Caribbean Photo
©Julie Larsen Maher

The Caribbean Sea is perhaps best known by its islands—the Belize Barrier Reef, West Indies, and Caymans, to name a few—which draw millions of tourists each year. The sea is part of the Atlantic Ocean, bordered on the west and south by Central and South America. The Caribbean is one of the largest saltwater seas. Its pink sands and turquoise waters, strings of coral reefs, and deep lagoons support the world’s most important feeding grounds for green sea turtles, in Nicaragua. It contains the largest coral reef system in the Western Hemisphere, just off the coast of Belize. It also supplies a significant fishing industry that feeds millions of people around the world.

Eagle Rays in Belize

Belize's Waters

Away from the crashing surf of its beaches, along miles of mangroves and lagoons, the landscape of Belize blends almost seamlessly with the Caribbean, while submerged coral reefs continue the subtle transition farther out to sea.


Nicaragua's Waters

No animals better reflect the health of Nicaragua’s Caribbean coastline than its sea turtles—the critically endangered hawksbill and endangered green, loggerhead, and leatherback turtles. But many of the country’s coastal communities count on green turtles for income and a protein source.

From the Newsroom

Researchers Track Manta Rays with SatellitesMay 15, 2012

The first satellite tag study for the world’s largest ray, conducted by researchers from WCS, the University of Exeter, and the Mexican government, reveals its habits and hidden journeys.

A Map for Reef ReliefAugust 12, 2011

WCS marine scientists provide a color code for coral conservation by mapping out the stress loads of the world's reefs.

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