When Don Acheson visited Roatan, Honduras, six years ago he was dismayed to see “a lot of algae on the reef … and very little elkhorn or staghorn coral; very few anemones, sea urchins, or sea cucumbers; and very few mollusks or even empty shells.”
Fast forward to 2013, when Don decided to visit Roatan again with his granddaughters and other family members. He wrote about his experience: “It didn’t take long into our first dive before [we] started smiling—reefs that had been covered in algae five years ago were recovering. The big fish—snappers, groupers, and barracuda, and morays—were still there, but the smaller fish and little critters (shrimp, nudibranches, etc.) were there in much larger numbers than before, and the hard corals showed ample new growth.”
After reading about CORAL’s work in Honduras in our 2013 annual report, Don emailed us to say that he was pleasantly surprised by the condition of the reefs on his 2013 visit—and wondered if CORAL had a hand in making those changes.
We’re delighted to say yes. CORAL has been involved in Roatan since 2005, strengthening local groups and building alliances, and working from many different angles to solve environmental problems affecting Honduras’s reefs. This work has included helping the Roatan Marine Park improve their patrols, increase their technical capabilities, and build their financial stability.
CORAL also partners with the Healthy Reefs Initiative to monitor the reefs all around the north coast and Bay Islands. Says Honduras Field Manager Jenny Myton, “The areas where Don was diving have been monitored since 2006 and we have been able to document their improvement. The patrols have been working! The fish are coming back! This is important as some of these fish, especially the parrotfish, control the macroalgae that grow on the reef.”
CORAL is also working with the government and local partners to improve regulation of development and to find solutions to the wastewater problems affecting the reef.
You can make sure we have the funding to continue our successful work in Roatan and other island communities around the globe. Please make your generous gift today.