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This Earth Day, support the conservation efforts towards Varadero Reef in Colombia

Posted on April 22 2016

Nonprofit Ecomares is a dedicated marine biology research and conservation NGO established in Colombia in 2009. Proceeds from our Earth Day promotion will benefit the fight to save the Varadero reef.

Varadero reef is located in Colombia's Cartagena Bay and was "officially discovered" just in 2014. The reef is so new, that its existence, location and extension is not yet found on any map or seafloor/bathymetric chart. Neither it is found yet on any environmental conservation plan, which is potentially disastrous for any ecosystem of this magnitude. We are amazed and proud to be among the first ones to dive there, to describe its biodiversity and to theorize about the why's and how's this magnificent ecosystem exists in such transited, polluted and hazy waters. According to a common "reef-sense" the high coral cover and the large size of coral colonies are totally unexpected features considering the high human impact in the place for at least the last 5 centuries. We expect to find keys and answers to understand how an ecosystem can successfully deal with acute environmental degradation. Maybe there's a special gene, a shape, a particular algae symbiont in this reef. We don't know and it seems that we will never know because it has remained virtually unknown. Unfortunately, Varadero reef destruction is almost inevitable due to the Colombian current peace treaty which many of us are waiting to for it to conclude happily, much of the trading development and infrastructural planning in the country is expected to increase. There are plans to build a new alternate deep shipping lane for large trading vessels, and it is planned to run across where now we know this reef exists.

 

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