Sav­ing Coral Reefs Through Waste­water Management

Coral Reef Alliance

The Coral Reef Alliance aims to improve the health of both humans and coral reefs by imple­ment­ing region­al­ly replic­a­ble and com­mu­ni­ty-informed solu­tions for prop­er waste­water treat­ment. The Mesoamer­i­can Region (MAR) has the largest bar­ri­er reef in the West­ern Hemi­sphere and some of the last healthy pop­u­la­tions of crit­i­cal­ly endan­gered corals. The MAR is crit­i­cal­ly endan­gered, and exten­sive reef mon­i­tor­ing data show that fish bio­mass is declin­ing and macroal­gae are increas­ing (macroal­gae reduce reef resilience by inter­fer­ing with coral growth and recruit­ment) — the abun­dance of macroal­gae is attrib­uted to both top-down effects (reduced her­bivory by par­rot­fish and urchins) and bot­tom-up dri­vers, includ­ing nutri­ent pol­lu­tion from untreat­ed and inad­e­quate­ly treat­ed sewage. The team will work with local gov­ern­ments, donors, and com­mu­ni­ties to imple­ment effec­tive waste­water man­age­ment, to cre­ate resilient human and eco­log­i­cal com­mu­ni­ties across the Mesoamer­i­can Coral Reef.

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