Don’t let the Punta Arrecifes development slip under the radar! You may have heard me mention the pristine environment in Cozumel that is at risk of being destroyed.
Now you can Take Action to preserve this rare ecosystem and save the endangered and endemic species that flourish in the area. Please sign this petition to hold President Calderon to his promise of preserving the natural resources of Mexico.
The ICLP Yucatan RAVE that brought this issue to the limelight is featured here by Nat Geo Newswatch and Huffington Post. You can also learn more by reading this excerpt from the petition put together by Myfanwy Rowland, Robert Cudney, Roy Toft and I.
Recently, a small team of photographers, scientists and writers were in Cozumel to conduct a visual assessment of the island as to the many issues of growth and development as part of a program by International League of Conservation Photographers.
The ILCP team witnessed the Cozumel Reefs National Park researchers carefully monitor the reef health. They witnessed individuals assigned to protect the turtle habitats and teach the younger generation about the importance of saving an endangered species. Unfortunately, they also witnessed the onslaught of development and the impact it can have on a tiny, sensitive island. One particular area that concerned them is the northern lagoons and northeast corner of the island. It is a jewel that is home to many endemic species of terrestrial flora and fauna. Just a short distance from the beaches are delicate micro atolls. These micro atolls represent a micro ecosystem that occurs only rarely worldwide, and nowhere else in the Western Caribbean. Such limited and contrasting systems usually occur within very narrow survival parameters. Even minute changes can bring about irreversible damage.
The team became aware of a particular development named Punta Arrecifes. The approval process and exact scale of the project is and has been somewhat of a guessing game. What little in documentation is available to the public raises more questions than answers. What has been discussed as recently as September is that the plan incorporates a marina, golf course, private air strip and 600 hotel rooms. The project claims to add employment opportunities. And while this may be true, it’s difficult to understand the impact to the economy when so many of the existing resorts and hotels are having difficulty filling rooms. At what expense would this development cost to the environment and uniqueness of this island to those who visit it for just that reason?
. . . Cozumel’s eastern and northern wilderness should be protected for all future generations. . .