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Riviera Maya Eco-Adventure - Marine Turtles and Coral at Akumal

Posted Apr 14 2010 11:24am
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Shawna snorkeling the beautiful blue Caribbean waters at Akumal, Mexico.

With my snorkel and fins on, I descend into the warm Caribbean Sea to swim with coral, sea urchins, stingrays and marine turtles. Blue envelops me, pulling and pushing my body with the current as I swim farther and farther from shore. Weightless, I float in another world filled with beauty; watching the amazing life at a distance, yet feeling as if I am uniquely sharing with these creatures.  


Talk about an up-close and personal view of ocean life! Snorkeling in the turquoise ocean waters at Akumal on the Riviera Maya in Mexico is very much like swimming in an aquarium. Marine turtles within an arm-span - incredible. It is an eco-adventure everyone should experience to help them appreciate the value and importance of ocean life, particularly coral. Above is a short video which features my family and I swimming with the ocean life at this heavenly spot in Mexico.

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Akumal's coral and reef system is a part of the great Mesoamerican Reef which is unique in the Western Hemisphere. Covering nearly 115 million acres, the reef stretches almost 700 miles from the northern tip of Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula to the Bay Islands in Honduras.

Sadly, the reef is suffering from extensive bleaching caused primarily by green blooming and over-fertilization of the ocean. Near the Yucatan Peninsula, the greatest cause of this green blooming is from fertilizer run-off from the United States and Mexico into the Gulf of Mexico. When a reef is "bleached" it is killed. Global warming, the tourist industry, and increased or decrease salinity contents of the water are also harming the coral. 

About one quarter of all marine species are believed to  depend on coral at some stage of their development. Many fish live their entire lives on reefs, while others use them as nurseries; if the coral dies out it is assumed the fish will too. The economic impact of losing coral is also significant - in the billions of dollars worldwide. More importantly, what is the impact on humanity when we have less fish in the ocean to eat?

To prevent this, environmentalists suggest we find ways to use less or no fertilizers on our lawns, gardens, and farms. Utilizing organic fertilizer, such as compost and rotted cow manure is the best way to do this.

Please try and help save our oceans by using more organic practices in your lawns and gardens - you can make a difference!

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Visit www.rivieramaya.com to learn more about swimming with coral and marine turtles at Akumal along with other amazing eco-activities on the Yucatan Peninsula coast in Mexico.

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