Kip just returned from an expedition with the Sylvia Earle Alliance to the Swan Islands. Located 90 miles off the coast of Honduras, the Swan Islands are situated at the southern boundary of the Mesoamerican Reef, the Atlantic Ocean’s largest system of coral reefs. This area is one of Dr. Sylvia Earle’s “hope spots”, a term coined to describe areas of the ocean that are either already a marine protected area or that are in need of this type of special protection. The expedition team expected pristine conditions due to the uninhabited status of the Swan Islands, but after completing several dives they soon discovered that even the these remote islands are not free from the threat of human disturbance. Many of the coral reefs surrounding the Swan Islands showed signs of degradation from both over-fishing as well as past hurricane damage. Although storms are a naturally occurring threat to ocean ecosystems, coupled with over-fishing, recovery can be protracted or never occur.
The video below was produced by Kip and highlights the Mesoamerican Reef ecosystem. To learn more about this expedition and support “hope spots” around the world, please visit The Sylvia Earle Alliance.