Belize Association of
Climate change affects every facet of the Placencia Peninsula environment, including declining water quality in the Placencia Lagoon caused by higher water temperatures, declining health of coral and seagrass environments, beach erosion, fewer fish and plankton, acidification of the Caribbean Sea, rising sea levels, hotter weather, stronger storms and flooding, and damage to wetlands and mangroves through higher sea levels, increased flooding, storm damage and loss of sedimentation.
Corals are particularly susceptible to climate change, with some reefs expected to be gone by 2020. And, as goes the reef, so goes much of the rest of the marine environment because coral has such a critical function in our seas and oceans. It protects shorelines, mangroves and seagrass beds from strong waves, provides a home and food for many, many varieties of fish and other marine life, takes up carbon out of the atmosphere thereby somewhat mitigating the effects of global warming, and even provides human medicines.
But, climate change, as a result of too much carbon in the atmosphere is killing our coral - not only here in Belize, but all over the world.
“The major emerging threat to coral reefs in the last decade has been coral bleaching and mortality associated with global climate change.” (Status of Coral Reefs Around the World, 2004)
But it is not just the Great Barrier Reef at risk, all reefs are
at risk, including the Belize Reef, which is particularly
vulnerable due to stress from dredging and coastal development
-- and, unfortunately, doesn't benefit from the same level of
protection given to the Great Barrier Reef.
Peninsula Citizens for Sustainable Development