Cozumel in Roatan’s Future

Cozumel is Mexico’s largest island, nestled just 12 miles off the coast of the Yucatan Peninsula, measuring in at 28 miles long & only 10 miles wide. Cozumel itself was a sleepy little fishing community until 1961, when Jacques Cousteau declared the island one of the most beautiful scuba diving areas of the world. By 1970, Cozumel’s population had reached 10,000 and today the island boasts a population of more than 75,000. Over the years, the recreational scuba industry grew and Cozumel became a Mecca for divers with visitor numbers swelling annually. In recent years, the cruise ship industry has boomed, and with the island being the gateway to the Caribbean, ships now deliver an estimated 10,000 people daily to this once quiet island.

Once regarded as the jewel of Mexico for its pristine reefs, due to unregulated development and unsustainable practices, the reefs fringing the island have rapidly degraded and the island’s main tourist attraction has shifted from diving to golf. From a paradise to an environmentalist’s nightmare in a manner of a few decades, one must wonder, “Is Roatan on the road to a similar fate? “While those living on Roatan would never dream of comparing our island with Cozumel, the reality may be gradually emerging as more and more tourists visit the island. With direct international flights, the Bay Islands are no longer only accessible to backpackers but cruise-shippers, day trippers and jet-setters alike. With the building of additional docks to accommodate yet more cruise ships and the continuous sprouting up of new developments, this island paradise is rapidly reflecting Cozumel’s blunder. As the island evolves and the concrete is laid, how can we carelessly dismiss Roatan’s tropical splendor and magnificent reefs? It is time to truly demand that we “Keep Roatan Beautiful.”

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One Response to “Cozumel in Roatan’s Future”

  1. Ricardo Morales Says:

    The problem remains the decisions keep being mad by the owners of those hotels, cruise docks and developments and these people seem to be predators who are on the wayto simply getas much as they can no matter what theydestroy, who will stop the cruise ships from dumpinng if the owners of the duck have the authorities in their pockets? it is a matter oof good islanders to decide not to vote for the same people and politicians to decide for the good of the many and not only theirs. Just teaching the population to live green wont do it, if the owners of the island don´t wake up and see it will be better to generate money for centuries even if it isn´t as much than generate a lot for only a couple of years more, look at the reef in the west end.

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