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JFS

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Cozumel Mexico
The limestone is all porous. There are veins that go out all over the reefs. Lots of the pollutants from the island are getting spread about this way. How many of you have been diving after it rains here? You can feel and see the fresh water pumping out at certain reefs. The mainland is another story with its rampant growth. Can you imagine the scale of contaminents coming from across the rock? The scarcity of sewage treatment plants and education of environment is definatlely lacking. Its a very big problem and no end to it. Cozumel is going to continue to grow. Lots of new condos being built, more people moving to paradise.....soon it wont be much so anymore.
 

ggunn

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The stuff I'm talking about is in addition to the untreated sewage from the southern hotels affecting the reefs. Isn't that pretty much common knowledge now? There's not much to explain. Excess nutrients cause bacteria growth that effects the reefs. It's happening all over the world. ☹
The reefs well south of all the resorts are affected and the current runs south to north on both sides of the island. I'm not saying that runoff from the island has no effect, just that much of it is coming from somewhere else.
 
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Okcdiver2

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It's coming from everywhere unfortunately. Even if all sources in cozumel were stopped with the currents pollution carried everywhere. We get mercury in the Jetstream from Asia how do we stop that? I guess that's why they are trying the global environmental treaties but money always wins. Can you tell I've lost hope after 20 years in environmental. I used to have hope. Now I ry to control what's in front of me and not look at the big picture but it's hard. More people in the world more pollution more hard surfaces.
The new trend now is more green space so storm water soaks in and doesn't wash all the pollutants into the water but that doesn't help sanitary sewer overflows and all that flow freely to the water. Education is needed. It's all a big mess.
 

Charred

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Agree education is critical and that is why I started this.

The southern resorts and cruise ships are not the primary cause here. Either there is an unidentified source south of Cozumel or the Caribbean itself is loaded with nutrients. Since large mats of sargasm are seen when flying over the ocean now, I have a bad feeling its the ocean itself. That is not a good sign for the future of the Cozumel reefs.

What really scares me is that last week's hotels were filled with divers and crusiers. Since they could not cruise, they just went to the hotels. I am still waiting for Cozumel to realize the big bucks are in ocean side mega resorts, a bigger airport with more fees and an even bigger fleet of taxis. Those cruise ports are childs play.
 

Okcdiver2

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I Remember a few years ago people talking about the deforestation in South America with no erosion control of course being carried all over the carribean and helping feed the Sargasso. Unfortunately so many sources. Dilution used to be the solution to pollution but at some point it reaches a limit ☹
Of.course I don't agree with that.
 

ggunn

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Dilution used to be the solution to pollution but at some point it reaches a limit ☹
It is a process that has repeated itself many, many times in human history. People just spread their waste anywhere it's convenient until it starts being a problem for everyone else, and then it's a struggle to get them to stop.
 

fishi

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I'm a Fish!
So I just returned from a week of diving hitting all the major sites. My last trip was in Nov2019.

The reefs were horrifying in 2019 as the corals were bleaching due to the disease. Seeing all those bone white coral skeletons was not great.

Fast forward, all those corals are dead and algae has overgrown the coral skeletons so the reef looks "better" but that assessment is certainly relative.

However, the big change I see now is the nutrient load on the reefs. Their is algae everywhere growing on everything and most corals are in various states of being smoothered. I observed tons of cyanobacteria which are non-photosynthetic that feed off poor water quality. This is the rusty/snotty red/brown film you see on the sand bed everywhere. If you notice, it creates a biofilm that actually anchors the sand down keeping it from blowing around in current and smothering everything underneath. Take your hand and wave some water at it and it wont move. Only the very high current areas like the channels in the reef still have that blinding white sand.

I am sure many are cursing the southern hotels but you can see the impacts at the far far southern sites like Punta Sur. Unless the nutrients are circulating around the island (going south down the east coast side) I dont see how the southern hotels can be the primary source of this. Those hotels were also empty over the period I was not there. Same for the cruise ships. Think a source much further source must be considered such as discharge off the mainland.

I raise this because I think this needs to get figured out or those corals are on borrowed time.
What if the very act of flying into Cozumel is what is killing the reef? What if you are the problem? What then?
 

CuzzA

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1988 to 2015. Pretty easy to understand the problem when you take the macro view. The fix is a massive hurricane wiping out human civilization there.

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fishi

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What if it isn't? What if the Zombie Apocalypse is coming? What if the sun is going nova tomorrow? :D
The threat of a Zombie Apocalypse is an internal experience, it is nothing we can see together. The threat of the sun going nova is the same. Coral reefs dying all over the world is an external experience that you and I and everyone else on the planet can all agree on. Or at least the sane ones can agree on it.

Thank you for having this conversation with me maybe I will learn something in the end. Thank you again my friend.
 
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