The country of Belize is rather small; it is approximately the size of Massachusetts. The Belize Barrier Reef that sits at 16º 13' North, 88º 48' West (WorldAtlas.com) however, is the largest barrier reef in the Western Hemisphere. Nearly 260km long, it runs from the northern border of the country, where it is only about 1km offshore, south to the Sapodilla Cayes which lie some 40km offshore. (Wells, No date) It is a beautiful destination. The location provides sun rises and sun sets that only dreams are made of. The area screams to be photographed, but its screams are closely followed by an echo claiming not to touch. Within the Barrier Reef beauty lays a home to various life forms. How much human disturbance can the Belize Barrier Reef endure before it ceases to exist?
Not only is the Belize Barrier Reef the largest reef in the Western Hemisphere, it is also has one of the most diverse reef ecosystems in the world. (Wells, No date) Within the reef, has been the discovery of over 66 types of Scleratinian corals. This number represents over 90% of the Caribbean's total amount of discovered corals. Some of the rarest organisms have been found on the reef, including the American Crocodile. The Belize Barrier Reef is home to more than 300 fish species, well more than half of the species of fish that can be found in the entire Caribbean itself.
[...] It has been documented that shifting and changing the area around a body of water such as the Belize Barrier Reef produces pollutions into the water. Dredging also has a major effect on the land and such organisms as the crocodile. The crocodile lives in mangroves and turtle grass areas of the reef as these areas provide food for the crocodiles to thrive on. turtle grass beds have been lost to dredging and water pollution and mangroves are increasingly being cleared.” (Green Reef, 2000) In order to protect the fish that live in the reef's waters, we must gain a better grasp on the illegal fishing that occurs. [...]
[...] (No Date) Case Study Belize. Belize Barrier Reef. Retrieved on March from http://www.westminster.edu/staff/athrock/BELIZE/Reef.html. United Nations Environment Programme. (2008) Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System, Belize. Retrieved on March from http://www.unep- wcmc.org/sites/wh/pdf/Belize.pdf. [...]
[...] However, the more we work together to prevent the other sources of damage and disturbance, the more we can keep the Belize Barrier Reef flourishing with the multi-organisms that call the reef their home. Sources Used Belize Institute of Environmental Law and Policy. (2004) Petition To The World Heritage Committee Requesting Inclusion of Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System. Retrieved on March from http://www.coralcay.org/content/view/63/504/. Bellamy, Ph.D, David. (2009) Foreword by Professor David Bellamy. Retrieved on March from http://www.coralcay.org/content/view/63/504/. CCC Staff. (2009) Coral Cay Conservation Home. [...]
[...] This is mutualism action because it allows the anemone to travel to alternate food sources and also protects the hermit crab from being attacked. Human Encounters The Belize Barrier Reef can have over 30,000 visitors. The biggest attraction seems to be snorkeling and scuba diving. People come from all over the world to gaze at the reef's beauty and to touch its living wonders beneath the crystal clear waters. Humans harbor natural bacteria and viruses. These things are unknown to the creatures of the reef. [...]
[...] How much human disturbance can the Belize Barrier Reef endure before it ceases to exist? The Life Forms Found On the Reef Not only is the Belize Barrier Reef the largest reef in the Western Hemisphere, it is also has of the most diverse reef ecosystems in the world.” (Wells, No date) Within the reef, has been the discovery of over 66 types of Scleratinian corals. This number represents over 90% of the Caribbean's total amount of discovered corals. Some of the rarest organisms have been found on the reef, including the American Crocodile. [...]
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