Utila is the smallest of the Bay Islands located on the north coast of Honduras. The Bay Islands are part of the Mesoamerican Reef System which supports the local economies and livelihoods of almost people.
Threats to the reefs:
- Negative human impact: divers or snorkelers that are unaware of their surroundings can severely harm the reef
- Introduction of damaging substances: chemical sunscreen and insect repellent that mutate and intoxicate coral
- Global climate change impacting coral survival: Coral cover is only 10% at present
- Coral growth rates diminished by 15-30%
- Decreased recovery and resilience: more vulnerable to destruction from storms or slight environmental changes
- Many populations of corals are in danger of extinction
The focus of our restoration efforts revolve around the Staghorn and Elkhorn Corals, which are listed as "Critically Endangered" and are important reef builders.
We have obtained a special permit from the Honduran government to establish a long term project to address the above threats. Our goals are to:
- Create a coral nursery to be able to grow these species
- Monitor the fragments collected to ensure health and survival
- Replant the grown fragments on the reef after they grow
- Constantly monitor conditions to develop a better understanding of reef health and changes
With your kind donations we will be able to purchase materials to create and maintain the nursery and grow the project.