development of hotels and housing affects the reef by cutting into it and disturbing the natural state of the reef. When the country builds developments like this next to the reef it brings more humans to the area to disturb the reef even more.
Another reason for the reef being in danger is the fact that the ocean temperature is rising. This causes bleaching of the coral and other parts of the reef. Hurricanes provide damage to the reef every year and it takes time for the reef to naturally repair itself from these damages. While the reef is repairing itself from these natural disasters, the humans cause damage that is irreversible and the reef cannot fully restore itself to normal. The country of Belize does not want to destroy this amazing reef, but it uses the reef for income.
The same things that are helping countrys economic system are destroying the reef right before their eyes. The country of Belize tries to educate the visitors and its public as to how to try to help keep the reef clean. There are foundation is a group that is trying to help the Belize government in preserving the Belize Barrier Reef. They have Joined Belize in educating the country and the tourists about the reef and how to protect it. They also educate the businesses around the area to help them take steps in preserving the reef.
The UN foundation accepts onations from the public and businesses to give them the resources for the conservation effort. They also help with trying to get legislation passed to protect the reef and the countrys economy. The country of Belize and the conservation groups have already made parts of the reef national parks. Some areas of the reef have also been closed to the public and are considered land preserves so no one is allowed to enter these areas. These steps have helped save portions of the reef from destruction. The reef still needs help to survive.
As an individual person you could elp by donating time to the conservation effort. Or by visiting the reef, take care not to disturb the natural habitat of the species living in it. These conservation groups don’t want to stop tourism, they Just want educated tourists enjoying one of the worlds amazing places and keep around for many years to come. I think we could all voice our opinion about how we could do our part in the preservation of the reef. If you can’t visit the reef or donate to the preservation, you can Join conservation groups and help from you country.
There is always the internet. You can give your support to a conservation group of your choice through the internet. There is always something you can do to help the effort. If the barrier reef is not preserved then it will be destroyed. All of the species will not be able to survive and it will affect the area around the reef. The country of Belize will not have the reef for economic purposes. The country may not survive itself without the reef and its species. The fishermen who fish the reef would not have employment.
There may be some ocean ife that can only survive in the reef that will be destroyed that we may not even know about. There also will not be a tourist attraction to visit anymore. This would be a big loss to the country and the world around us. I myself have never heard about the Belize Barrier Reef until I received this assignment. I would like to visit the reef one day. I would also like to look for a conservation group that I could Join and do my part to preserve one of the world’s amazing places. References Terracurve (2009) Help protect the Belize Barrier Reef with the support of the United
University/College: University of Arkansas System
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Date: 25 May 2018