When you think of a real colorful, lush Coral Reef with fields of corals growing like a garden, all of us picture the crystal clear waters and endless corals of the Pacific and Indian Oceans. That’s because we’ve mostly wiped out the Caribbean corals to the point that don’t really form lush reefs anymore.
However there seems to be one last very healthy and expansive coral garden in the Caribbean, and this is Cordelia Banks in Honduras. Located just south of Roatan, Nicole Helgason of our sister site Reef Divers was there for two months and is currently catching up on tons of stories about this Hope Spot for Caribbean coral reefs.
It’s such a shame that there currently is no legal avenue for American reefers to grow out ‘local’ coral species, because incredible corals like Mycetophyllia, M. cavernosa and some of the Agaricia come in wild and crazy colors, and growing them in captive aquariums would certainly raise their profile in the public eye if they could see how beautiful these corals are capable of being.
This incredible video by Dr. Pawlik really shows the scale of the coral growth at Cordelia Banks, and in some places it really looks like the hills of the reefs were formed by recent coral growth. We sincerely hope that researchers and scientists can figure out why Cordelia Banks has survived to be a time capsule of what Caribbean Coral Reefs used to be like – it’s good to know that at least one place like this still exists in the tropical western atlantic ocean, and maybe it can teach us how to bring back sights like this in other parts of the Caribbean.