Bahamian Reefs

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Consisting of over 3,000 islands, islets and cays, and covering an area of over 14,000 square kilometers, the Bahamas contain several priceless marine habitats. One of the most notable is Andros Island, the largest of the Bahamian Islands. Located off the southeastern tip of Florida, it is made up of forests, wetlands, swamps, and the Andros Barrier Reef, the second largest barrier reef in the western hemisphere. A number of endangered species live in the environs, including Kirtland?s Warbler, the Northern Bahamian Rock Iguana (which is on the verge of extinction), and the highly threatened Sawfish. Despite being designated a National Park in 2002, Andros Island continues to come under threat from unsustainable fishing practices, damage from boats, water pollution, and offshore channeling and dredging.

Great Guana Cay, a tiny island in the center of the Bahamas territory, is distinguished by one of the best preserved elkhorn/staghorn reefs in the world. Recognized as one of the world's best diving spots, it has recently come under threat from developers wishing to build a golf course on the sparsely inhabited island. While local residents fought the development and the reefs remain safe for now, it is apparent that formal protection would better ensure the Bahamas? reefs remain healthy contributors to the rich Bahamian environment

Learn more about the broader region: Wider Caribbean