June 8 is World Oceans Day and we want to celebrate the incredible beauty that we have right here on our doorstep, the Mexican Caribbean.
Fifty shades of blue as one Royal Resorts member recently referred to it, our Caribbean palette runs from the palest aqua to brilliant turquoise, azure and the darkest indigo of the ocean depths.
The World’s Second Longest Reef
Stretching south from the island of Contoy to Belize, the Mesoamerican Reef protects the Quintana Roo coast. Almost 600 miles of barrier and fringing reefs, walls, canyons, spurs and scattered coral heads, home to an endless variety of colorful creatures. Seventy species of coral have been identified along the reef and over the centuries, colonies of these minute organisms have built spectacular formations such as buttresses, pillars, plates and fragile underwater gardens full of sea fans, sponges and anemones.
Myriad Fish of All Shapes and Sizes
A flash of shimmering scales and a kaleidoscope of colors, the Mesoamerican reef is home to 500 species of fish of all shapes and sizes, from tiny damsel and squirrelfish to shoals of blue tangs and angelfish, parrotfish and giant groupers.
One of Nature’s Miracles
Snorkelers and divers exploring the reefs in the Cancun-Isla Mujeres area, the Riviera Maya and Cozumel are often lucky enough to spot sea turtles. And every summer, one of nature’s greatest shows is played out on area beaches. Female turtles come ashore at night to lay their eggs in their sand and weeks later, their tiny offspring race down the shoreline to begin life at sea.
The Mexican Caribbean is an oceanic highway, attracting migratory species during the year in search of food, such as sailfish, marlin, manta rays, tuna, tarpon and the biggest of them all, the whale shark.
Help us Protect the Ocean
Here are some things you can do to help protect our underwater world.
• Take your garbage with you when you leave the beach.
• Dispose of ring pulls, plastic packaging and bags and discarded fishing lines and hooks correctly, they are harmful to seabirds and marine creatures.
• Use environmentally friendly, biodegradable sunscreens. The chemicals and oils in standard sun products pollute the water and harm marine life. Wear a t-shirt while swimming or snorkeling instead of sun cream.
• Keep your distance from coral reefs when snorkeling and diving. Corals grow very slowly and the slightest touch or the sand stirred up by your fins causes damage that may take the reef hundreds of years to recover from.
• Learn all you can about the ocean, the role it plays and the many challenges it faces.
• Support organizations working to protect the ocean and marine life.