While President Donald Trump intends to open nearly all U.S. waters to offshore oil development for the first time, the country with the largest coral reef in the Western Hemisphere has banned offshore oil drilling to protect its natural heritage and fishing industry.
The Central American country of Belize is caretaker of the world’s second longest barrier reef, which runs along its east coast.
The 200-mile-long Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System is a UNESCO World Heritage site. It is part of a 560-mile-long Mesoamerican Barrier Reef, which touches the coasts of Mexico, Belize, Guatemala and Honduras.
The Mesoamerican Barrier Reef contains the largest barrier reef in both the Western and the Northern Hemispheres, stretching nearly 700 miles from the northern tip of the Yucatan Peninsula down through the Honduran Bay Islands.
This is an excerpt from an article originally published by Environment News Service.