In preparation for our upcoming photography trip to Cuba, I’ve been posting news and articles related to the cultural, political and natural aspects of this island nation. Here’s a short article from my colleague, Alethea Paradis regarding the status of the little-known coral reefs off of the Cuban shores.
The upside of minimal economic growth since 1959? Pristine environmental beauty. Cuba’s coral reefs, coastal regions and jungles are home to the most diverse range of species in the Caribbean. Unlike most of the islands in the warm-water region, Cuba’s coastal gems have been spared the ravages of over-fishing, pollution and habitat destruction which invariably accompanies economic development. Cuba’s slow-to-act government agencies and cultural commitment to scientific exploration work together – paradoxically – to keep their environment in a state of preservation: natural equilibrium, by inertia. As access to the island increases for Americans, and the potential end to the U.S. embargo against Cuba looms ominously in the future, economic boom could mean environmental bust for the natural habitat. “You always have this feeling that it’s about to change—that you’ll be the last one there before it explodes,” observes travel writer Julian Smith. Read the full article and see the beautiful images from the Nature Conservancy June/July 2014 issue
Written by Alethea Tyner Paradis
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