Happy Birthday, Hol Chan Marine Reserve

August 2, 2012

A recent blog for National Geographic NewsWatch celebrates the 25th anniversary of the Hol Chan Marine Reserve in Belize, the country's first marine reserve and one that protects the greatest barrier reef in the Western Hemisphere. Conservation efforts there ensure continued success for blue striped grunts and other precious fish and marine animals.

News today of conditions in the marine environment seems mostly something to be dreaded; a litany of decline and morbidity. Whether it be the seemingly intractable force of ocean warming; ocean basin catastrophes like the BP oil spill; the bloody farce called “scientific” whaling by the Japanese; or simply the eerie appearance of lion fish in the Atlantic Basin, the marine conservationist — the enlightened observer, for that matter — can surely be forgiven for having adopted a protective shield of cynicism regarding the future of our planet and our ability to effectively address the challenges of conservation.

So, by way of relief from the weight of these troubles, it was a pleasure to hear of a birthday on July 2nd, happening in Belize, site of the greatest barrier reef in the Western Hemisphere. It was a birthday marking the authorization of the Hol Chan Marine Reserve, 25 years ago. Joining in the commemoration were Belizeans and ex-patriot friends of Belize from around the world. 

To read the full article written by WCS conservationist Archie Carr III, visit National Geographic NewsWatch.

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