Great white shark (Carcharodon carcharias) in Mexico.Photo by Doug Richardson


Mexico is home to a variety of natural resources that, along with its rich historical and cultural offerings, has made the country one of the top 10 tourist destinations on the planet. Marine recreation activities like diving, snorkeling, and wildlife viewing are extremely popular in Mexico; as a result, tourist cities and towns are expanding dramatically to provide space for hotels and other infrastructure. The impact of this development directly impacts the health of coastal ecosystems, including coral reefs, which are vital to the local economy. Creating sustainable tourism is the key to managing this growth in a way that supports both the people in the area and the coral reefs on which they depend. CORAL is partnering with the tourism industry and MARTI throughout the Mesoamerican Reef system to promote healthy coral reefs and protect them.

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Threats and progress

Mexico’s popularity as a tourism destination has led to explosive growth and development. If this development isn’t guided by sustainable environmental practices, the unrestricted growth will damage the reefs and ruin the tourist trade. Overuse by tourists, wastewater pollution, and sediment runoff are all threatening Mexico’s coral reefs. CORAL trains local leaders to address these issues in the marine recreation sector while protecting reefs and community members.

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Our partners in Mexico

CORAL partners with international organizations, marine resource managers, and tourism operators to find long-term, sustainable solutions to community-led conservation initiatives.

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