For nearly 10 years, the Belize Barrier Reef was an endangered UNESCO World Heritage site. In June 2018 it was finally taken off that list. The government of Belize was able to save the 200-mile long reef from further destruction.
It was initially endangered in 2009 due to mangrove deforestation, and oil drilling in the area. In 2016, to avoid extinction of the reef, Belize stopped both of these from happening. Had the reef died, the consequences would be massive.
The Caribbean Sea would lose color, tourism would plummet and lives would be at risk. Populations of fish living around the reef would diminish, cutting off the primary food supply of millions of people. The reef is healthy now, but these conditions may not last forever.
The ocean temperature has been getting increasingly warm due to climate change. As this continues, coral bleaching will occur, stripping the reef of all its nutrients. Beginning the process of killing the reef completely. The survival of a delicate and crucial part of our ecosystem is in human hands.