Due to both direct and indirect human activity, the Caribbean, once home to a vibrant and thriving underwater world, is now facing a crisis. Did you know that the highly fashionable and classic tortoiseshell (or tortoise shell) design was inspired by the shell of the hawksbill sea turtle? According to the Sea Turtle Conservancy, “hawksbill sea turtles, recognized for their beautiful gold and brown shells, have been hunted for centuries to create jewelry and other luxury items.” Sadly, this sea turtle species, and all other sea turtle species in the Caribbean, are either endangered or deemed critically endangered.
In addition, live corals, within the last 30+ years, have experienced more than a 60% decline. (Healthy coral reefs not only provide protection from natural disasters like hurricanes, they also contribute to billions of dollars in annual tourism revenue.) What’s most alarming, in addition to threatened Caribbean economies, is that future generations may not get to experience the spectacular coral reefs and vast marine life the Caribbean has been known for.
To turn things around, sustained action is needed now. By supporting the good work of organizations whose mission includes restoring the glory of the Caribbean's underwater treasures and raising up the next generation of sea and ocean leaders, Udall Caribbean is working towards ensuring that the beauty of the Caribbean's underwater world can be enjoyed for generations to come.